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Old 11-10-2009, 09:48 PM   #1
Maddysmom
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Need help/advice .. know nothing about tiling. Don't laugh! :)

Ok .. I am sure most will laugh at our (my husband will be doing the work but I am the researcher) lack of knowledge. We have never laid ceramic tile but want to re-do our walk in shower.

It currently has small tiles on the floor and an ugly, thin plastic on each way. We bought 12x12 tiles and want to add a border of small tiles (we bought a 12x12 tile but were going to split it into 3 rows, to get a total of 4 per tile). I also wanted to try and do it diagonally if it's not too hard.

So, my question is just general ... what do we need? New board behind the wall surround that we take down? does it depend on condition of it? When tearing out the old floor tile, what do we need to do?

I have no idea what all these terms are that people are using .. so make it basic.lol Also, do places like Menards sell the different colored grout? I could go on and on but you get the idea ... I'm lost. We can't afford to mess this up because we won't have the money to buy everything again .. so this is it. Thanks for any help! Jenny
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:51 PM   #2
Renee1234
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I am with you....

I don't have any advice or answers for you - just wanted to commiserate! I am not only doing the research (OCD has set in) but also the actual work. I have never done anything related to home improvement before. Any advice you get will certainly be of value to me, too! Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:56 PM   #3
Brian in San Diego
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Jenny,

Welcome to the John Bridge Forums! It is unlikely you can simply go in an replace the shower floor without redoing the entire thing. I'm not sure what the thin plastic ugly thing is and we may need pitchers to figure that out. Are you saying the floor is currently tiled and there's a plastic surround on the walls?

I would encourage you to take a look in our Liberry for shower construction methods. Waterproofing has to be your #1 priority in redoing a shower. The you can get creative with the tiling and the look of the shower. Do you know if you calculated the annual "rainfall" in a typical shower it would total more than the annual rainfall in any city in the U.S.? In fact, it would be more than many of the rainiest cities combined. You have to build the shower to make sure ALL that water is going down the drain. If it doesn't many bad things will happen.

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Old 11-10-2009, 10:26 PM   #4
Edthedawg
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Jenny,

sounds like you got an awful lot on your mind with this project. definitely time to take a deep breath. then jump into it whole hog and get ready to spend and work like never before.

no sense sugacoatin', eh?

Bathrooms are a lotta work. but you just gotta identify the various parts, address 'em all the best you can, and handle each one individually. there's only a few that really HAVE to play nicely w/ one another.

Basically you're gonna:

Do your demo.

Determine your final (theoretical) footprint & waterproofing method.

Fix up your framing, plumbing, and wiring.

Build your walls and base properly, including your waterproofing.

Tile and grout and silicone and all that good stuff.

And yes - most of what you need can be purchased at local Box stores. unless you got expensive tastes. then they order it for you

fwiw - i would not count on cutting down 12x12 tiles to be a wise choice. the cut edges will really jump out at you, compared to the natural edges.

hope this helps some - keep askin'!
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:15 PM   #5
Maddysmom
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Thank you for the responses so far!! Please feel free to add the names of things we will need ... even if it seems basic. My husband is very handy and a wonderful DIYer ... but as I said ... he has never done tile. I will be sure to show him all this "technical" stuff and hope it makes sense to him.

I am sad to hear we will have to redo the floor. I will have to take pics but basically it is individual surround "sheets" (unlike an all in one surround like you find on a tub).

I am confused about the comment regarding not cutting the tile .. wouldn't you have to cut to fit regardless of if it is diagonal or straight?
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:23 PM   #6
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Hi Jenny,

Welcome to the forum.

Let me just say, I've never done a bathroom before and this was the BEST site ever. My work came out excellent with everyone's help. You can even see my thread. Everyone here is much helpful (except on the weekends where family and doing work on their own place), so be patient and we'll answer all your questions.

Edthedawg is probably trying to tell you that if you keep the tiles whole instead of cutting them, it will look better. Not so sure if thats what he means. I usually like to lay out whole tiles and cut less if possible. Thats just me.

Look around and read, read, read, and read. Any doubts before plunging into something you can always ask for opinions. =)

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Old 11-11-2009, 05:22 AM   #7
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Tile edges are usually rounded over, beveled or have some other treatment that you will lose when you cut them. Cuts are fine along edges or corners or where they butt up against something that also has a square edge (including other cut tiles).

Let me add that a diagonal layout on a floor can be challenging enough. Do it on a wall multiplies the difficulties enormously. Diagonal layouts demand that each wall be plumb and square. If not, your corners will look awful. Keeping diagonal tiles on the walls from slipping down requires the skills of a 3-armed paper-hanger, too. I suggest you wait until you gain some experience before attempting a diagonal layout.

As for tools, most are inexpensive enough to buy as you need them. The big ticket item would be a tile saw, but your layout may allow you to use (rent) a snap cutter. Read through the Shower Construction Thread in our Liberry with an eye to the tools needed.

One other consideration: Your shower project will take longer than you think, much longer. It helps to have another bathing facility available. Now that winter is approaching, using a camp shower in the back yard is losing it's appeal.
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:46 AM   #8
Brian in San Diego
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Jenny,

The question I would ask is how much have you budgeted for the project? As Bob mentioned the tools can get expensive and if you aren't really ready for it a tile saw rental can chew up a budget. There definitely tools one has to buy to complete a DIY tile project. Trowels, chalk lines, a good level, sponges, 1/2 drill, mixing paddle, angle grinder, etc. The list can get extensive. Before you actually begin the project you'll have to plan your budget for the tile, waterproofing material, setting material and grout just to name a few of the items.

Brian
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:49 AM   #9
Edthedawg
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I'm not one to talk much about tile colors, finishes, layouts, etc. What you want is invariably not what I want. And opinions are as common as... well... you know So let's worry about what the tile looks like and how many cuts you wanna make later

If you demo the whole thing, and start from scratch, you're going to have the highest chances of success. if you try and graft new walls into an old pan, you exponentially raise the risks of failures - esp at the union of old and new. All new is a really good way to go.

If you can take some pichers and post 'em, we can better advise as to your specific situation. We likes pichers.

And we happen to likes helpin' folks too.

Ultimately, it falls to you, your work style/schedule, your budget - that kinda thing. i tend to go with "bought it at Home Depot, but betcha can't tell, huh?" as a motivation. Lotsa cheap-ass items they sell that just need to be arranged in the proper order and orientation to work and look exceptionally good.
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