One of the quickest and simplest ways to give your bathroom a more modern feel is to replace or install new tiles. Doing so will not only make it more visually appealing, but it can also increase the overall value of your home.
Before taking on such a large project, it’s vital that you plan and prepare. This isn’t a task that can be completed in a day. Make sure to allow yourself enough time to figure this out if this is your first do-it-yourself project.
Shop around and find tiles that best suit your style, budget, and needs. For floor tiles, it’s good to go with something textured. This can prevent you (or others) from slipping after stepping out of the shower. The tiles you install on the wall can be smooth and glazed… After all, you’re not Spiderman. Or are you?
You’ll want to begin by removing any existing tiles from the ground and the walls before installing the new ones. Never install new tiles ONTOP of existing tile. Seriously. Don’t do it. Once the floors and the walls have been bared and prepped, it’s then time to proceed with the scheming.
Plan out the pattern in which you’d like to have the tiles installed. Making diagrams can help you decide what should go where. Did you opt for border tiles? How about accent tiles? Planning their placement before setting is a very important step. This makes the end result uniform, and most beautiful.
If tiling in the shower, it’s good to start with running some silicone caulking around the area you’re about to tile. This will act as a seal. When cutting tiles, use a wet saw with a diamond blade. Tile cutters are mostly designed to cut in straight or angled lines. Do not attempt to cut circles or curve the tile as you cut it. Doing so may cause the piece to break and send shrapnel flying.
You may also use a score-and-snap cutter, though they’re not as accurate and you might need some practice before getting it right. This can have you ending up with a pile of broken and non-usable tiles fairly quickly.
For wall tiles, use a 3/16” v-notched trowel and spread the adhesive down the side of the wall in a small area. Start at the corner, and work your way down and in. When you begin tiling, start at the wall again.
Mastic adhesive works better than thinset for wall tiles, as it creates a stronger bond. The tiles adhere much quicker and won’t slide down the wall after being placed.
Note, if you’re using border tiles, set those BEFORE setting the main section. (Top part only.) Work the main area of tiles, and then set your bottom border. Also, be sure to use a level when doing any of this.
When applying the thinset on the ground, or the mastic adhesive to the wall, be sure to give it all an even coat. When you’re setting the tiles, be sure to give them a little pressure as you’re placing them along the wall or floor.
Allow 24 hours for the adhesive to set, and you may then apply grout.
Pro Tip: Keep a bucket and sponge handy when you’re grouting. Wiping off excess grout immediately will really, and I mean really, make your life easier.
Give the grout 24 hours to dry as well, clean, and you’re done! Enjoy your newly finished bathroom.