How To Start Diamond Tile Pattern On Shower Wall

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Old 11-23-06, 06:36 AM
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How To Start Diamond Tile Pattern On Shower Wall

How do you start a diamond tile pattern on a shower wall?

When I have tiled shower/tub walls in the past with a square tile pattern... I started by screwing a straight piece of scrap wood about one row up from the shower base... and then tiled up from there. But, as far as I know this method won't work for a diamond pattern.

I have thought of starting in the middle of the wall, but am a little nervous about the tiles slipping while I install.

Any suggections?
 
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Old 11-23-06, 07:19 AM
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Steve

Screw a ledger board to the wall where you want to start. Cut some tiles in half on the diagonal. Dont thinset them to the wall though. Use double sided tape or something like that to hold them in place, then start tiling with your full tiles. Once the bottom row sets up you can remove the ledger board and the half tiles that you taped in place. You'll be able to use the half tiles somewhere else in your layout so they wont be wasted.

Happy Thanksgiving. - I hope your not working today - relax eat some turkey and have a glass of wine.
 
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Old 11-23-06, 07:26 AM
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When I'm doing a shower wall I'll put a diamond pattern in roughly the center going horizontally to break it up some and the board on the wall thing is how I do it, just as you described only higher. I use spacers or drywall nails to support the tiles while they set up. I don't like the nails because of the holes afterward and you don't want to use them if you've water proofed the concrete board. I'll let it set up over night and then remove the board and finish from there.
 
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Old 11-23-06, 07:37 AM
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Steve

You mention that you havent set tile diagonally on a wall before. It can get tricky, so getting your first row of tile nice and straight and spaced correctly is really important. Diagonal on a wall can get away from you. Lay enough tiles out on a flat surface using your desired spacers. Using a piece of scrap wood, make a story pole diagonally accross the tiles marking the board at each corner at each corner. Make marks on your wall with the story pole just above the ledger board where you'll want the corner of the tile to line up. Using a level, make vertical lines straight up the wall. Check the tops of the lines with the story pole to make sure they line up. Do the same with the lines horizontally. This will help you to keep everything straight and square as you go up the wall. Start with the taped half tiles between the vertical lines and the full tiles lining up with the corners of the tiles exactly on the lines. You'll find that the tiles will not be perfectly sized so rely on the lines. Use spacers, shims, pieces of cardboard or whatever you need to stay on the lines.

A pro may not have to go through all this but since this is your first time, it'll help you keep everything straight. Good luck
 
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Old 11-24-06, 08:07 AM
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Guys,
Thanks for taking the time out of your Turkey Day to give me some advice.

I have already tiled all the horizontal tiles in the house (counters, floors) in a diamond pattern, so I am going to give the wall a go. It looks a lot harder, but I won't have learned anything if I don't try. (Though the leason learned might be that a square pattern was the better idea).

Again, thanks for helping me get started, I'm putting up the Hardy Backer today, and will hopefully get the walls done this weekend. I'll try to post a picture if I can figure how to post one.

Steve
 
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Old 11-25-06, 10:08 AM
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I decided to go with a square pattern, but with a diamond in the middle... like Smokey49 suggested above.

I am ready to start laying the tile today and realized that the 4x4 tile really varies in size and measures 3-7/8" to 4" on a side. It's natural slate, I knew it would vary in texture but I was under the impression that the size would be uniform.

I was planning to use 1/8" spacers... How do I keep the rows looking uniform as I work up the wall? If I just "fudge" the spacing... how do you keep the tiles from sliding down the wall without spacers?

I guess I should also ask.... is there anything else that I need to know about laying slate tile that makes it different from ceramic?

