Tiling saga continues featured

Tiles: the saga continues

Looking for pictures“We are on a roll”. Or so we thought. Or not, actually, if you read the floor tiling post, that ended with a grout misery. But other than that, we were on a roll.

Now that we had tiled the floor, we were getting a hang of the tiling process. Lucky us, because we still had to do, I don’t know, about 40 m² of tiling to go on the walls (that’s about 430 feet² for the imperialist reader): along the sides of the room we had 3,5 m one side, 2,7 m the other side, 2,7 m high, and then the wall between the shower and the toilet 2 X 0,9 m and 0,1 m, also 2,7 m high. Yeah I cheated and rounded it, that’s why the word about is there in the first place. Anyway, a lot of tiling to go, with a lot of cutting needed as well…

About that cutting, a little information (which I didn’t go into with the flooring): I purchased a tile cutter capable of tiles 60 X 60 cm for the straight cuts and an angle grinder with a solid diamond disc for any special needs. I stand corrected: Chrisje bought them, I told her what to look for. The tiles that went on the floor were probably the easiest I’ll ever handle, as everything I would try just worked out ok. Not so for the tiles on the wall. Let me get into that a bit further.

A tile cutter works as follows: you have a sharp little wheel, that you push across the tile where you want it to be cut, thus creating a small scratch. When done, you can now push down on the tile with the lever, which should crack the tile nice and easy where you scratched it (hey this worked perfectly on the floor tiles I cut for the edges). The wall tiles however thought it would be very funny if they would crack on the scratch, except for the small bit between the lever push thingie on the tile and the edge. No matter what I tried, 99% of the time I’d get a chip. After a few cuts I noticed I could “force” which side would chip, by offsetting the tile slightly before pushing on it, but sometimes it still failed and I had to cut another tile. The frustration I experienced can’t be compared, let me tell you that.

Onwards to the tiling itself. The method itself hasn’t changed from the floor tiling: adhesive goes both on the wall and on the tile, throw tile against the wall, check for level. Now wash rinse and repeat. Another thing I didn’t mention on the floor is to mix from different tile packages, to avoid colour differences to be visible in some kind of pattern, so keep that in mind. What we also aimed for was to have the joints from the floor continue on the wall, to have a more uniform look.

Holes need to be cut for the toilet supports and drains, and the buttons:

Bathroom tiles toilet

And as well for the sinks:

Bathroom tiles sinks

Now on that picture you can see some drywall glued against the wall. In the old bathroom this area was tiled, but when taking down the tiles I noticed that the plaster didn’t continue behind them. What I should have done was taking the plaster above down as well, what happened instead was glueing that drywall against the bricks, and then needing to fill up the space above the drywall as it wasn’t level with the old plaster… Talk about trying to take a short-cut to end up with having to do more work to get it right… A lesson learned the hard way.

Onwards to the shower:

Bathroom shower tiles

As you can see we chose one column of tiles to be a darker colour, as an accent. When planning the bathroom we looked around a lot, and we both felt that we needed some kind of an accent in the shower, vertically. Basically you have two options then: another tile (or the same tile with a lot more faux-joints) or the same tile with a different colour. We liked the second one better (and besides that, the faux-joints thing is really expensive).

What I didn’t get a picture from, but is definitively there, is the Kerdi canvas behind the shower tiles. This is to prevent any water that gets through the grout to drain in the wall. Basically you put a barrier for water on your wall. We hung that one up before tiling, with a very watered version of the tile adhesive, applied with a brush.

Once all tiles were in place and the adhesive had had the time to dry, it was that time for grout again. Mix the powder as prescribed on the bag (don’t overdo the amount, or you’ll end up throwing a lot away), get the paste in the joints with a grout knife, let it dry for a little and then finish it off by wiping all excess off with a damp sponge. Et voilà!

Bathroom tiles sinks done

Another step in the bathroom done, only electrics and the ceiling left before we could start filling the space with cabinets and other useful stuff. The end is near, or isn’t it?