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GW tile gurus, can you help with grout questions?

posted by: treasuretheday on 01.21.2013 at 02:54 pm in Bathrooms Forum

We've decided to DIY most of our son's/guest bath remodel. We're in the middle of tiling the floor and need to decide on grout. Our grout lines are 1/8" and the tile is rectified porcelain, 18 x 18 on the floor and 12 x 24 for the alcove tub shower walls.

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We'll choose a grout color that blends rather than contrasts with the tile. We're trying to decide which grout brand and specific type would be best for this project. Considerations are: 1)Easy to work with 2)stain resistant 3) smoother appearance. My husband does not want to use epoxy grout. It is my understanding that with a 1/8" grout line, either sanded or unsanded grout can be used. What would you recommend? Pros/cons to consider?

Tec grout was recommended by our tile supplier but research on the JB site is steering us away. We've had good experiece with various Laticrete products. Our usual tilesetter seems to prefer Custom.

The shower walls will have a band of glass and stone mosaic. Would the same grout be suitable for these as well?

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Thanks so much for the help!


clipped on: 01.30.2013 at 09:47 am    last updated on: 01.30.2013 at 09:47 am

DIY budget elegant bathroom, almost done: pics...

posted by: staceyneil on 02.02.2011 at 10:11 am in Bathrooms Forum

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your support and advice along the way with our latest project... we're ALMOST done but sort of stalled. We just need to add the door threshold and some pretty natural wood shelves above the toilet, but DH has moved on to other woodworking projects, so those little projects have been shoved down the list of priorities. Since it may be months before I get those shelves (and art/decor) up, I thought I'd at least post some pics of the room as it is now. Forgive the crappy lighting: it's snowing hard so there's no natural light :(

Project scope:
1956 bathroom with 1980's/90's tile, vanity, toilet. Tub was original but sadly unsalvageable: the enale was totally wrecked and stained and impossible to clean.
Suspected some subfloor issues due to leaks.
Budget: $2,500. (final total was a bit under $3,000... so we didn't do too badly :))

The layout was awkward, the door swing used so much of the floor space and only allowed a very small vanity. Since this is the hall/guest bath as well as the primary bath for my teenage daughter, we really needed to maximize storage and vanity space. I drew a new plan which involved moving the doorway to the perpendicular wall. As much as my DH balked at adding additional work, he admitted it was TOTALLY the right thing to do once we finished. The room feels SO much bigger now.

OLD BATHROOM and layout:

Some photos from during the renovation... which was planned to take 4 weekends and ended up taking about 6 or 7.....
DD sledge-hammering the old tile down

lots of rot in the subfloor

Self-leveling-compound poured over the radiant floor heat cables in the floor

The shower area waterproofed with Hydroban (LOVE LOVE LOVE that stuff!)

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NEW BATHROOM and layout plan:

Since our budget was soooo tight, and we wanted to use quality materials and get a unique, custom bathroom, we had to get creative!!!

I had a small amount (it was mostly random pieces and offcuts) of very $$$ calacatta marble mosaic tiles left over from a previous project that I knew I wanted to use. The other materials were chosen around that starting point. I designed niches to use that tile in, as accent, based on the quantity I had. I used inexpensive white marble baseboard pieces from Home Depot for the shelves.

For the rest of the tile, I needed to use super-cheap stuff (the entire room is tiled to chair-rail height), but I didn't want it to look cheap or ubiquitous. I would have used subways, but DD emphatically vetoed them. It's her bathroom, and we let her have a LOT of design input. Since we have other areas in the house that use square tile in a running-bond pattern, I decided to use 4x4s, which are the cheapest anyway, but in a running bond rather than stacked pattern. After bringing home samples of the big-box cheapies, I decided to "splurge" (20 cents more per tile, I think, it was about $2.35 per sf after sales and discounts)) on Lowes next-step-up American Olean Ice White, which has a slight rippled surface that catches the light and adds a layer of interest that the flat, cheaper Gloss White doesn't have.

For the floor, we used American Olean 12 x 18 Pietra Bianco, a limestone-look ceramic tile that I'm surprisingly happy with :) Underneath the tile is radiant-heat cable, so the floor is wonderfully cozy and warm.

Floor grout is Latapoxy epoxy.
Wall/shower grout is Tec Accucolor XT, a super-modified grout that supposed to be a lot more stain-resistant (PITA to work with, though!)

DD wanted girly, vintage-looking stuff, a big departure from DH and my modern aesthetic. We narrowed down the style range, then I started watching eBay for deals. We scored about $750 worth of valves and faucets and stuff for about $275.
Vanity faucet: Moen Monticello
Shower faucet valve, trim, tub spout: Moen Monticello with Thermostatic valve
Shower head: Grohe Relexa Ultra on slide bar (LOVE!)
(after working with a bunch of faucets recently, I can say that the Moen monticello stuff is pretty cruddy compared to the Grohe RElexa, Kohler Purist, and HansGrohe stuff I've used recently.)
Towel bars and tissue holder are Ginger Hotelier.
Curved shower rod is the Crescent Rod. I tried some expandable ones they had locally, but this one (ordered on line for the same price) is SO much sturdier and nicer-looking. It also makes the shower space much larger.

