Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ceramic Tiling Your Bathroom

By doing-it-yourself and using
new adhesive cements you can
install real ceramic tiles in an
average bathroom for a reasonable cost

ONE OF THE FIRST items a proud home owner is likely to mention about his house is the ceramic tile bath, because real ceramic tile in the bathroom or kitchen adds a touch of practical luxury. "Real" (meaning ceramic) tile has a rich, hand¬some look and, with proper care, it will last the life of a house because its glazed surface resists water, most cleaners and wear.
A new adhesive method makes setting ceramic tile as easy as applying many of the substitute materials that have become popular during the last few years. Of course, ceramic tile materials (Fig. 3C) cost more than some other materials, but the amateur can now obtain them easily, and doing his own setting will offset this higher cost. For comparison, let's consider the simple 5x6-foot bath shown in Fig. 3A. The 87 square feet of tile required to cover the wafts only plus the bull nose cap, feature strip and bottom course would cost about $95. Covering a similar area with plastic tile along with a trim strip around the bottom would cost $51, but considerably more if you pay to have the work done. Making a sketch similar to the one in Fig. 3B will not only allow you to figure what the cost of tiling your bath¬room will be, but will help to plan what kind and how many tiles to order.
Field tiles along with the trim pieces (Fig. 3C) are available in a variety of colors along with white and black. Most wall tile is glazed, while floor tile is un¬glazed to prevent slipping. Sizes of tile vary with the manufacturer, even though standards call for field tile to be 41/4 x41/a inches. So buy all of your tile from the same manufacturer and specify a cushion edge-the kind with a slight slope near each edge.
Tiles come in two grades too-standard
and seconds. Standard grade is graded uni¬formly for color and is free from defects or uneven glazing. The lower-cost seconds may vary in color shade and come with chipped corners or spotty glazing. If you use seconds, buy about 10% more than you need to allow for replacing poor tiles.
Each grade of tile carries three designa¬tions: color (specified by number), size (specified by a letter), and shade of color (again specified by number). Most manu¬facturers stamp these designations on the top of a tile carton, for example, 104-D-5. Make sure all cartons purchased bear identical designations for color match. Colored tiles usually do not cost any more than whites. Wall tiles are usually 3/8-inch thick and come packed in cartons that weigh about 55 pounds each and contain 120 tiles or enough to cover 15 square feet.
Telephoning local tile dealers or instal¬lers will usually turn up one who will sell you enough tile to cover a bathroom or kitchen. If you can't buy tile and adhesive locally, order them by low-cost freight from mail order companies.
The two types of adhesive for applying wall tiles are-(1) buttering wall type, a quick-setting adhesive that sets in about five minutes after placing on the back of
*Spread floating type adhesive with notched trowel. This type of adhesive may be used after the starting course of tile has been set with
buttering adhesive, applied with a putty knife.
the wall tile, and allows you to do all the starting courses on wall areas of less than 50 square feet without waiting for the ad¬hesive to set up, and (2) floating wall type that sets in about one hour and is spread on the wall; you will need both the floating and buttering wall types for wall areas over 50 square feet. Each type covers about 50 square feet per gallon. Adhesives should bear the label "CS-181" to indicate that they meet specified performance requirements. For repairing tile, use the buttering type adhesive.
Making cutouts. The cutter (Figs. 4 and 5) not only cuts wall tile to width, but can also cut tiles on the bias, and split tiles to make cutouts for clearing pipes, and electrical switches. Nippers (Fig. 6) are used to cut off about 1/8 -inch piece of tile at a time, working from each end toward the center gradually. Nip off only small pieces, since applying excessive

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