Thursday, February 26, 2015

How to lay tile

We decided to lay tile rather than carpet in the basement bar room. Probably a smart move. I envision my husband hanging out down there a lot drinking Jack and Cokes, throwing potato chip crumbs, while lounging in his sweats. Okay, he's not that big of a slob, but I'm sure some Jack and Cokes will get knocked over. And this way company won't have to worry about spilling in this room.

Laying tile is time consuming and messy, but definitively something you can do on your own. If you hire it done, plan to pay hefty installation charges on top of the cost of tile. We're not pros and somehow we figured it out... so you can too! Click the following links for detailed instructions:

Lowe's - How to Install a Tile Floor
DIY Network - How to Lay a Tile Floor
Today's Homeowner - How to Lay a Tile Floor

We bought our porcelain tile from Menards. They were originally $1.49, but on clearance for $1.13. They are 13 inch tiles. We bought enough for the bathroom too which is just off the bar room. We're finishing the bathroom later, but we wanted the tile to match so we bought about 350 sq ft worth for the two rooms. Total we spent $332.31 on tile.

Part of the bar room before

It's really important to start laying tile in the center of the room, not in the corner or against the wall. This was our center mark.
Mortar for two or three tiles at a time, then take your tile and wiggle it in place, add spacers to the edges to make sure they're laid even. We used three pennies because we forgot to buy spacers. Oops! It worked out fine though - so there's a money saving tip!

Apparently a 50 Shades of Grey kind of day...

Wiggle that tile back and forth!

You will want knee pads! Trust me.

It's smooth sailing until you get to corners/edges and have to start cutting tile. Here I am smoothing the thin-set mortar.

With my small notched trowel.

Curtis cutting the tiles with the wet saw.

Wait at least 24 hours for the tile to set. Now it's time to add the grout in the lines! We used the pewter color from Lowe's. It's $13.28 for a 25 lb bag.

Wait at least a day before cleaning. You'll need to clean the floor several times! I used hot water with vinegar and a wash cloth.

Some of the grout is still wet, but doesn't it look so much better?

We have not added the grout sealer. That is our next step. Make sure you do this!

For those of you who are new to this blog, we are finishing our basement on our own. Here are some other basement related posts:

Framing around ductwork in a basement
Drywalling the bar area
Whitewashing a barnwood ceiling
Painting the basement bar room
Painting the basement living room
Adding character to brick walls

Thanks for visiting!

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