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Unread 10-06-2010, 02:10 PM   #1
staceyneil
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Design & aesthetics in a small bath: OK to mix running bond w/soldiered?

I'm renovating a typical small bathroom, only 5 x 8.3' with a tub, toilet, and 36" vanity crammed in there. I'm planning to use 4x4s (gloss white) in a running bond pattern on the walls: to the ceiling around the tub, and to wainscott height around the rest of the room.

It's my daughter's bathroom, and she vetoed any small-scale tiles or mosaics on the floor (had a bad experience staring at them while throwing up when she was sick once, so now they make her nauseous! ) Sooooo... large scale tiles it must be.

The tiles I've chosen (American Olean Costa Rei Pietra Bianca) come in 12x12, 18x18, and 12x18. I'm just not a big fan of the 12x12 for some reason, although I could be convinced....

What do you think would look best with the 4x4s in running bond on the walls?? I'm afraid of getting too busy in such a small space, so I nixed a running bond on the floor. The vanity top will be a marble with some movement. The long tub wall, and a wall near the sink, will have niches whose back walls will be tiled in a calacatta marble mosaic. Do you think the soldiered floor tile will look OK with the running bond walls?

Here are some sketches showing 12 x 12, 18 x18, or 12 x 18 tiles in the layout. What do you like?

Thank you!
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Unread 10-06-2010, 02:54 PM   #2
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Stacey,

Welcome to the forum.

The answer is easy: it doesn't matter. There is so little floor, once you add an area rug, bath mat or floor towel, then you won't have much tile to look at.

Normally the rule of thumb is 'small room = small tiles. Large room = large tiles'

I like the 12x18's
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Unread 10-06-2010, 03:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Paul,

I like those the best, as well! I hope it won't look too weird having the big tiles in there

I'm hoping to use epoxy grout in a matching shade so that the floor tiles don't read as much as separate tiles as a more monolithic floor.....
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Unread 10-06-2010, 05:52 PM   #4
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For another idea, I like 12x12, but on the diagonal. My bathroom is also tiny, about 6'8" x 5'6", with a shower, sink, and toilet. I tried 12x12 and 18x18, both straight and diagonal. Laid straight, both sizes made the room seem smaller. I also knew that I'd be noticing that the room is 5 and a half tiles wide every time I went in. The 18x18 diagonal barely fit, also making the room seem smaller. Even my husband liked the 12x12 diagonal best, and I don't think he was just telling me what I wanted to hear. (Yes, dear, I'll finish it eventually. )
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Unread 10-07-2010, 07:55 AM   #5
staceyneil
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Thanks, Elise. That does look nice in your bathroom! But... I just don't think that tile on the diagonal goes well with the rest of our home's details. So I'm back to the original 3 (or convince the teenage daughter she won't get sick looking at mosaic, in which case I'd use a nice white unglazed spiral mosaic...)
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Unread 10-07-2010, 11:46 AM   #6
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Teenage daughter... I have two of those. If she cares (more than not mosaic), maybe let her decide. Any of the options will look fine.
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Unread 10-07-2010, 11:49 AM   #7
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what about a brick joint on the floor to break up the room a bit?
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Unread 10-07-2010, 02:29 PM   #8
staceyneil
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Hi Scott- Thanks for your input!
I thought about that... and drew it out like the sketches above. We have 12 x 24 in running bond. brick joint in our master bath and it is lovely. I also have 12 x 12 slate in that pattern in my mud room. BUT both of those rooms are larger... I felt like it was just getting too busy in that teeny bath to have the running bond on the walls and the floor. But I'm no tile expert.... maybe it would be OK?
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Unread 10-07-2010, 09:42 PM   #9
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Stacey.. it's OK if'n you like it.... That's really what counts..
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Unread 10-07-2010, 10:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staceyneil
showing 12 x 12, 18 x18


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Unread 11-04-2010, 08:25 AM   #11
staceyneil
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Coupla quick questions: re self-levelling compound & subfloor...

Hi all!

I am going to be laying 12 x 18 tile in a small bathroom (5 x 8). I already checked the Deflectolator and the joists are great.

My first question is: how thick of plywood or Advantech subfloor should I order? Existing subfloor is c. 1956 diagonal 3/4" plank, topped with plywood and old tile. We're taking out the tile and plywood. I want to re-install some more plywood (what thickness?) and then will prime, lay down electric radiant heat, and pour self-leveling compound over it all before setting the tile normally. I'd like to keep the floor thickness down, so what thickness plywood should I use?

Second question: I did the same thing in the master bathroom last year, and that darn self-leveling compound found every little nook and cranny to run down!!! Since you're supposed to leave a 1/4" gap between the plywood and the wall, and since in an old house that gap is open to the basement below, how do you keep the compound from just draining away into the gap????? I used tape in the last one and it didn't really work all that well. Should I fill it with foam backer and caulk it or something? Also, around plumbing, what do you use to stop the compound?

Thank you!!
Stacey
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Unread 11-04-2010, 08:41 AM   #12
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Hi Stacey,

Foam weatherstripping is your friend. So is the Great Stuff expanding foam - esp the blue "low-expansion" grade.

You probably want 1/2" AC/BC/CC-grade plywood, properly installed, over the planking. But it'd be helpful to confirm the joist size, span, and spacing just to besure (I know you said you did - I'm asking you to post the specs)
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Unread 11-04-2010, 09:03 AM   #13
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Thanks, Ed...

Joists are 7.5" x 1.5" on 16" centers; total span of 9.5' (of which only 5' is in the bathroom)

The first layer of subfloor is 3/4" plank on a diagonal, each board is maybe 10" wide with 1 1/4"=3/8" gap between. We actually WILL be taking a section of the diagonal board out (water damage) and replacing with 3/4" Advantech.

My understanding is the second layer of plywood (can be Advantech I guess) is installed glued and screwed to the first layer only (not to the joists) with decking screws, on a 8" OC pattern in the field and 6" on perimeters. 1/4" gap at perimeters and 1/8" at butt joints.

So you think 1/2" for the second layer?

Then prime the ply, lay the wire, SLC, thinset, tile....

Thanks for the foam weatherstripping tip!!
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Unread 11-04-2010, 09:05 AM   #14
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Do not glue the plywood to the planks, just use screws. 1/2" plywood is fine.
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Unread 11-04-2010, 09:30 AM   #15
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Tightening the fastener schedule from 6"/8" to 4"/6" only helps. Woeste & Nielsen recommends this.

1/2" ply is fine - doesn't need to be shiplap or T&G-jointed. Needs to be perpendicular to the joists, and definitely no glue.
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