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How-To Drywall
Hometime Logo Dean Johnson
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Trans 1) Getting Started Trans
2) Building Codes
3) Removing Toilets & Sinks
4) Demolishing Tubs and Walls
5) Framing Walls & Windows
6) Framing Showers & Tubs
7) Mechanical Systems
8) Drywall and Backer Board
9) Cabinets
10) Countertops
11) Ceramic Tile
12) Vinyl Flooring
13) Picking Faucets & Sinks
14) Choosing Showers, Tubs & Toilets
15) Finishing Touches

Ceramic Tile

Tiles come in every color imaginable and in several geometric shapes. So it's easy to make your bathroom unique by creating patterns.

It's a good idea to keep the colors and patterns consistent; such as the countertop, whirlpool deck, shower stall.

We recommend using porcelain tile with a glazed surface. It's durable, scratch resistant, stainproof, and resists moisture.

Dry-fitting tile is a good way to anticipate problems. Lay out the tile, leaving spaces for grout between the pieces.

For more information not mentioned here, see our Ceramic Tile Section

Tiling A Whirlpool Deck

tiling a whirlpool deckMark out reference lines on the whirlpool deck. It's a lot like a countertop, except for the angled sides.

Our pattern needed mitered trim pieces and angled first row tiles that set behind the trim piece.

With all the angles, it's a good idea to dry fit the entire deck before securing any tiles.

Make sure the cut side is against the wall where it'll be less obvious. Once you get a good dry-fit, remove the pieces and lay them out in order on the floor.

Apply mastic adhesive inside the reference lines and lay the pieces in their proper spots, lining each one up with its neighbors. Continue to leave the same space between the tiles for grout.

backsplashIn some place, you may have to put in some small tile pieces. In fact, some may just be slivers, but they'll be covered by the lip of the tub.

A backsplash finishes the wall around a deck. We used one row of matching bullnose tile with a curved edge to finish flush with the wall.

Use a level to make sure all the tiles set even. Fit cut pieces in any remaining corner spaces -- leaving a gap for grout where the pieces meet. We still have to spread the grout, but the adhesive's got to dry overnight.

Tiling A Shower Stall

showerThe shower pan is the most important feature of a ceramic tile shower stall. It has to be sturdy and waterproof.

The stall walls get a backerboard underlayment, but the pan is actually a mortar bed.

You may want to hire a subcontractor to lay the mortar bed. It's needed to seal the floor against moisture and gives the tile a firm foundation.

After spreading the first mortar bed, put in a waterproofing membrane. We used a plastic called CPE (chlorinated polyethylene) and also spread a ready-mix organic mastic over the mortar to secure the fabric.

Cut, test-fit and glue down the membrane to fit the pan with enough excess to reach the studs. Use a roller or rolling pin to get a good seal, then nail the edges to the studs.

Once the glue has dried according to manufacturer's instructions, apply the second coat of mortar with a slight slope from the edges down to the drain.

plumbingTile the pan by setting cut pieces around the drain. Then work outward to the edges, using full floor pieces where possible.

Run a plumb line down the center of each wall and across the ceiling. These reference lines guide the layout of the tiles.

Set tiles starting from the reference lines instead of the corners because they could be out of plumb.

Start the full tiles at the ceiling and put cut pieces in the corners. Mark pieces for the shower valves with a felt pen and notch them with tile pliers.

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