Hi all and welcome back! A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the concrete backerboard installation I did as an underlayment for our new tile floor. You can head HERE to read all the hows and whys on the backerboard. After that post published, I had a ton of questions on the tile, so I decided to write a quick post about the tile installation as well!
Want to know why tile is my favorite flooring? Check out my new post all about why tile is the best HERE.
So, if your subfloor looks like this, you are going to want to prep a little bit. That’s what the backerboard is for. Read this post first. After I got the backerboard laid, it took me a while to actually start laying the tile. I was nervous to start and it was hard to get out to this space with all the construction from the pool going on. In case you haven’t been following, this is a glorified shed that we are converting into my husbands office (see the before pictures HERE). So, since I couldn’ seem to get started I just sat and looked at it a lot. I watched a lot of “how to lay tile videos”. This one is really good. My friend, Ryan, helped save me by coming over and actually helping me get started.
Funny I thought that might be enough mortar. I choose this Madeira Oak Ceramic tile from Lowes and it was a bargain at $1.78 a square foot! Anyway, one of my biggest hangups was that every video I watched said that I should start in the middle of the room. I kept hearing my whole project would look “off” if I didn’t. The problem was, since this room is separate from the house and there is only one large sliding door in and out, I really wanted to start with the first line at the door. I couldn’t picture it looking good with half or a a quarter of a tile. I really didn’t want to have that as you walked into the room. After a lengthly discussion with Ryan, we decided to give it a go by starting our first line of tiles at the door.
These particular tiles were 6″ wide. So, we measured from the door and drew a chalk line about 6 1/4″ back. The walls around the door were a little wavy, so we made sure to line the very first line of tiles up using the chalk line, not the wall. Luckily, I knew that when I reinstalled my baseboards, it would cover any gaps. This ensured we had a nice, straight line to work off of for the rest of the tile installation and also looks great when you first walk into the room.
From here, we worked our way back with straight line working toward the back wall. We used a very random pattern. It looks more natural, like real wood this way.
I used these spacers between the tiles.
The very back line I did have to shave lengthwise to fit, but I knew that would probably be the case. When I installed the baseboards, it actually lined up perfectly! Total luck.
Once I was done, I hired some help for the spacer removal. He was by far the best contractor we’ve used. Got most of the spacers out for a bargain of $5 ;).
Now its time to grout. It took some time to pick grout color, and I was worried I wasn’t going to like it. I didn’t want white or any light color – but because I have black hardwood floors in the main house I know that black is 10 times worse than white at showing dirt. So I picked mocha from Mapei and it turned out really nice.
Once I got all that done, I just had to seal the grout and reinstall the baseboards. My first tile installation project was enough and it turned out great! I want this to be the floor in every square foot of our house. And, when you walk in it looks great, so the gamble about not starting in the middle of the room paid off.
Now I just need to finish the desk, shelves and decor. And clean. There is dust everywhere! The new goal is the end of summer, but we will just see how it goes, haha.
Thanks so much for following along. Any questions? Ask away in the comments.
Ceramic Tile Installation
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Looks awesome girl!!! We have “wood” tile in our master bathroom and I just love it!!
Thanks Lori! I want it everywhere!
Your new flooring looks amazing, April! I really like the grout color you chose too. Great job!
Thanks So much Erin!!
That looks great! I have been wanting to do some of the wood look tile for a while now. We are tempted to our dining room one of these days!
Thanks Carlee! At over $4 a square foot to install, doing it ourselves was the only option 🙂
I love wood-look tile and your (husband’s) office is really turning out great! I also agree with the grout colour choice, white would have been way too stark
Thanks Nicole! It’s (slowly) getting there :)!
Wow, you guys did an amazing job! Your floor looks fabulous, and so does the rest of the room! Great work! Thanks so much for giving us the rundown of your experience!
Thanks so much for stopping by Morgan!
I love the look, but I was wondering how it felt when you walked on it. Is it really cold and hard? You guys did an awesome job!
Hi Audra! I actually just talked about this in my new post about tile. I LOVE the way it feels underfoot – but it is cold and hard, haha. I don’t know if that makes since but I was worried about the feel of it as well, but I love the way it feels and looks so much I’m installing it in every room I renovate!
We’ve been stumbling around the internet and found your blog along the way.
We love your work! What a great corner of the internet 🙂
Looks awesome! I love the wooden look of this tile. Thanks for sharing!
A good way to be sure for your tiles to be strong and last longer are good adhesives.
Wow, great work! The mocha grout works really well with the color of the tile. Thanks for sharing this process!
Your floors turned out beautifully. Avoiding the light colored grout was a good choice. I was actually thinking about getting something similar installed for the flooring in my house, so this gave me a better idea of what I want.
Did you seal the tile before grouting? We have the same tile different color. Told by people to seal tile, others say no. No instructions with the tile.
I did seal it! I would definitely recommend it, just to be safe! Good luck!