Thanks,

Steve
 
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Old 11-25-06, 11:56 AM
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As HeresJohnny mentioned earlier, use what ever it takes to space them until they set up well. I don't know if you have any, but the commercially produced spacers come in the "X" we're familiar with and also a small wedge shape. The wedges make it possible to use both kinds in combination to accommodate just about any spacing needed. Using card board and such works, but it's normally a one time use where the commercial spacers can be cleaned up and re-used. Installing slate, provided it's gauged slate, is similar to ceramic with the exception that it is a natural stone and porous. Make sure you seal it before grout or the slate will be stained by the grout color.
 
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Old 11-28-06, 06:54 AM
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Well, I have one wall done.... see picture. Thanks for the advice... I think was able to copy the suggestions.

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/steveatjacobs/detail?.dir=d846re2&.dnm=753fre2.jpg&.src=ph

(Hopefully you can view the pic, I have never used Yahoo's photo album before.)

The tiles were worse than I thought... most measure ~3-15/16", but they range in size from 3-3/4" to 4-1/8"... I spend a little extra time and sort the tiles by size... and then tiled as you guys recommended, using the spacers, cardboard and whatever else I could lay my hands on. Did a lot of it just using my eye too!

Now for the final questions....

These tiles also vary in thickness... probably 3/8" to 3/4". Grouting with a float and smearing/scrapeing it around as you would on ceramic tile.... looks impossible. I was thinking of using a pastry type bag, but all I can find at the big hardware stores is one with a 1/2" hole... and I have ~1/8" to ~3/16" tile spacing.

1) Is there some other way to grout un-even tiles?
2) Should I find a pastry bag with a smaller hole?
3) Should I use unsanded grout? It seems like it "spreads" easier?
4) Do you tool the joints, like you might with stone or brick?
5) I was planning to put the shower control knob in the middle of the diamond... trying to find 4 tiles of the same thickness so the cover would sit flat, making it easier to caulk... any other suggestions?

Thanks again,

Steve
 
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Old 11-28-06, 09:09 AM
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Hey! It looks great. You did that as well as any pro would have. I would have done the back wall first and brought the side walls to it, but you're going to caulk the corners instead of grout so it shouldn't show. The irregularities are one of the drawbacks with natural product installations but also one of the reasons folks use them, they like the look. Make sure you seal it before grouting or the stuff will stain from the grout color, then grout it as you would any tile. I have, in some instances, used my grout mixing spatula to work the grout into the joints instead of a float due to the varying thicknesses. I like to let the grout get a bit stiff in a case like this and then be careful with the sponge so I don't wash out too much grout. That helps feather the grout from tile to tile and hide some of the differences. Tooling the grout joints is done with the sponge and use sanded grout.
 
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Old 12-22-06, 11:28 AM
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Thought you guys would like to see some pictures of the final job....

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/steveatjacobs/album?.dir=/d846re2&.src=ph

Thanks again for the advice.

Steve
 
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Old 12-22-06, 02:48 PM
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Steve that looks absolutely fantastic. You should be real proud.
 
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Old 12-22-06, 06:09 PM
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WOW !! Awesome job! What a sense of satisfaction that must be. Thanks for letting us see it so we can share a little of that satisfaction.
 
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Old 12-23-06, 04:15 PM
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Thanks for the kind words guys... but if it hadn't been for your advice along the way... I probably would have taken the tile back to the store and got the standard tile (all the same size) that I am used too.

Hey, one more bit of advice you may be able to pass along... for the pictures that I posted, I used a water bottle to wet down the tile. When the tiles are wet, the color is really brought out and they look fantastic and when they're dry the look more chalky or pale. (Note: I don't think this is glaze left over from the grout)

I sealed the tile prior to grouting as you guys recommended... but still need to seal the grout.

Is there a sealer the will make the tiles look "wet" all the time so they always show the deeper, richer color?

Thanks again,

Steve
 
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Old 12-23-06, 04:23 PM
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There's a product called "Stone Glamour" that is used for that purpose on natural products. There are also higher gloss sealers available. I've never tried Stone Glamour in a shower so I don't know how it would work. If the sealer you used was a matt finish, I also don't know if it's OK to mix the finishes, but someone else most likely does.
 
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