Week 3 of the Jeffrey Court Challenge and I can’t believe we’re to the halfway point! I was beyond excited to start getting to some of the pretty things this week – tiling!! Keith and I are not professional tilers, but we’ve done many a spaces (him more than me) and have learned a lot. This week we’re sharing how to tile a bathroom floor and bring value to your home. After all, whatever upgrades we make to our homes we want it to add value, right?
Last week I shared all of the beautiful tile selections I made from Jeffrey Court and this week I’m also partnering with Homes.com to discuss how this master bath renovation (add-on) can help our home value! Before I get to the how-tos of tiling, I thought I’d share an important pro renovation tip.
Cost vs Value
Whether you’re planning to sell your home soon or way in the future, it’s important to consider cost and value. It isn’t always wise to spend more than whatever the return may be down the line. Obviously this may be necessary, but use your judgment! Use Homes.com to look up home values and see homes for sale in your area. Talk to the appropriate people and do your research to see how much value each home addition can bring to your sale price.
After some research, I learned that an upscale master bathroom addition could add over $60,000 to the value of my home. Now it’s time to look at cost. Obviously the cheaper we can do that renovation for, the more our return will be down the line. Because Keith and I do all the work ourselves, that saves major bucks and helps the return on our investment be that much greater. We’re not ready to sell yet, but I’m confident when we do, adding a master bathroom will add value and major interest to this 1878 farmhouse!
Many old homes have a variety of flooring material throughout – linoleum, old and dated carpet, etc. A sure way to increase value to your home is to rip out old linoleum and add tile. After uncovering the many layers of flooring in our closet-turned master bath, we’re not quite sure what all the different materials were. Under the carpet seemed to be a rubber vinyl type flooring. Needless to say, it was ugly and strange.
We haven’t gotten to tiling the shower yet, but Keith and I are pleased to say the main bathroom floor is tiled and looking way better already!
If you stick around to watch our time-lapse videos, you’ll see Keith is more prepared than me, as in he wears boots and I go barefoot or in flip flops. It can present balance problems, or me stepping into wet thinset. I like to provide the comic relief during stressful renos.
How to Tile a Bathroom Floor
Level the floor
There are a variety of products you can use to level a floor out, but it’s important to make sure the room is as square and level as possible. The more even things are, the easier laying the tile will be. If your tile is going in a water-prone room (especially a shower), you’ll need to make sure to use water-resistant underlayment. Keith used hardiebacker cement board to build up our bathroom floor and level it out. We used thinset to glue the board to the ground, but there were some spots that required extra thinset and shims to bring the floor level. Just keep using that level and adjust as needed!
Find the Center of the room
Before you’re ready to lay tile you’ll need to find the center of the room. We did this by taking measurements in each direction and marking the floor with chalk line. Once Keith found the center of the room lengthwise, he created a chalk line straight down the middle. Then we went across the width and made a chalk line in the middle of that direction. You’ll have a t or a cross, and this may vary depending on if your room is long and narrow, square, etc. The important part is the point where the two lines intersect, as that should be the very center of the room.
Decide on tile placement
It’s wise to lay the tile out before sticking it to the floor, to ensure you’re happy with the way the pattern flows. Some tile doesn’t have variation between tiles so that may not be a concern. However, you will want to take good measurements or lay the tile out regardless, so you’ll know where your cuts will be.
For our master bath, we began by placing our Jeffrey Court Balancing Act White Interlocking Tile in the very center of the floor and working our way out in a cross-pattern. We wanted to ensure we wouldn’t have tiny cuts on each end. After laying the tile in a straight line (following the chalk line down the middle of the room), we ended up with a small gap on both ends, which meant small pieces on each end. That would create more work and a look we didn’t want, so we pushed the tiles toward the bathroom opening and left a slightly larger gap at the back. Now only tiles in the back row needed a minor cut! We got lucky widthwise and the tiles fit perfectly across with no cutting needed! Adjust for your space and the look you want.
Time to stick the tile
Each Jeffrey Court tile has specifications and an overview, which gives thinset and grout recommendations. White polymer-modified thinset was recommended for our Balancing Act Mosaic tile. I used a notched trowel to spread the thinset onto the first tile, so I would be able to clearly see my chalk lines on the floor. After I was confident the first tile was stuck in the proper place, I felt comfortable laying more thinset at a time onto the floor. Use the trowel to apply thinset, then use the notched end to smooth and create lines, so the thinset isn’t too thick. Then stick the tile!
Decide on how thick of grout lines you want and use appropriately-sized spacers between the tiles. Press the tiles down nice and firm, and some may need to get lifted back up to have more thinset added, if one tile is resting lower than the one next to it. You’ll definitely want the tiles to be level and smooth with one another.
One way to reduce waste, is to try to reuse tiles that need special cuts. If you’re cutting a tile to fit against a wall, the cut off piece may work perfectly on the opposite wall. Don’t throw anything away until the job is done, and use all you can. Because of the interlocking piece of this particular tile, we had to make a cut along one whole wall. The triangle that was cut off fit perfectly on the shower side, to finish off the room.
So many tips in one blog post but I hope something was able to help give you the confidence to start your bathroom renovation! I have some time-lapse videos of laying the tiles out and then sticking them.
Finally, it’s the first week of voting!!! As I’ve mentioned before, this renovation challenge isn’t just rewarding for us to finally get a master bath. We could potentially win a $5,000 dream vacation but we need your votes! You can head over HERE and vote once per week, so please take a moment and root for us! We’ll need the vacay when this is all done! xoxo
Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more updates as we go, and #JCRenovationChallenge to see the other participating bloggers!