As some of you know, the #totsreno house has been under renovation since we bought the place last winter. One of the first DIY reno projects was redoing our bathroom floor.
In recent weeks, there have been some drastic changes made including new stairs from the main floor to the upstairs bedrooms and office and now, the downstairs bathroom actually has a floor (again.)
When we bought the house, the bathroom had an existing floor, but it was a peel and stick that had been glued down. The floor was cracked and in really bad condition.
Here are five simple tips which will help your go from a damaged floor to new tiles.
My first step was taking up the old floor. This was done with a flat-edged pry bar, a mallot, the pry-side of a hammer and for the edge work, a Dremmel with both a semi-circle wood blade and a one-inch flat blade. The reason the blades are important is the circle does all the hard work for a long cut but the straight blade is needed for corners and precision.
In my case, because the house is 100+ years old, the remaining floor wasn’t level. Tip two is simple: you want a clean, level surface to install your new floor on. I used a 3/8 inch sheet of plywood. Installing it was a bit of a chore but once I cut it in half, the two pieces installed like a dream. Whether it is one piece or two, for me it was irrelevant as it was going to be covered with tile. I just wanted a nice subfloor to lay tiles over.
Getting the subfloor down left me ready to start installing tile. We bought 12×24 inch tiles. I started in the back corner, under the vanity, which is a safe place to install your first tile when you’ve never done it before and don’t have a clue what you’re doing.
I won’t waste much time on the ideas of measuring twice and cutting once, but obviously you don’t want to waste tiles so be smart. Instead, I suggest using a washable marker to do your first measurements then transfer them to the underside of your tile with a permanent marker which will never be seen.
Because you have to cut tile with a wet saw, the water-soluable marker will wash off so you don’t have to been afraid of staining.
In the issue of the wet saw, again, plan ahead. Find a space in your basement or even better outside, to do your cuts. The saw sprays water everywhere and you even end soaked as well.
My biggest challenge with the project was making cuts to go around the toilet and heating register. I never found any great tips so I went with what I knew. I marked out my cuts and used straight lines and various angles until I was able to get my holes made. Yes, it is time consuming but it worked. Once I was close to the end and nearly done those precision cuts, I made short cuts, about half an inch long, to essentially shave the tile to the desired length. The two tiles which surround my toilet took a total of about two hours to cut but I was happy with my results.
All in all, we are very happy with the new floor. It was a big job that stretched over a few days because of the necessary subfloor, tiling and precision cuts, grouting and re-installation of the dual-flush toilet.
But after our last experience of hiring someone to tile our shower, I knew this was a job I could tackle myself and save the $400.
Not sure what the next big project will be but this one has given me the confidence to get started on something new.