Bathroom Renovation: Installing Tile

Installing tile is not fun–I knew it was going to be rough, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so painful. The results are beautiful though, so I think it’s worth it.

The tile I picked out is a white hexagon style.  It’s called Merola Metro Hex Glossy White Porcelain Tile and is on sale for about $50 a box at Home Depot.  I ordered 4 boxes, which turned out to be the perfect amount to cover our small bathroom.

When I went into Home Depot to pick up my order, I basically told the sales woman that I had no idea what I was doing and I needed a crash course in tiling.  She was really, really helpful and explained all the tools and materials that I would need.  The first think we established is that because the floor is concrete, I didn’t need to lay any sub-flooring.  That was a big relief.  Then we talked about how to spread the mortar and space the tile.  She explained the different types of grout, and we decided to go with a non-sanded gray color. I also bought a sealant to protect the tile.

When I got home, I told Joey that I was an expert at tiling.  He was a little skeptical, to say the least, so he did his own research.  Everything he found was in alignment with what the Home Depot employee told me; however, Joey is a massive perfectionist, so he didn’t trust me to space the tile correctly.  At that point, he pretty much took charge, which I’m not complaining about.

We first laid the tile out to figure out the best layout  Then Joey used a tile cutter to make the necessary cuts.  The next morning, we took the baseboards and toilet off, spread the thin set mortar and placed the tile. We had to let the mortar dry for 24 hours, which was a HUGE pain because we only have one bathroom.  Not having a toilet is really hard. Luckily, we have some friends that live in the building next to us. They let us use their bathroom while we waited for the mortar to cure.

The next day, we began the grouting process.  The hardest part of the process was mixing the dang grout… the instructions said to stir continuously for 5 minutes — 5 minutes is a long time, so I think we cheated a little and only mixed for about 2-3 minutes.  Then we started grouting.  We had a nice little process going. Joey would spread the grout and I would follow him and sponge off the excess grout.  I also took a lot of breaks to drink water, watch Netflix, play with Zuzu, etc… Joey wasn’t so jazzed with my apparent lack of dedication. But honestly, there wasn’t much for me to do.  We only had one grout float, so it was pretty much a one man job.


After letting the grout dry, we put the toilet back on.  Unfortunately, we discovered that we hadn’t tiled close enough to the toilet, so there were some pretty large gaps.  That was a major disappointment.  We took the toilet back off and finished tiling where we had missed.   Then we went to a Super Bowl party, where we were in for more disappointment – the Seahawks lost!! It was a pretty depressing day.

Luckily, the next day was much better.  We put new baseboards in and installed the toilet once again. This time, we had no issues.  The last step in our tiling escapade was putting the sealant on.  Then we sat back, relaxed, and congratulated ourselves on a job well done.


The only think we have left to do is to install the sink and cabinets.  I’m hoping to get that done in the next few days because we are having a party at our house on Saturday.

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