Noob needs help with ceramic tile.

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Old 03-31-18, 09:40 AM
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Noob needs help with ceramic tile.

I have a bathroom with water damage to the subfloor. I have been putting off fixing it because of a lack of confidence in fixing it myself. I especially worry about my ability to cut the new floor properly around the toilet flange and the curve of the tub. When it comes to the plywood subfloor, I could probably wing it. But I want to lay 6x24 plank tile as my flooring. I have never done tile of any kind and am clueless about how you go about figuring out how to account for the curve of the tub. Or for the toilet flange. Does anyone know of any good, very detailed videos to show how this is done? I am also a little confused about how you come up with your chalk lines for laying down plank tiles, or why most people start with cut tiles.

Also would like to know if the cabinets have to come out before tiling or can it be done around the counter/cabinets?

I know the response will likely be to hire a professional but I have had a difficult time finding one that I can afford.
 
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Old 03-31-18, 12:41 PM
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The new sub floor does not need to be a perfect fit around the flange, but you want it close so it does not look bad and will be covered by the toilet itself. If it was, say 1/2 inch larger, that would be OK. As for the curvature of the tub or any other odd size area that must be cut, you can make a paper template (usually brown bag paper) then trace it to the flooring and cut using a jigsaw or tile knife depending. Tiling around the cabinets is OK, but if it can be under, that would be better, if and when the cabinets would ever be replaced it would much easier to not damage the flooring.

When you lay your floor you want to try and have equal widths of planks on each side of the walls and end to end. But you also want to stagger the joints. You can lay it out on paper or do a dry run by experimenting with the floor before you actually glue or click in place. The chalk line will just be a guide to placing the planks.

Even though you're a beginner the project is not that hard if you take your time and buy quality tools. And quality products. The experts here will guide as long as it takes. If you have another toilet to use that makes the project much easier since you don't need to have this one in service.
 
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Old 03-31-18, 01:48 PM
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Not really as simple as it sounds as we need more details. Does the current subfloor go under the toilet flange? If so, you will need your replacement to go under it as well to support the flange which will be screwed down to it. We also need information on the thickness of your subfloor to know if it is beefy enough to support tile. For that, we need to know the total thickness of your subfloor (if multiple layers are present, the size of your floor joists, the spacing of your joists and the unsupported span of those joists underneath the bathroom.

As far as tile, yes, you can tile around the existing cabinet. As far as the scribe around a curved tub, that is what is the biggest challenge. I doubt you will have much success with anything other than a wet saw with a diamond blade. I make curved cuts by carefully dragging he tile across the tile in small increments, each pass takes off a little more tile until I reach my scribe line. Very time consuming. I do the same for around the toilet flange. I have two wet saws, one that cuts from above and one that cuts from below. I use the below one for my curved needs. Here is a picture of my current project so you can see the cut around the toilet flange.
 
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Old 03-31-18, 06:06 PM
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Thanks a ton guys for the help, I need all that I can get.

My bathroom is very similar to the one above in czizzi's picture. Except my toilet and cabinets are on the opposite wall and there is a tub where his cabinet is.

Would it be wise to start laying on that little section of wall between the cabinet and wall, as in my bathroom it is the only unobstructed (except for flange) section of wall that there is? Also since I am installing 6x24 plank tiles, does it matter which direction that I lay the tile? What is a good method to use in determining where to lay you first tile?
 
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Old 04-01-18, 04:28 AM
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You will want to have approximately the same size edge on either side. I assume the 6 x 24 plank is click and lock. Start at one wall and lay the tile "dry" and see where it lands on the opposite side. If it looks good then go for it. Remember to leave about a 1/8 to 1/4 inch gap at the wall to allow for the floating of the floor. The direction doesn't really matter. If you lay the tile the long way in the direction of the room length, it will give the impression of being bigger.

Edit...just for information purposes. Is this an interior bathroom with no outside walls? And does it have heat register? If so you might want to cover that and block the duct work at the furnace. I did that and improved my heating through out the rest of the house without sacrificing comfort in the bathroom.
 
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Old 04-01-18, 07:34 AM
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Thanks again for the raply. The tiles are not click and lock. Just regular porcelain tiles. The bathroom has one outside wall with one heat register. I'm not sure that I could get away with closing it off, as it gets cold in there as it is.
 
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Old 04-01-18, 04:15 PM
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If it's an outside wall, do not block it off. Keep all the heat in the bathroom.
On the tile layout...If the tiles fall within a quarter tile on each edge then that should be OK. Do a dry trial being sure to use the spacers and see how it looks if you lay a full tile at one edge. There a two schools of thought about laying ceramic tile. Some say start in the middle and some say start at an edge. After laying it out dry and knowing what each edge will be, I like the idea of starting from the center and moving outward towards the edges. As you reach the edges, if you happen to be a bit off it will be hidden by the molding. But if you start at an edge and move on a slant it will look off at all over. Sometimes, due to cut outs and corners you may have a sliver of a tile to fill in at an edge. That's OK as long as it's not a long edge or in direct line of sight.
 
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Old 04-01-18, 04:47 PM
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First, do a story board of measurements. In another room lay out your tile, with spacers and measure the distance in both width and length to the next tile. Use this as a reference tool for your layout. You want to position your tile so that you have 1, no sliver cuts near a perimeter of a room as this will show an out of square wall. 2, you need to bisect the toilet flange some how so you are managing a cut on a partial circle and not trying to make a hole dead center on a full tile. 3. you want the floor to look balanced so that the cut on one side is similar to the cut on the other side, in both directions. 4, your large format tiles need a super strong base, lets discuss more so you don't have issues down the line. 5. usually lay large tiles like yours across the floor joists AND stagger each row; by a half tile at minimum or into thirds - depends on the pattern of your tile. Personally, I don't like large format tile in a small bathroom, but it is your taste.

Your project should have a properly prepared subfloor within L360 specifications, I shoot for 1 1/4" of wood flooring before adding cement board. Your mix should be 1 1/4" subfloor + thinset + 1/4" cement backer board + thinset + tile. You have not given us any information as to whether your floor support system can even take tile, let alone the plank tile you want to install.
 
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Old 04-02-18, 10:45 AM
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Does the current subfloor go under the toilet flange?
Yes

We also need information on the thickness of your subfloor to know if it is beefy enough to support tile. For that, we need to know the total thickness of your subfloor (if multiple layers are present, the size of your floor joists, the spacing of your joists and the unsupported span of those joists underneath the bathroom.
You have not given us any information as to whether your floor support system can even take tile, let alone the plank tile you want to install.

Thank you again for taking the time to respond.

I haven't given that information because I do not know. I had planned on having the tile and everything bought and ready when I tear into the floor. Since it is still intact I have no idea what is underneath that linoleum.
 
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