Want to do it yourself?
Awesome! Here are some tips you may find helpful.
When you are starting a project of your own, you should first scrape the paint and sheetrock mud off the concrete. Once that has been done, some may use spacers to insure that the grout joints stay the same. That’s ok in a perfect world, but the truth is not all tile is going to be the same size. It’s still good to use spacers as a beginner.
We lay out some tile as seen above. Positioning the end of the tape measure against the top tile and to the end of the last tile. That gives us a width. Half of the tile gives the stagger. In this case, we are in a small bathroom so we only need to measure one tile.
Where to start from with your tape measure?
If it’s a new house you want to pull from the outside wall of a bedroom or hall… Pop a chalk line into the bathroom and you can check the parallel walls to your line. Once you are comfortable with your line, use your framing square to get a perfect 90 degree angle. ( I like to end up with a whole tile by the entrance door, so i would pull from the door in to the bathroom. Just repeat line in to the next room if you are covering that area aswell). You should be on top of your line or close to it. That’s were you place your square and mark with your pencil.
Ok… now you have the line that matters. In this case we measure (whole tile )from behind the entrance door parallel with the line that matters. Use the other line ( line that doesn’t matter) to measure the other end. Once you pop that line, get rid of the one that doesn’t matter( damp sponge works fine). So next we measure and pop out the stagger.
Alright… now you should have a good understanding of how your tile will end up. Note: If you can help it, try NOT to end up with your hole for the toilet in the middle of the tile. It is much easier to cut a ‘L’ or a ‘U’ out of your tile rather than a hole in the field or middle of the tile.
I hope this will help you feel confident in starting your project.
The game plan
When we step on a new job of let’s say…tile.
(There is no reason to walk up to that house empty handed).
Instantly a man will go to work on the kitchen backsplash and tub surrounds. A helper will get what he needs. When we set up the job, we pack the tile to the designated areas.
( Anywere we will not be laying tile)
When we are prepping the floor we don’t want to keep moving the tile. So we have cut the door jams in the areas we will be laying. Also we have scraped, sanded and swept out those areas.
Outside, the pallet the tile comes on will be used to mix thinset on. ( having a few buckets of cool water close is a time saver). It will also insure that your water isn’t hot when mixing your thinset making it dry out and causing you to make a trip back to the drill. Usually we set the wet saw up within feet of the drill.
Back inside we have layed our tile out, got a grid and popping out lines on the floor. The lines allow us to stay straight because the tile may vary in size. That goes for the expencive brands too. So when we are popping out a grid, we are taking into consideration where our tile will start and end. We want to try an catch all the door jams. Remember cutting an L or U out of a piece of tile is easier then trying to cut a hole. You don’t want to make it any harder than it has to be.
Where to start laying?
You want to start off in a far room and work your way out of it. A water bucket and a spong within reach to wipe the eccess thinset off the tile, will save you some time scraping grout joints later.
Alright, so you have all the tile down. Come back the next day to grout, clean up and haul off your trash.
Note: If you notice a peice or two that just doesn’t set right with you. Now is the time to take it out. Scrape the thinset up then grout and put it back before leaving. You don’t want anybody steping on it causing you to do it again.
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