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Old 07-21-2012, 06:23 PM   #1
Denver Chuck
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12x12 running bond

Finishing up a down-to-studs bathroom remodel. Traditional mud shower pan, with CBU, 33x59.

Tiles we are using are a little less than 12x12. (11 11/16) Based on my calculations with a 1/8" grout line, I'll be able to fit 5 full tiles across the long wall, with a little room on the ends for the corner caulk lines.

So the back wall math works out pretty clean. Side walls will have bullnose tiles forming the end of the shower wall, with about 33" from the end of the bullnose to the back wall. Some trimming will be required.

I've seen several places where people suggest for running-bond to have the leftover piece from the back wall wrap around and be the corner piece of the side wall. But that will leave me with smaller pieces up by the bullnose.

The other option I see is to have full or 1/2 tiles against the bullnose, which would leave the smaller cut pieces in the back corners. On backwall rows that are full tiles, I'd have full tiles starting at the bullnose, with a 9 3/8" piece in the side wall back corner. On the rows where the backwall has 1/2 tile edges, the side wall would start with a 1/2 tile, and would have a 3 3/8" piece in the back corner.

I think the second option sounds nicer, since I'd get the full or half tiles on the front of the side walls as well, and hide the smaller 3 3/8" pieces.

Any words of wisdom? Any reason why the first option is a better idea?

I attached a diagram showing the back wall with one side wall. Bullnose not depicted on the diagram.
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:44 PM   #2
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Dad always said to start full tiles at the bullnose and put the cuts in the corner. With the running bond pattern, I would start fulls and halfs against the bullnose, like your drawing shows.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:02 PM   #3
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You can look at the examples in the Subway tile Tutorial to get ideas on how to handle the layout.
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:56 PM   #4
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What Davy said.

Maybe adjust the location of the bullnose to avoid skinny's.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:13 PM   #5
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Bob: on shifting the pattern up... with the small on the side wall meeting the small on the back wall, it's ALMOST coming out to being a full tile, so giving the effect of the tile having been wrapped around the corner.

Dana: I have adjusted the bullnose out as much as I can to avoid slivers, can't back it up by much, and don't have much room to push the tiles further outside the shower. The current distance was about the best mix. Even the small cuts are still over 4", so more than 1/3 of a tile.

Finally going to start laying the tile tonight, been stalling mostly out of fear of the unknown. I've got a laser level, and will be snapping a center line on the back wall. Plan is for that line to be the middle of the center tile on the full-tile rows, and the middle of the grout line on the offset rows. Does that sound like a good approach, or should I be snapping 2 lines, one centered and one over by the 1/2 the width of a tile?

Also, my original plan was to place a ledger board up to support tiles to start tiling on the 2nd row, then come back to the bottom row after the floor tiles are in place. But we've installed a "monument" style rectangular bench in the shower as well, so the bottom and 2nd rows end at the bench.Should I start my first row of tile with the 2nd row, or shift up one row so that I start on the first row above the bench?
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:26 PM   #6
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Chuck,

1- Apparently you didn't read the Subway Tutorial because that covers the vertical line question We like to draw at least 2 vertical lines on each wall. There's lotsa good info there.

2- When using larger tiles, we normally start at the floor and work up as the tiles aren't fully set and can still be adjusted if there is a problem when we reach the next row at the top of the bench. We add a fudge factor to the first row so the bottom of the tiles going over the top of the bench are a smidge too high as the bench seat will cover that gap anyway.
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:31 PM   #7
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Your plan looks good, it's exactly what i'd do both with layout and a ledger.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:19 PM   #8
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yeah, knew I saw something about 2 lines somewhere... So the 2nd line is moved over exactly 1/2 the tile width?

As for doing the bottom row first, I had planned to install the floor tile before the bottom row, so that the wall tiles come down onto the floor tiles, instead of the floor butting up against the wall. Seems like I would get away with hiding any uneven edges on floor tiles (it's a mosaic tile on 12x12 sheets) if the floor was under the wall.
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Old 07-26-2012, 05:28 PM   #9
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1- yes

2- if you need to hide the floor tile rough edges then tile the floor first. If you need to hide the wall tile rough edges then tile the floor first.

If you tile the floor first be sure to protect it very well while tiling the walls.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:07 PM   #10
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The pattern is working out pretty nicely. Thanks for the tips.

I am going to be caulking the seams where the back and side walls meet, and where the walls meet the ceiling. Side walls are getting tiled, ceiling is just painted drywall.

What size gap do I need to leave at each of these seams? Where the side walls meet the back wall, i've got about a 1/8" gap, up to 3/16" in a couple spots.

I've got tiles installed on the back wall that are a pretty tight fit up against the ceiling, so the caulk would be sitting on the tile/ceiling instead of down between them. Is this just an appearance issue or will it cause problems? If it's a problem, I'm not sure how I'd correct it. 5 feet worth of tile would not be fun to try to trim in place, and I'd probably screw up some tiles and/or the ceiling.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:43 PM   #11
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Chuck,

The purpose of the 1/8" and over gap is to have enough room for the caulking to get in between the tile and the wall / tile. Otherwise it sets on top and you run the risk of it peeling off later.

At the ceiling use a latex caulk which gets primed and painted to match the ceiling.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:42 PM   #12
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Use for left-over tile scraps?

I've got a ton of cut bits of tile left over after tiling my shower. I used a bunch of the scraps to measure out the cuts I needed to do, and made a 45 degree jig out of one scrap piece.

But now we're done with all the wall tiles, and I've got a box filled with the scrap. Any suggestions on ways to re-purpose the scraps?
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:48 PM   #13
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You could break them into pieces and tile a small mosaic tabletop. Or a mosaic artist might be interested in them if they're somewhat unique or colorful.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:35 PM   #14
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clean fill
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:24 PM   #15
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Yup, Dana nailed.
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