In this article, we are going to be talking about some random tiling tips and techniques. So why do you want to read this article? You want to read it if you’re going to be redoing your bathroom and putting tile on the shower surround or you’re going to be putting tile on the floor, even in the kitchen. If you’re going to be tiling the kitchen, we’re going to give you tips on the type of tile to use on walls and floors, what kind of thinset to use for large format tiles so they don’t slide down the wall, and so much more.
Tubs and showers
We recommend having large format tile. So these tiles right here are 12” x 36”. They’re pretty large. Anything that has it longer than an 18” edge to it is considered a large format tile and needs special thinset so it won’t slide down the wall whenever you go to adhere it.
Why do we recommend large format tiles? They’re way easier to clean, especially if you get large format tiles that have a glossy surface to them. You just squeegee them down and you’re good to go. You may disagree on this, but that is an aesthetic thing. However, if you like subway tiles, go for it. But, if you hate cleaning up the bathroom, large format tiles are the way to go.
What about floors?
What’s a good tile for the floor? Especially in the bathroom? For floor tiles in bathrooms we recommend tiles that have a little bit of grip to them. That way, when you step out of the shower or the bathtub, you’re not going to slip and fall on your rear end. So it’s not a bad idea to have grippiness to the tiles so you don’t slip and fall. After all, the bathroom is going to be wet. Same thing goes for the kitchen or mudroom. So just keep that in mind when you’re choosing your tile. Another nice, solid tip is whenever you’re tiling in the
Another nice, solid tip is whenever you’re tiling in the bathtub or the shower, make sure you tile all the way up to the ceiling. Why do you want to do that? You want to do that because it actually is more work to leave that section of drywall going around the top of the tub or the shower. Plus, drywall isn’t waterproof. Even if you put a latex layer of paint over top of it, it will still bubble up over time especially if you’re taller and all the water splashes off of you and goes onto the drywall. So spend the extra $50, $100, $150 to buy the tile for the top section of your tub or your shower.
Accent tile tips
It’s always good to choose an accent tile that is the exact same thickness as the surrounding tile. So by that, we mean that when you put two both tiles on your waterproofing membrane or waterproofing board, they’ll be exactly the same thickness. It’ll be nice and flush.
Now we are going to give you two tips that’ll give you great looking grout joints.
- Use a high-quality thinset mortar for vertical tile, especially if your vertical tile is a large format tile. Which thinsets to use? We recommend Ardex X 77 especially for large format tiles because it prevents your large tiles from sliding down the wall, squooshing your tile mosaic. We also recommend Mapei’s Kerabond because it’s a great thinset for your tile floor. And these thinsets combined with horseshoe shims and the Tuscan Seamclips will help you get amazing looking grout joints.
You want to use horseshoe shims in between your tile mosaics. Positioning them in between the tile mosaic grout joints, you prevent those tiny little grout joints from being smooshed. You can also use horseshoe shims in between tiles. The Tuscan Seamclips are used to prevent tile lippage. This is really important both on vertical surfaces and on horizontal surfaces.
- The next tip is about the layout of large format tiles, specifically elongated tiles. We suggest you stagger the 12” x 36” tiles in thirds to avoid tile lippage. You want to do the exact same thing when it comes to 12” x 24” tiles or tiles that are elongated on the floor. You want to stagger them by thirds so you don’t get tile lippage and stub your toe on the tile.
What about grouts?
What are some of the grouts that could make your life a lot easier? Well one of them is called QuartzLock. This is by Bostik. And what’s great about it – it is a urethane-based grout. It’s already pre-mixed, so you don’t have to mix it. It’s got wonderful color consistency and it is stain-resistant. And it’s going to last for a year or two in your garage. When you use Bostik’s QuartzLock, if you miss a spot, you can just take some and fill it in and wipe it off.
Another type of grout that you should check out is by Ardex. They make great sanded and non-sanded grouts. This is what some professionals like to use.
You always want to use silicone sealant in the corners of your shower or bathtub. The reason is this corner is subjected to expansion and contraction. So if you’re not using silicone and you use grout, the grout will eventually pop and crack over time – which isn’t good. So in the corners, use silicone. And also, when it comes to bathtubs, it’s good to put 100% silicone between the tub and the bottom of the first tile.
These are the basic tips and techniques to get your brain kind of churning and get you some ideas that will help you out with your own tiling project. If you’re planning your own DIY bathroom remodel, you should take some tiling courses, especially if you’re looking to tile a floor, a shower surround, put in the tub and do the plumbing.