Toto Carolina that we got at a yard sale for $150 including the Washlet seat (which we removed). We were driving down the street and DD -who professes to HATE anything renovation-related- said, "Hey, look, Mom... isn;t that one of those skirted toilets you like?" SCORE.

American Standard Princeton ~$300 at Lowes. yeah, we chipped it right away by dropping a tool on it while installing the faucets; luckily there's a repair kit that actually does a pretty amazing job :) We used the American Standard "Deep Soak" drain, which adds a couple inches water depth for baths. I wanted DD to use her OWN bathtub rather than my new one in the master bath :)

an old dresser. We bought it on Craigslist for $40, and DH reworked the drawers to fit the plumbing. He also added modern drawer slides so that they work easily. We bought fabulous vintage glass knobs on eBay (if you're looking for vintage knobs, check out this seller: billybobbosen.)

I painted it BM Dove Wing.
We totally went over budget on the vanity top. I'd intended to bet a remnant of granite... but of course couldn't find one DD and I liked. Then we found this little slab of Vermont White quartzite in the "exotics" bone pile at a local yard. It was over budget but we loved it. Then, of course, we decided that rather than a plain square front, it had to be cut to fit the curvy front of the dresser... which added about $100. So the vanity top was our biggest expense at $480.

Medicine cabinet:
A salvaged cabinet we got at the local Habitat for Humanity REStore about 2 years ago. We framed it into the wall (where the old door used to be), painted it, and I tiled the little shelf area with my calacatta mosaic accent tiles and marble baseboard pieces from Home Depot.

Pottery Barn wall fixture from eBay
Ikea ceiling fixture (like $8 each and rated for bathrooms!)
Fan/showerlight combo is a recessed, can-style fixture by Broan/NuTone. It's AWESOME. Quiet, unobtrusive.

That's all I can think of right now. I think once we have the natural wood shelves up over the toilet, with DD's shell collection and a plant on them, it will give a little but of softness/naturalness which the room needs. It's a little TOO "elegant" right now :)


clipped on: 01.24.2013 at 03:57 pm    last updated on: 01.24.2013 at 04:00 pm

RE: Acrylic or Swanstone Shower Pan? Maybe Tile? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: stinky-gardener on 10.28.2011 at 08:17 am in Home Decorating & Design Forum

I just had a new shower installed...tiled walls and floor. It is important to use small tiles for the floor so that the pitch will allow proper drainage. You don't want to use anything bigger than 2"x2" tiles. I used 1"x1" tiles.

Also, my tile guy used the "Schluter System" to install the floor and drain, which is a very water-tight method of doing a tile floor. The underlayment is key to a tiled shower floor. That is what seals out water & prevents leaks...not the tile itself.

The Schluter System is a substitute for the tradtional mud pan, which can grow mold & acquire other issues over time. You can google it and find a demo on their website.

There are die-hard, old-school mud pan tile installers who will refuse to go in this direction, but this Schluter method is becoming increasingly more popular, especially among younger tile installers who are open to new ideas. It's much faster to install, so tile guys like that, but for the homeowner it has outstanding waterproofing capabilites, so everyone wins. I will say, if you want to go this route, it is important to find an installer with some experience installing the system. As with anything, there is a learning curve at first, so you need a person who has installed a number of them. Good luck with your decision! Wish I could send you my tile guy...he's wonderful!


clipped on: 01.22.2013 at 05:42 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2013 at 05:42 pm

RE: Swanstone shower pan & tile walls (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: bill_vincent on 07.03.2010 at 07:38 pm in Bathrooms Forum

You can use anything you like to fill the gap behind the tile. Its only function is to back up the bottom of the tile so it can't be kicked and broken. Thinset is my usual "go to, but I've also used grout and sand mix on occasion.

I thought the idea was that the tile did not touch the pan,

No, the idea is that the pan flange comes up behind the tile, while a vapor barrier comes from behind the cement board, and in front of the lip (or the cement board gets a waterproofing membrane) so that all water stays in the pan. The caulk joint between the tile and the pan is what takes up the movement.

When I read about this on the John Bridges forum, it seems to say that the backer board should overhang the flange by a 1/4 inch - that is, the backer board is not level with the flange

The backerboard should NOT overlap the flange, but rather come down right TO it. Otherwise, the flange will tend to push the bottom of the cement board out, rather than having the wall come straight down to the pan. Once the cement board is in place, before the tile goes in, fill that joint between the cement board and pan with whatever you like, so that the tile has some kind of backing behind it. Once that's done, install your tile. After the tile's installed, grout everything, including that last inch or so, as normal.

I don't know who's telling you to overlap the flange by a 1/4". You want to give me the url to your thread?


clipped on: 01.22.2013 at 05:40 pm    last updated on: 01.22.2013 at 05:40 pm

RE: Cultured marble shower base -- good choice? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: debrak_2008 on 04.11.2012 at 05:14 pm in Bathrooms Forum

Here is a photo of our tiled shower seat. Purchased a metal frame and tiled it.


