My family moved into our first home last December, and to say that we have a lot of projects on our to-do list would be an understatement. There are multiple projects in the works for almost every room in the house. Thank goodness it’s only a 1-story home.
Recently, we decided to give our entryway a makeover, starting with the tile. My husband grew up working with his uncle, who was a contractor specializing in floors. Lucky me, right?
The previous owners used some ceramic tile that was probably better suited for a mudroom. We wanted something a bit more glamorous and shiny. I picked out about 35 pieces of this 12×12 porcelain tile from Home Depot and a similarly light-colored grout and we got to work.
The whole thing took us about 2 days, which is impressive for us because we have a toddler and a baby living with us. We’re so happy with the results, and we wanted to share it with anyone who thought they might embark on a re-tiling project on their own. I’m here to tell you-you can do it. While it’s time consuming and meticulous work, it can easily be your next DIY project.
Tile removing tool
1. Break up the existing tile using a tile removing tool-this could be as simple as using a hammer or a hammer gun. As you work, be sure to aim the hammer gun (or hammer) at the grooves in the tile, it will help it to break easier.
2. After you thoroughly clean the area, measure the area and lay out the tile in the design you want. You should make sure that the full tiles are in the main space, while the cut tiles should be along the wall or stairs. The less you have to cut, the better.
3. Mix the thinset using a paddle mixer and a bucket. Thinset is what you use to actually set the tile. Pour the thinset into the bucket and slowly add water until the consistency is similar to pancake mix. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and mix it again.
4. Set the whole tiles first. Spread the thinset using the smooth side of the trowel, and then spread it using the notched side. Once you’ve set the whole tiles, it’s time to set the rest. Spread out more thinset, as evenly as possible.
5. Using the spacers, set the remaining tiles and create your pattern. Since every tile will have a different design, pay attention to how they look in relation to one another. You’ll probably have to make more cuts as you get closer to the edges.
6. Once the thinset has dried and your tiles are set (this usually takes about 24 hours) you can apply a sealer. This is particularly important when working with natural stone, because it’s porous and can stain easily.
7. You probably already picked out your grout color-it should be a shade that complements your tile. Mix the grout with water (there should be directions on the bag) and spread it along the lines using the grout float. Don’t work the grout AGAINST the lines, but into the lines. Push it in and be sure that it fills in the lines.
8. Once the grout starts to dry (it doesn’t take more than 30 minutes) you can wipe down the area with a wet sponge. The grout won’t FULLY be dry until the following day, but you can still clean the tiles.