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Make Tiled Bathrooms Look Amazing

Read This Before Tiling Your Bathroom

As Seen On
by Jeff Patterson in DIY Bathroom Remodel
Tiling Tips and Techniques

Tiled Bathrooms can be beautiful.

Or ugly…

It depends on how you use it. Our tiling tips will make your bathroom faster to renovate and easier to clean.

We promise you’ll learn at least one idea you can use today.

Let’s dive in!

 

Each week we get tons of tile questions.

Today’s tutorial is a high-level overview.

You’ll likely have questions at the end.

And that’s okay…ask them down in the comment section! 

 

Tip 1: Large Format Shower Tile

Do you like cleaning your bathroom? If you said yes, god bless you.

I hate cleaning but it’s a necessary evil.

One way to cut down on cleaning time is to use large format tile

Pick Large Format Tiles

The white tiles in the above picture are 12 x 36 inches. After I’m done showering I use a squeegee to remove water and cut down on water spots.

If you like subway tiles better…go for it, but I love large tiles, especially ones with a high gloss finish.

 

Tip 2: Large Format Floor Tile

Same thing goes for floor tile, the larger the tile the less cleaning.

Large tiles also mean fewer grout lines.

Large floor tile

Floor tiles should have a rougher finish than wall tiles. This helps maintain grippiness (is that a word?) when the tiles get wet.

And as you know, all floor tiles get wet. This type of tile makes your bathroom safer…and that’s always a good thing.

 

Tip 3: Tile Up to the Ceiling

Have you seen moldy drywall? It’s pretty disgusting.

One way to avoid this problem is to tile up to the ceiling.

Tile to the Ceiling

Do this instead of leaving a sliver of drywall. You’ll thank me 2 years down the road.

In my experience, particularly if someone tall is using the shower, water splashes on painted drywall. Eventually paint will peal and the drywall gets water damage.

Spend the extra bucks to tile up to the ceiling. It’s worth it.

 

Tip 4: Save Money with Schluter Profiles

Bullnose or pencil trim tiles are EXPENSIVE!!!

I’ll say that again…EXPENSIVE.

One way to save is to use a modern profile edge from Schluter.

Schluter Profiles

Schluter profiles are a fraction of the price of bullnose tile and are easy to install. Plus they come in a variety of different colors and finishes.

We suggested this option to my mother-in-law and she’s putting a Schluter profile in her new bathroom.

 

Tip 5: Choose Accent Tiles Wisely

There’s nothing better than a sexy accent tile. These tiles flat out can make or break your shower tile.

Choose accent tiles that are just as thick as your surrounding tile. That way the accent tiles will abut against the adjacent tiles and be even.

Choose Accent Tile Wisely

It’s not bad if the accent tiles are thinner than the other tiles. You can always place DITRA behind the accents to make them flush with other tiles.

 

Tip 6: Buy a Quality Thin-Set

How many times will you remodel your bathroom?

Maybe every 20 years? Here’s the point: you’re not doing this every year.

So chances are good that you want your tile to stick to the walls.

Buy a good thin-set…we recommend Ardex X 77 for wall tiles.

Ardex X77

Mapei also makes great thin-set. If you’re installing floor tiles check out Mapei’s Kerabond.

 

Tip 7: Horseshoe Shims and Tuscan SeamClips 

Do you want great looking grout joints? I mean perfectly spaced grout joints? If so you need horseshoe shims

Horseshoe Shims

They’re plastic and come in 1/16 inch increments. Thus, you can use them to maintain great grout joints in accent tile or your main field tile.

If you want tiles to be even, that is no lippage across tile transitions, then use Tuscan SeamClips

SeamClips

These little contraptions are awesome at getting your tile nice and level. SeamClips do require you know the thickness of your tile.

So get that dimension before buying them.

 

Tip 8: Space Long Tiles in Thirds

Long tiles are becoming popular. Here’s one huge tip:

space long tiles by thirds.

Thirds

This prevents lippage on walls and floors. There’s nothing worse than stubbing your toe on a tile. Space your tiles accordingly

 

Tip 9: Get Stain Resistant Grout

Grout can start to look pretty nasty after a few years. Invest in a grout that will be stain resistant.One such product is Bostik’s QuartzLock.

QuartzLock

It has color consistency, comes pre-mixed, and doesn’t require sealing. Ardex also makes great sanded and non-sanded grouts.

 

Tip 10: Silicone the Corners

True story:

Every time I visit a hotel room I look in the corners of tiled showers.

Why?

It’s a little test to see if the installer cared about their work. Silicone caulk should be used in tiled corners and at the tub/tile transition.

Silicone Corners

If you use grout it will eventually crack over time. Which means you’ll have to remove and replace the grout…no fun.

Plus: grout isn’t waterproof. Only 100% silicone caulk can properly seal tile in corner.

Check out my video to see all the tips in action…and me do a push-up, haha

 

What’s Next

Our tutorial on how to tile a shower wall is great for anyone tackling a DIY bathroom remodel.

If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and want to simplify the process enroll into the Bathroom Repair Tutor Video Library

We show how to build showers (Schluter, Wedi, Curbless, etc.), install tile, upgrade basement bathrooms, and more.

