tile the walls first or floor in bathroom?


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Old 04-08-05, 10:01 AM
wkearney99
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tile the walls first or floor in bathroom?

I'm tiling out a bathroom (8" square ceramic tiles) and I'm wondering what to tile first, the floor or the walls and tub/shower ceiling?

Do I need to tape the panel joints or would just filling them during attaching the tile be sufficient? They're 1/2" durock.

How should I join the wall durock at the floor? Should I just lay the durock wall panels down on top of the floor backer, or lay the wall panels so they're on the subfloor and then butt the floor backer against it? Does it really matter?

Same thing goes for the tiles, depending on which ones I lay first (wall or floor) how should I butt up the other ones? If I do the floor first should I lay the wall tile edges on top of the floor tiles? Or wall tiles directly down to the floor backer and butt the floor tiles against them? (I'm not planning on using a curved floor base tile)
 
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Old 04-09-05, 01:04 PM
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I would tile the walls first but leave out the bottom row of wall tile, put in the floor tile then set that last row of wall tile and leave a 1/8" gap between the floor and wall tiles, fill that with caulk made in the same color as the grout you choose to use. Most grout makers now make caulk to match their grout color palette.
Put the floor cement board in first then bring the wall board down over top of it.
Tape the cement board joint seams with mesh tape and flash with a coating of modified thinset. You WILL need cement board in the tub/shower area but you can use greenboard in the other non wet wall areas. Put some extra blocking up in the ceiling so the weight of the cement board and tile can be properly supported.
 
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Old 04-09-05, 07:15 PM
wkearney99
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Walls first to avoid dropping tiles and gunk on an already done floor? Seems like good idea.

It might be a little tricky leaving out the bottom row, would a spacer in there suffice to later allow wedging the floor tiles under that 3/8" or so? (given the thickness of the tile, the undertile heating and associated thinset layers)

Modified thinset? What qualifies as being modified? Does this require special mesh tape just for backer use or can I just use the same mesh as I'd use on drywall?

I have the grout and matching caulk (good tip!)

As for blocking, I'm assuming you mean some additional framing up there to hold the screwed-on backer board? Any tips on applying these 8" tiles to the ceiling? (I have visions of them dropping off before setting...)

And yes, I'm doing cement board anywhere there's tile. I've seen the resulting mold and rot from not using it. Greenboard everywhere else that's just plain walls.
 
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Old 04-10-05, 06:36 PM
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I usually cut in the bottom row to allow for any variations in floor height or pitch around the room. If you set one tile level at 3/8" height as you go around the room that 3/8 could grow or shrink, shrink is not bad because you can cut the tile but if it grows your grout line will get bigger, depending on how big it gets it could look ugly.
Modified thinset comes in a bag, you mix it with water, and it already has latex or polymers additives in powdered form, like Versabond or Flexbond at HD.
Yes, the ceiling supports that hold the cement board are what I suggest beefing up so there are more places where the board is adhered, thus spreading the downward pressure pull over more contact points. Use the modified thinset to hold up the ceiling tile. Put about 9 dabs of cement on the back of the tile and push it up, give it a little twist or a front to back sliding motion to remove air pockets and form a suction. Try a few and for your piece of mind try to pull one off the ceiling. If you set it up there properly you will have one heck of a fight to get it to release.
 
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Old 04-11-05, 05:25 AM
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I spread the thinset into a circle on the back of the tile. As the tile is pushed in, it acts like a suction cup. On an 8x8 tile, if you don't have one yet, go get yourself a margin trowel. It will work for the 9 spot or circular method on that sized tile much easier than a full sized trowel. Bob, I've 5 spoted wall tiles before, but never spotted ceiling installed tile. I'll try that when I get a chance (no, I think I'll have a helper try that )
 
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Old 04-11-05, 06:02 AM
wkearney99
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Originally Posted by Tileguybob
I usually cut in the bottom row to allow for any variations in floor height or pitch around the room. If you set one tile level at 3/8" height as you go around the room that 3/8 could grow or shrink, shrink is not bad because you can cut the tile but if it grows your grout line will get bigger, depending on how big it gets it could look ugly.
Excellent tip. I'll snap a line and see just what sort of variations I've got. It shouldn't be too much as this room was completely reframed but it's always possible. Loosing a tiny bit off the bottom as it does around the room is certainly better than having it show up at the top!

Good tips as well about the circle method and pulling against the suction.
 
 

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