I believe that part of blogging is transparency. The good and the bad. So here is the ugly truth: Tiling was terrible for us. I don't know if it was the tiling until 3am on a work night and still not finishing, the Monday morning cabinet-install deadline, the exhaustion from all of the demo work the 72 hours prior to starting the tile install, or inexperience... but our tile project had us saying we would never tile anything ever again! Now, that we are a few weeks removed from the project, we may take back that last statement, but all that to say: IT.WAS.CHALLENGING.
One of the biggest challenges was taming our uneven flooring. We not only had to remove the top layer of vinyl tile, but we also had to lay plywood in the areas where the old cabinets use to be as there was only sub-flooring. We debated and debated laying the tile straight over the old linoleum (above), or laying hardibacker and then tile. We landed on laying the hardibacker then tile. It was good practice for mixing and laying thinset. We did not use QUICK SET thin set as this was our first go at tiling, but opted for a thinset that had about a 2 hour time frame. We added water to the mix, and mixed for 10 minutes to create a workable paste.
Our first piece of hardi-backer down! We used a 1/4 inch notch trowel to lay the thinset. Unfortunately, we were misinformed about the size trowel we needed. If we did this again we would use a size trowel more appropriate for the tile size. This came back to bite us later on when we were laying the actual tile pieces.
Before laying the hardibacker, I did a dry run with each piece and cut it using a backer board scoring tool. I numbered each piece so that when we went back to lay the board down with the thinset, we'd know just where to lay each piece.
While one of spread thinset and placed each backerboard, the other would drill the hardibacker into the floor using special hardibacker nails.
It took us about 5 hours to place the hardibacker.
This did not include the time it took me to cut and lay out each piece.
That wraps up our first evening knee-deep into tiling and thinset.
More to come when we lay the tile!
Have you ever had any tiling mishaps? Or better yet, any DIY renovation regrets?
Missed our kitchen reveal from start to finish?
Can't Wait: The Kitchen Final Reveal