for any amateur to become a tiling professional. :)
Working as the lead designer for Daltile in their stone division is one of the many downfalls of being in my industry. You always see the latest and greatest materials to use in home remodeling. Which leaves the wheels turning as to where you can utilize that material in your own home. My home is still fairly new. I built it 4 years ago, and the remodeling bug got the best of me in January of this year. Being the independent girl that I am, and by independent I mean CHEAP, I decided I could totally do it all myself. I started with paint. So off to Home Depot I went. After numerous cans of paint samples and paint test strips all over my walls (you have to see them at different times of the day to see how the light hits them), I was FINALLY able to select colors and the painting commenced. The only room I painted was my master bedroom. I have vaulted ceilings with walls climbing as high as 16 ft. Talk about terrifying painting those bad boys!! But I managed to survive and it turned out beautiful.
- Supplies needed for tile:
- Tile saw
- Uncoupling Mat
- 1/4" V notched trowel
- 1/4" by 1/4" Square notched trowel
- Grout Float
- Disposable Buckets
- Mixing Paddle
- Margin Trowel
- Knee Pads (ALWAYS USE KNEE PADS!!!!)
After painting, I purchased the tile and got to work tearing out all the carpet on my upper floor, (the living room, master bedroom, closet, and also a small landing in between flights of stairs.) Total square footage was a little over 550 ft.
SIDENOTE: When ordering tile always estimate a 10% waste factor. This will save you if a tile ever breaks or chips down the road or if some pieces come in with chipped corners and such. (Lets be real, we all know FRAGILE means soccerball to the FedEx and UPS employees!!! KIDDING KIDDING!! My company doesn't use either company to ship!!!)
Remove all carpet, carpet pad, and tack strips. Also make sure to pull out all staples that are in the subfloor. You need a smooth surface if you want all your tile to be even. And for all my fellow wine-o's out there, wine is a must when doing an home renovation project.
Step 1: Lay out and cut mat (puzzle side up, cloth side down) to length of floor. You will be setting the mat OPPOSITE of the direction your subfloor runs to add strength, durability, but also to help with flex purposes.
Step 2: Sweep and prep subfloor.
Step 3: Get disposable buckets from Home Depot and also have a power drill handy that can handle a 1/2" chuck bit. You will need a mixing paddle, similar looking to a giant handy mixer attachment. Mix thinset with water (Consistency should be similar to that of peanut butter) The thinset I used was VersaBond Grey from Customs.
Step 4: Using a 1/4" V notch trowel, spread thinset out on subfloor. Keep trowel at a 45 degree angle while spreading out thinset to allow adequate depth. Smash mat down as you progress.
Step 5: Once all the mat is down you will need to stay off of it for 24 hours. HOWEVER keep an eye on all edges. If you notice them lifting, weigh them down with a heavy object. AGAIN you want a smooth, even surface for the upcoming tile. (I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of the finished mat prior to tile, but attached is one with some tile set to it.)
Once all the tile is set and dried the joys of grouting begin. I used a pretty advanced grout, Custom's Fusion grout in Natural Grey. I chose this grout because it is completely crack resistant, stain resistant and doesn't need to be sealed like any other cementitious, urethane or epoxy grout. It also comes pre-mixed, so that cuts down on some prep time. Prior to grouting your floor, clean the area really well and allow it to dry. When applying grout do small sections, I usually did 3'x3' sections at a time. Using grout float apply grout to floor and smash into spaces using an "X" pattern. Crisscross, back and forth. Your wrists will hate you after awhile of this!!! Once you get the grout into all the crevices, take a sponge and some clean water and start wiping clean.
**VERY IMPORTANT!! Do NOT allow the grout to dry on the tile. This will leave a haze that is extremely hard to get off. Gently wipe clean until all excess grout is removed, then move onto your next section.