Tile setting for the beginner


Bathrooms may not seem like the most important room in the house; most are small and the bare necessities will do. However, if you’re the type that cares about how any room in your home looks and feels, you probably feel that way about every bathroom too. When you sink into the tub, towel off after a nice hot shower or wipe the steam from the mirror to face yourself and your day, it really is nice to be in a beautiful room.

The classy look

Nothing says high end design like ceramic and glass tile. There is also no better skill to master, since the skill set for setting tile can be applied to masonry work and custom artwork. These are all expensive accents in high demand for any home. Everything you need can be found at any major home improvement store, like Lowe’s or Home Depot. It is best to go to a big place and pay a little more, get everything in one trip and spend more time on your room than in your truck.

Time is everything

Professional tile setters are on the clock. This either makes them very good, very rushed or unemployed. When you have the freedom to take your time in your own home, take all the time you need. Setting tile has a creative aspect to it so that you can stop, lean back and examine your masterpiece. Then there is the issue of your drying mortar. Mortar is the first thing you lay down; the tile will sit on top of the mortar and the weight will allow it to sink in just enough to hold, but not enough to submerge. The tile pieces goes down one at a time. You place two or three pieces down and place spacers between them; whatever size you have chosen for the look you desire. Examine your pieces to see that they line up with each other and the wall. Have a lightweight level nearby to set on the tile every now and again. It’s important not to place too much weight on any one piece of tile. If it sinks below level, you’ll have to pull it up and reset it. If you think you’ll move fast, you can put down more mortar at one time. If you want to move slow, keep the mortar loosely covered and just spread as much as the tile you’re about to put down.

Then we wait

The mortar under the tile must be absolutely dry before you continue, because you’re going to have to walk or crawl across it, in order to remove the spacers and pour the grout over your finished surface. The mortar is like concrete. Once it is dry, those tiles will not move. The spacers are rubber and able to be manipulated and pulled from the dry mortar. Grout is much more fluid. It is used to fill the space or cracks in between your tiles and can actually be wiped away while it’s still moist. Grout comes in various colors to fit your décor. You want the grout to come just to the edge of the tile. After pouring the grout, move about on your knees with a tile sponge and a bucket of water. The grout is like mud. At first you’ll be wiping up large muddy amounts, to get the consistency you want, but eventually your sponge will need less and less rinsing as you are just cleaning the tops of the tiles. When you’re entirely done and dry again, a normal mopping will remove any dusty residue and reveal your new floor.

Now that you’ve learned such an enviable craft, it will be exciting to see what else you can imagine. You did the right thing by starting small and flat. A realistic new goal could be moving onto the larger space and more challenging shapes found in the kitchen and other parts of your home.


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