In Renovations

Basement Bathroom, Chapter 4 – Laying Tile

I found my camera cord! That means I can show you some pictures that have accumulated over the holiday season. 😉

The basement bathroom that is just off my studio is getting tiled! We’re one more step closer to getting the basement completely checked off our list. Here is our blog post of the tiles we’ve picked. 🙂 But below is a picture just to give you a reminder as to the pallet of tiles. 🙂


We looked into hiring someone to come and tile for us but the cost was pretty prohibitive for us, and with the encouragement from our handy neighbours who recently tiled and from the encouragement of my Dad, who has tiled before, we decided to save the cost of hiring out and to do it ourselves. Everyone just said that it’s a slow job, but it’s something you can definitely do on your own with patience.

We decided to do the floors first, as logically we assumed that you want to have the walls go over the floor tiles so no water seeps below.

bathroom 01
Step 1 – Figure out the puzzle
Aubrey + Dad figured out the marble hexagon tile puzzle first, using a wet saw on our front porch to cut the marble . I felt badly as it was the coldest day yet of the season and there they were working with water…outside. We bought the wet saw off our friends who are moving out of the country. It was more economical then renting one (or buying one new!)

bathroom 02
Step 2: Move the puzzle
Once the marble was all cut to size and the floor had a “Layout”, the pieces of tile were carefully moved from the shower floor. They moved it in the same layout so that you knew which piece went where. Aubrey then mixed the mortar.

bathroom 03
Step 3: Lay the mortar
After letting the mortar sit for 10 minutes as instructed on the bag, Dad lay the mortar making sure it was going to create a slope to the drain.

bathroom 04

Ta-da! We need to grout it next. 🙂

Aubrey is going to do the floor of the bathroom next, and next weekend Dad is coming back over to help us instal the subway tiles on the shower walls. Such a fun transformation for me to watch. 🙂

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  • Reply
    January 2, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Those tiles are so beautiful. And I agree, it is super fun to watch a room coming together like that. We're planning on doing our en-suite bathroom in late spring – so we'll be reading your bathroom posts with extra interest 🙂

    ~Jacci in Ohio

  • Reply
    January 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Jacci!! Thank you! We're learning as we go, so I'm sure we'll have some tips on "what NOT to do"! 🙂

  • Reply
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    January 3, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Looks amazing! I love that type of tile – I think it will look beautiful when it is all done!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Love the hex tile. We almost used that for our kitchen backsplash. Its looking great in your shower.

    Just a tip when laying out the subway tile… plan your layout first to determine where the cut edges are going to be. From there you can identify where you DON'T want a cut edge (e.g. at floor edge; at the corners) and also determine where your starting point is. For instance, in our bathroom we wanted a full tile on top of the bathtub where it meets the wall. That in turn created our starting line for tile around the rest of the room. However, we found we would end up with a 1" tile where the wall meets the floor – which we definitely didn't want. So, we added in 1/2" accent tiles and rejigged the design – all before we laid that first piece down. A little forethought with tiling helps avoid problems down the road 🙂

    You can see what we did with the tiles in this post:

  • Reply
    January 3, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you for the heads up – I'm a bit terrified of the subway tile project, but my Dad is pretty awesome with the "planning" side of these things, which is why I'm bringing him in for this specific part of the job. I would get intimidated + freak out. 😉

    Your bathroom, may I say, is one of the most beautiful bathrooms out there. It's on my inspiration for our main bathroom upstairs! 😉

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