Yes, we tiled the walls with the swanstone base.


Our swanstone base is white as is our tub, sink and toilet.


clipped on: 01.18.2013 at 11:14 am    last updated on: 01.18.2013 at 11:14 am

Happy Dance! Bathroom Finished! many pics

posted by: lizb_1772 on 05.25.2012 at 01:18 am in Bathrooms Forum

I am so happy to announce the completion of our 1952 master bathroom renovation! I owe huge thanks to the GW community for all the ideas, encouragement, leads, advice and inspiration. Truly, this is YOUR bathroom . . . but my DH and I get to use it! Thank you ;-)

Particular inspiration came from two GW posters whose names I cannot recall, but whose posts are entitled "From Mid-Century Ugly to Dream Bathroom" and "Finished Master Bath and Bedroom." I drooled over these bathrooms way too many hours in addition to many others plus Houzz. While my bathroom does not perfectly resemble these inspiration rooms, I did incorporate many favorite elements and wound up with something that suits us to a T!

Our bathroom is 8x9.5. Renovation included all new plumbing and electrics, and demo began late January. We were 95% finished by Easter. Our GC did the entire project by himself and could not have been better. In addition to the new bathroom, we also created a pseudo-master suite by adding a wall and french doors across a hall outside the bathroom/bedroom. It is hard to describe the space, but suffice it to say, we can now go between the bedroom and bathroom buck nekkid and have complete privacy. The project came in at around $22K, and while I choke on that number, the utter joy at finally having a bathroom with form and function is worth every cent. Why did we wait so long to do this?




















Nearly every decision that had to be made was agonizing, and there are hundreds of little decisions in a bathroom!! Absolutely nothing went exactly according to plan. However, in the end, as DH says, "it looks so good you'd think we planned it this way!"

Are there one or two things I wish had turned out differently? Sure, but I'm not stressed about them. I just keep looking at what we started from! And as I was reminded during a mid-project meltdown, most people on the planet don't even HAVE a bathroom. This gives perspective, and I hope encourages those who are in the middle of a renovation themselves. Good luck to all!


clipped on: 01.16.2013 at 09:20 pm    last updated on: 01.16.2013 at 09:21 pm

RE: Newly completed Master Bathroom- Limestone & Marble (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: artteacher_nj on 01.06.2013 at 11:20 am in Bathrooms Forum

Limestone tile


clipped on: 01.16.2013 at 03:37 pm    last updated on: 01.16.2013 at 03:37 pm

RE: Newly completed Master Bathroom- Limestone & Marble (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: artteacher_nj on 01.06.2013 at 11:17 am in Bathrooms Forum



clipped on: 01.16.2013 at 03:36 pm    last updated on: 01.16.2013 at 03:36 pm

RE: Please show me your cultured marble/granite shower surround! (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: AnnieDeighnaugh on 01.13.2013 at 08:51 pm in Bathrooms Forum

We chose Corian Egyptian Copper for our shower surround under the glass and in the doorway and for the bath vanity. We had corian in the old house and were very happy with it. The shower seat is also corian...we talked to a lot of folks who had granite seats and they all complained how cold it was. Corian is much warmer, but we did need to have special supports made for the seat as it's not structural.


clipped on: 01.16.2013 at 03:05 pm    last updated on: 01.16.2013 at 03:06 pm

RE: Need reality check for proposed main bath layout (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: AnnieDeighnaugh on 07.05.2012 at 09:39 am in Bathrooms Forum

Our bath is somewhat larger than yours, but the basic layout can still work. Here are some pics that might help you.

Standing in the middle of the bath looking at the vanity wall, you can see the pot over my left shoulder, by the window, and the shower over might right shoulder. As I'm standing there, the entry door is to my right.

On the shower wall, (the doorway is the entry door to the room) we left a little bit of wall space and then started the glass door. Door swings both in and out so when you want to reach the controls, you swing it out. After the shower when you want the space to dry out, swing the door in out of the way. Ours is also a steam shower thus the tiled ceiling and the transom door. On the inside of the shower, along that knee wall is a built in seat that runs the full width of the shower. Attached to the outside of that wall is a heated towel bar and then the pot.

(Picture taken from entry door) On the other wall, we have a linen closet first and then the vanity with the central stack for storage.

Your layout would be the reverse with the shower and pot on the right wall as you enter and the vanity on the left.


clipped on: 01.16.2013 at 02:54 pm    last updated on: 01.16.2013 at 02:54 pm

RE: If not granite, then what? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: AnnieDeighnaugh on 05.06.2012 at 10:50 pm in Bathrooms Forum

We used caesarstone quartz in our kitchen and we love it, but in the bath we went with corian as it is softer and warmer and I love the seamless sink for ease of cleaning. We used it for the vanity, shower surround and the seat in the shower and we are pleased with our choice.


clipped on: 01.16.2013 at 01:05 pm    last updated on: 01.16.2013 at 01:06 pm