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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Subway Tile Surround Day 1

I'm getting to some fun stuff now at my bathroom renovation in Inglewood. After lots of preparations I started installing the subway tile for the shower surround.

It always amazes me how long this takes! You just can't rush things or it will look rushed when you're finished.

The most important part of this, of course, is your layout. You want all of your grout lines to line up vertically and horizontally. To do this, I started on the back wall of the surround and drew a level, vertical line in the center.

With my center line in place, I dry laid out a few tiles to see how the end pieces would fit. It turned out that my smallest pieces would be around 1 1/2" so this worked well.

In addition to the center line, which would represent one grout line, I offset another vertical line by 3". This would be the edge of the other rows of tile. Now I have the starting point to keep all my vertical grout lines straight.

To keep the horizontal lines right, I started by attaching a straight edge where I wanted the second row of tiles to begin. I made sure that this straight edge was completely level all the way around. I like to use this because it gives my first row of tiles a solid place to rest and I know it will be straight. Tomorrow, I'll remove the straight edge and install the bottom row of tile along the edge of the tub.

I also made a couple level horizontal lines that serve as reference points as I go. They weren't necessarily grout lines, but would give me a hint if things started to get out of whack.

Before I started laying the tile I covered the tub with plastic to contain (most) of my mess. For this installation I'm using 3" x 6" white subway tile with 1/8" grout lines. I mixed some thinset and went to work and didn't quite finish today.
I love the look of subway tile. Tomorrow I'll finish this up and hopefully get to the floor...


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