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Old 02-01-2018, 05:01 PM   #1
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First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


Apologies for the long post, and thank you in advance for reading it!

I'm planning to tile my bathroom floor, and I'm looking for some tips and advice to help make sure I do the job right and don't shoot myself in the foot! I've watched a bunch of YouTube videos and read up as much as I can, but still have a few questions that I thought you might be able to help with.

The tile will be installed on a concrete floor. The bathroom floor is 'L' shaped. With two sinks along the long part of the L, and a toilet and bathtub along the short part of the L.

I've purchased 6"x24" porcelain tile for the job. The manufacturer recommends no more than 1/3 offset to prevent lippage, and at least 1/8" spacing.

I've laid some of it out to get an idea of what it will look like with a consistent 1/3 offset layout (see photo). The toilet goes just to the left of that doorway to the small room in the back (I've removed to door to make it easier to work). There is also a pocket door on the right side across from the sinks.

Here are my first questions:

1. What is the best way to lay out the tile? In the photo I have the tile aligned with the wall on the right starting in the back room. However, there is an additional 2" offset on that wall where the pocket door is located (where tape measure is seen in photo). Do I just cut 2" thin strips for where the pocket door enters the room, or should I start with a full tile there, and cut 4" strips along the rest of that wall?

2. Should I keep the 1/3 offset shown (it looks too 'stepped' to me), or would a random offset or some other pattern look better?

3. Any good tips/tricks for cutting the tile around the door jambs and trim? I plan to undercut the door jambs and trim so the tile can fit under them. The previous floor was 12x12 tile and the installer just cut tile around the trim leaving large grout-filled gaps - it looked awful.

4. What tile mortar would you recommend? I've purchased White Versabond LFT - will that do the trick?

5. Any additional YouTube videos or other resources I should check before getting started?

6. Should I just stop asking questions and just start laying tile? I'm often guilty of over-analyzing projects (or am I just procrastinating?).

Thanks All!

-Fritz
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Last edited by fritzycat1; 02-01-2018 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:18 PM   #2
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


I like the look of what you have, I will leave the suggestions for the pros.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:19 PM   #3
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


You can lay your tile in any configuration you like. Lengthwise like you have it makes the room look long. Crossways would make it look shorter. Your call, but what you have looks good.

Will you be tiling into the room/closet with the pocket door? Plan on cutting a little off the pocket door before you begin if you plan on going under it.

Snap a line centered from front to back the way you have it oriented now and lay your tile to either side of the snapped line starting at the tub working over to the toilet which you will remove, and back into the main room. You'll need to undercut your door molding so you can have the tile slip under it during the install. I would use 1/8" spacers with that style tile.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:32 PM   #4
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


Another way to stagger the tiles is as shown below. Myself, I prefer the way you have it in your photo. Just one other thing I would mention --- looks like your tiles have some diagonal veining running through them. Make sure you have the veining all running in the same direction. From the photo, I think you already caught that, but easy for a rooky to mess that up.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:41 PM   #5
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


From practical limited experience:

Looks like you may have some tricky cuts ahead of you. You may mess up. Just get a box or two of extra tiles before you start just in case.

There is an easy way to measure your border tiles for cuts by laying a full tile down, taking another full tile and putting it up against the wall/cabinet, and making a mark. I assume you ran across that on your internet search.

Plan your layout, not just the full tiles, but how your cuts layout. Full tiles are easy, the intricate cuts is what takes time.

After you absorb all of the technical advice from the experts on this forum, have at it.
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Old 02-01-2018, 05:54 PM   #6
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


What he puts on the subfloor I think is a bigger question.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:00 PM   #7
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


It's over concrete.
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:02 PM   #8
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


Wow. Thanks for all the quick replies and great ideas!
@Nealtw - thanks for letting me know the layout looks good to you. I'm still on the fence I think with some light-colored grout it will all blend together anyway...
@chandler48 - There is a bedroom on the other side of the pocket door. It is carpeted. The carpet and tile would meet about half-way under the pocket door. I think there is enough clearance, but I'll be sure to measure that to make sure! I'll check the layout based on a line centered in the room, but I think it may leave me with just a sliver where that pocket door is. I was planning to use 1/8 joints - thanks for backing up that idea.
@SPS-1 - Thanks for the alternate staggering suggestion. I'll prototype that out too and see how it looks. And also thanks for pointing out the diagonal on the veining. I hadn't considered that - they must have been stacked that way in the box. I'll keep that in mind - I'm sure that's something I would have missed, so thanks for helping me dodge that bullet!
@ZTMAN - Yes, the tricky cuts I think are the primary reason I haven't gotten started on this project yet. It's somewhat intimidating. I estimate it should take me about 3 boxes of tile for the job. I purchased 5 - hope that is enough. I've seen the technique you described for cutting the tile - thanks. It's those cuts around the door jambs that have me most concerned
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:04 PM   #9
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


Yes. it's over concrete - I wasn't planning to apply anything else on top of it (other than the mortar and tile of course!)
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:11 PM   #10
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


As long as you have the tiles out, I would put some on a known flat surface and check how flat the top surface is. You will have a hard time avoiding lippage if they are not flat.

(Also, to maintain thin grout lines, they need to be same width, but that is harder to check. If the tiles are rectified (cut), they really should be consistent width.)
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Old 02-01-2018, 06:23 PM   #11
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


@SPS-1 - Thanks again. I hadn't considered the flatness of the tiles - I'll check that.

I've already noticed that one of the tiles was about 1/8" longer than the others, so there is some inconsistency there. I'll check width on them since that would be more of a problem.
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:12 PM   #12
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


I laid out the tiles in the pattern @SPS-1 suggested using the pieces I had already cut. Looks pretty good I think... decisions, decisions.... any opinions on what looks better?


Original Pattern in the first photo for reference. New pattern in the second photo.
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:29 PM   #13
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


I like the staggered brick pattern better than the stair step, personally.
Versabond is good stuff--you shouldn't have any issue setting tile with it.
Those porcelain planks are notorious for having a bow to them. I think that's why the manufacturer suggests the small offset, to cover their, um, posterior.
I would suggest not to cut a 2"strip for the pocket door threshold but instead to cut all the tiles against that wall--snap a chalk line and work from it. You can back butter the tiles and set them so as to maintain visual on the line.
Your project looks good; I like that tile.


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Old 02-01-2018, 08:34 PM   #14
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


I like the layout that you first posted.

Quote:
The manufacturer recommends no more than 1/3 offset to prevent lippage.
Don't deviate from that, lippage is a real concern especially with the larger sized box store (cheap) tiles.

Be sure to undercut the door jambs so the tile goes underneath them as chandler48 mentioned. A multimaster tool is great for for that task.
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Old 02-01-2018, 09:10 PM   #15
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Re: First DIY Tiling Job - Looking for Tips and Advice.


Are there cracks in the concrete? You might want to use a crack isolation membrane. Otherwise the cracks will transfer to the tile.
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