The extra guidance is invaluable

Enroll Today

 

Cheers,

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

 

17 Comments
  1. Jean says:

    I just recently found you and love your newsletters. You make me feel I can do it all! I’ve removed 23 year old floor tile and now need help getting the thinset GONE from the concrete underneath it. Do you have a post about that? I’m doing this myself and figure there’s got to be an easier and faster way than a chisel and hammer.

    1. First, thanks Jean. You made my day.

      Second, you have many options.

      You might want to check out the Sawtec abrasive disc by MK Diamond.

      It’s specifically meant for thin-set removal.

      You could also use a rasp like this one

      http://amzn.to/1X287bb (this is an Amazon link)

      Attach the rasp to an oscillating multi-tool and see how well it does.

      If your thin-set is thick I’d recommend the Sawtec disc.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  2. Myrna says:

    It does look beautiful in Pittsburg. Very nice. Thank you for the tips Jeff. Things I never would have thought of.

    1. Thanks Myrna, Pittsburgh is hit or miss with the weather but we love it 🙂

      Let me know your tiling questions, I’d be happy to help any time.

  3. TENA says:

    My sister & I are finishing a large tile project. The biggest problem we had was effervescence on our grout after it dried. Very frustrating. We were very careful to use very dry sponges & not use too much water to clean the tile. Any tips?

    1. TENA says:

      I meant efflorescence….so much for autocorrect. 🙂
      That white haze is driving us nuts. If we were using a light colored grout, I don’t know that we would notice, but we aren’t.

    2. You might want to try one of the products on this page Tena

      http://www.custombuildingproducts.com/products/care-maintenance/cleaners.aspx

      Custom has great tile and grout cleaning solutions.

      And I’d even recommend calling them to ask which cleaner would work best for your situation.

      Their number is 800-282-8786

      Keep me posted thought cause I’d really like to help solve your problem 🙂

  4. I really liked the little tools you showed that allow you to get the tiles level. I’ve tried to lay tile without them in the past, and it’s darn near impossible to eyeball it. I’ve got a project coming up over the summer that I’ll probably go out and try and grab them to help me on. Thanks for sharing!

    1. The SeamClips are pretty cool Tobias. Helps keep the tiles level and one unit, really helpful for large format tiles.

  5. Christine says:

    Thanks for the tips Jeff. My project was on hold for awhile and I wasn’t sure if Lowe’s out here in Las Vegas knows what Schluter products are! I think they’ll special order shower kits for me. The tip about choosing tile is very helpful. Tile shopping just leaves me cold, so narrowing my choices down to larger format tiles will help my decision making process!

  6. Heather says:

    Thanks for your tiling tips – they’re great!! My husband and I will be tackling our bathroom in the fall, and I’ve never tiled before so your tips are very timely!
    I want to put in a couple of cubbies in our tiled shower to hold shampoo and what not. Do you have a tutorial on how to do cubbies in a tiled wall?

    Thanks! Looking forward to more tips.

    Heather

  7. Heather says:

    Great tiling tips! Thanks! My husband and I are going to be tackling our main bathroom in the fall and your tips are very timely.

    I want to put in a couple of cubbies in the tiled walls for shampoos and whatnot. Do you have a tutorial on how to accomplish this?

    Thanks – looking forward to more tips!

    Heather

  8. Julie says:

    I’m not seeing the link to the Tuscan seam clip video link. Can you give it again?

  9. Tim says:

    Ok total newbie so i hope I explain this accurately. I am doing a partial remodel of my grandpa’s bathroom. It’s a 5 by 51/2 feet not including the original tube/ shower combo from the late 50’s. Which I would love to replace but don’t have the cash to replace and I can only imagine what it’s like behind it. So I tore out all the Cabnets( 60″ vanity that went well to wall and the medicine cab. And toilet. I am using a parcalian tile 6inches by 24 inches which looks like wood oak . I had to pull off the old vinyll sticky tiles and script it as best as I can.e revealing a concrete slab .1.is that all the prep work I need to do? 2. What goes first (a damp sponge to wipe floor down so tile sets better) sec. Third and so on? Where do I start middle back corner. Do I tile before install of new toilet. how should tile be laid ( look like a brick wall pattern)? What tools nd supplys will I need. ? Sorry for the rookie questions but I need you to hold my hand. I watched all your vids but please help with the over all start to finish and also recommend how to cut as round the roller hole aka the flange. Flange is a funny word. Like pamphlet. And is it only me or does the & symbol look like a person dragging his butt. Way off subject sorry blame it on my a.d.d. Ok I start the project today June 6th I await your reply thank you and happy tiling.

  10. Allen says:

    Your recommendation about using silicone in the corners makes intuitive sense, but what if you are using a darker grout? Do you use a clear silicone?

  11. carlos jimenez says:

    Hello Jeff! I have been watching a ton of your videos since we had to demolish our bathroom due to a leak behind walls :/ And of course, trying to build it back up, I ran across your amazing videos.
    Quick question, can you put an electrical box in kerdi board for a wet location light we are planning to install? The light will be placed at 8.5 ft in the shower wall.

    thank you and keep up the good work

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