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Unread 04-05-2005, 04:43 AM   #1
Deb R.
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Question Do I Tile Behind the Bathroom Vanity?

I'm not sure how to approach the walls behind and next to the 48" bathroom sink/vanity we are using...It's a stock vanity with 2 cupboard doors in the center and 3 drawers on either side and on top of it there will be a granite countertop with undermount sink. There will be a 44" tile wainscot going round the whole bathroom, capped with a chair rail/listello border. I planned it so the top 3 tiles of the wainscot (chair rail, listello, and one 4" tile) will serve as a backsplash and sidesplash behind and on the right wall next to this vanity....
Do I tile the walls behind and next to the sink/vanity before installing it or do I install the vanity first and then tile up to it, leaving the wall space covered by the vanity untiled? Is this a totally stupid question???
In several magazine pics it appears as if bathroom cabinets and vanities are embedded into the tile, i.e. the tile is cut to fit around the shape of the vanity and countertop, at least when there is a waiscot used as a backsplash/sidesplash. I figured if I tile the top 3 tiles like a backsplash and begin laying them on the top of the vanity surface, it wouldn't be flush with the wall tile iif I tile behind the vanity. Am I making sense here? What do you guys normally do?
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Unread 04-05-2005, 08:23 AM   #2
John Bridge
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Hi Deb, You're making sense.

Usually, the cabinets are set before the tile setter arrives on the job, so cuts are made at the side of the cabinet. Nobody cares about checking out the back wall of the cabinet, so drywall is fine in there.
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Unread 04-05-2005, 08:43 AM   #3
Palsgraff
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But it's okay if the tile is set first, right? I am going with the same type of setup, except the sink I chose has an itegrated backspash. I had planned to tile the whole wall first and then set the sink against the tile, figuring it would give me the cleanest look. I know I'm wasting some tiles behind the vanity, but it seems a small price to pay.
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Unread 04-05-2005, 08:52 AM   #4
cx
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You can do it that way, fallsgraff (who's name I don't know), but if the wall is not very plumb and flat, it's sometimes pretty difficult to fit the cabinet against it and have it look good.

In any case, you needen't tile but enough to be under the cabinet edges all around, the rest of it is just wasted tile, really.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-05-2005, 11:36 AM   #5
Palsgraff
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Thanks, I like the idea of faking it by tiling just inside the edges of the cabinet.

By the way, the name is Tim.
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Unread 04-05-2005, 11:57 AM   #6
geckoglass
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FWIW I tiled the wall before installing a pedestal sink. This was my first tile job as a DIYer. It looks great except for a couple of things that may happen with a vanity install as well. As in CX's post, the wall wasn't completely flat so the sink isn't perfectly flat against the wall. Caulk covers a myriad of sins! Also, I used glass tile as an accent and failed to protect the tile when we installed the wall hung sink, and a couple of tiles got scratched by the unfinished sink back. Not noticeable enough to rip them out and reinstall, especially in a rarely used second bath, but a lesson learned the hard way!

That glass tile is muy $$$! But it's nice!
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Unread 04-05-2005, 07:01 PM   #7
tilemonster
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Dont tile behind the cabinet.I usually mark an outline on the wall of where the cabinet will be and make sure to tile in about an inch past that line ,so it looks like its fully tiled when the cabinets set.
But the most imortant reason not to tile that space is that it makes it harder to attach the cabinet to the wall.That is: you would have to drill holes in the tile and use anchors to attach the cabinet to the tiled wall.By leaving that area untiled you just use drywall screws to attach the cabinet.
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Unread 04-05-2005, 09:22 PM   #8
Deb R.
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Ok so the vanity is sort of embedded into the tile. I think that would look best because knowing this house, the walls are probably not flat/plumb. It does seem pointless to tile behind this big 48" vanity since it's closed in the back anyway if we ever were to change to a pedestal sink, ripping out this massive vanity would inevitably destroy the back and side walls if they were tiled anyway. Plus I guess it's good that if we need to, we have easy access to the plumbing.

So do I have to scribe the tile around the shape of the vanity AND the countertop edge or just scribe to the vanity and then put the countertop on after that? The countertop extends 3/4" over the cabinet on all but the back and we have a filler piece for the one side wall so no scribing is needed. The granite countertop came with matching back and side splashes-would it look stupid to use the granite backsplash over the tile?
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Unread 04-05-2005, 10:19 PM   #9
Deb R.
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In this photo, lower left hand corner, it looks like the tiles are cut to fit around the vanity and countertop. Otherwise why would it be caulked?
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Unread 04-05-2005, 10:26 PM   #10
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Deb --

The joint would probably be caulked either way, both to cover the dark seam line, and to prevent water from running off of the counter and down the wall.
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Unread 04-05-2005, 11:23 PM   #11
Palsgraff
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I don't understand the concern re: attaching the vanity with drywall screws if the wall is tiled behind the cabinet. As long as you drill through the tile with a masonry bit, can't you just run drywall screws through the tile and into the studs?

tim
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Unread 04-06-2005, 04:48 AM   #12
Deb R.
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Question

So, um.. you are saying that in my photo, that the caulk line running down the side edge of the counter and vanity there is not necessarily a joint where cut tiles meets the vanity? (That is a question, BTW.) See, I just figured the tile in this pic must be cut because of the caulk line, but you're saying that you would normally caulk the point where a vanity meets a tiled wall either way.
Wow, I am completely confused now. Ok, here's another (and probably dumb) question: if the tile extends behind the vanity even a tiny bit like say 2", isn't that going to make it so the whole vanity cabinet doesn't sit right up to the wall? What I'm trying to say here is...whether the tile runs all the way behind the cabinet or stops short just 2" past it, the vanity is still going to be a tile's width away from the wall. Isn't a tile backsplash supposed to sit atop the countertop yet remain flush with the rest of the wainscot? How can it do that if the whole vanity is pushed forward from the wall 1/4" or whatever the tile width is? Sorry if I don't get this...I'm sure it will probably all come together when we do the dry run...
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Unread 04-06-2005, 04:57 AM   #13
tileguytodd
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Deb, does your vanity butt into a corner??
If it does, check that corner with a square.if it is not perfectly square install the vanity first and cut the tile around it.This will help to disguise this bad corner.
It will take a little more time but it will look just as good and perhaps better than tiling behind it(even if just in an inch) depending on your situation.
ive seen corners out of square by enough that you would end up with a caulk joint so wide as to be a real problem let alone unsightly.Tiling after the fact makes up for a multitude of framing/sheetrocking errors.

Good luck whatever you decide
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Unread 04-06-2005, 05:48 AM   #14
Deb R.
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Yes! My vanity does, in fact, butt into a corner on the right-hand side..with open wall to the left like in my above picture. And I probably mentioned before, I seriously doubt any wall in my house (c. 1900) is perfectly or even sort of square. We gutted all the plaster and sheetrocked everything, but still most of the walls are off. Who knows why..
But I digress..Anyway, so far I am leaning toward the idea of tiling the vanity into the wall. Thanks, Tileguy Todd! That was the last boost of encouragement I needed. I just love this board!
Deb R.
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Unread 04-06-2005, 06:13 AM   #15
tilemonster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palsgraff
I don't understand the concern re: attaching the vanity with drywall screws if the wall is tiled behind the cabinet. As long as you drill through the tile with a masonry bit, can't you just run drywall screws through the tile and into the studs?

tim
Palsgraff,
There is no concern about attaching the vanity with drywall screws.The point is its faster and easier to do it that way.Your welcome to do it whatever way you want.I was just trying to suggest an easy way for the homeowner.
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