Tiling Tips and Techniques for Bathroom Remodeling (Quick Tips) — by Home Repair Tutor

By Grover Koelpin 32 comments

Okay, so today we’re going to be talking
about some random tiling tips and techniques. So why do you want to watch this video? You
want to watch your video if you’re going to be redoing your bathroom and putting tile
on the shower surround or you’re going to be putting tile on the floor, even in the
kitchen. If you’re going to be tiling the kitchen, we’re going to give you tips on
the type of tile to use on walls and floors, what kind of thinset to use for large format
tiles so they don’t slide down the wall, what kind of tools will help you out, and
so much more. So it this a comprehensive video? It is not. Is it a video that’ll make you
smarter when it comes to tiling? I sure hope so. Because these are tips that I’ve learned
over the last twelve years remodeling my own rental properties here in Pittsburgh and tips
that I’ve learned from my buddy, Steve White, who is a professional master bathroom remodeler.
So hang on. We’re going to give you some awesome ideas here. Let’s jump into the
video right now. The first tip that I wanted to give you has
to do with the tubs and showers. Now my personal preference is to have large format tile. So
these tiles right here are 12” x 36”. They’re pretty large. And by the way, anything
that has it longer than an 18” edge to it is considered a large format tile and needs
special thinset such that it won’t slide down the wall whenever you go to adhere it.
Why do I like large format tiles? They’re way easier to clean, especially if you get
large format tiles that have a glossy surface to them. You just squeegee them down, you’re
good to go. You may disagree with me on this, and I totally get it, that it’s an aesthetic
thing, and maybe you like subway tiles, so go for it. If you like subway tiles, go for
it. But in my experience, if you hate cleaning up the bathroom, large format tiles are the
way to go. What about floors? What’s a good tile for
the floor? Especially in the bathroom? My personally preference for floor tiles in bathrooms
are tiles that have a little bit of grip to them. That way, when you step out of the shower
or the bathtub, you’re not going to slip and fall on your rear end. And that’s what
these tiles have. There’s some certain grip to it. And I totally get you may not like
this because you could make the argument that you’d have to clean them a little bit more,
and that’s totally true. But I think it’s not a bad idea to have grippiness to the tiles
so you don’t slip and fall. After all, the bathroom is going to be wet. Same thing goes
for the kitchen or mudroom. So just keep that in mind when you’re choosing your tile.
Another nice, solid tip is whenever you’re tiling in the bathub or the shower, make sure
you tile all the way up to the ceiling. Now why do you want to do that? You want to do
that because it actually—again, this is just my opinion—is more work to leave that
section of drywall going around the top of the tub or the shower. Plus, drywall isn’t
waterproof. Even if you put a latex layer of paint over top of it, it will still bubble
up over time especially if you’re taller and all the water splashes off of you and
goes onto the drywall. So spend the extra $50, $100, $150 to buy the tile for the top
here for the top section of your tub or your shower.
Now I’m going to give you a way to save some money on your tile. Hold on one second
here, I want to show you something. So this tile here has a metal profile that looks just
like this before you put it behind the tile, and this is made by Schluter. Schluter makes
a ton of profiles like this one in many different colors, and it’s way more cost effective
to use this than pencil-trimmed tile or bull nose tile. So keep this in mind when you want
to do a tile on your shower or your bathtub. Now I want to give you some accent tile tips.
It’s always good to choose an accent tile that is the exact same thickness as the surrounding
tile. So by that I mean this tile, as you can see here, is about ¼” thick. This tile
is ¼” thick. When you go to put both tiles on your waterproofing membrane or waterproofing
board, that way they’ll be exactly the same thickness. It’ll be nice and flush. This
won’t be sticking out. Now if this tile is thinner than the surrounding tile, what
you do is put a piece of Schluter DITRA behind it because the DITRA is only about 1/8”
thick. So you put this behind the accent tile, and that will pull the accent tile out to
make it flush with the surrounding tiles. So now I’m going to give you three tips
that’ll give you great looking grout joints. Tip # 1 is to use a high quality thinset mortar
for vertical tile, especially if your vertical tile is a large format tile. Which thinsets
do we like? We like Ardex X 77 especially for large format tiles because it prevents
your large tiles from sliding down the wall, squooshing your tile mosaic. We also like
Mapei’s Kerabond because it’s a great thinset for your tile floor. And these thinsets
combined with horseshoe shims and the Tuscan Seamclips will help you get amazing looking
grout joints. You want to use horseshoe shims in between your tile mosaics. Positioning
them in between the tile mosaic grout joints to prevent those tiny little grout joints
from being smooshed. You can also use these in between tiles. The Tuscan Seamclips are
used to prevent tile lippage. This is really important both on vertical surfaces and on
horizontal surfaces. So check them out for yourself. These are 1/16” horseshoe shims.
You can combine two of them to give yourself an 1/8” grout joint, which is the size of
grout joint I like because it’s small enough that it’s not too noticeable, but not too
big that it looks weird and it’ll accumulate grim and dirt and all that jazz. So the smaller
the grout joint, in my opinion, the better off you are. Tuscan Seamclips, make sure you
choose these based upon the thickness of your tile. I’ll put a link down in the description
so you can check it out for yourself. Or you can take a look at this video right here,
which I made on the Tuscan Seamclips and the Tuscan system in general.
I almost forget, you can use the Tuscan Seamclips both on vertical tile surfaces and horizontal
surfaces, like floors. Do the exact same thing with the horseshoe shims.
This next tip is about the layout of large format tiles, specifically elongated tiles.
These 12” x 36” tiles, we staggered them in thirds and the reason why, if you don’t
do that you’ll get tile lippage, and that’s not good. You want to do the exact same thing
when it comes to 12” x 24” tiles or tiles that are elongated on the floor. You want
to stagger them by thirds so that, again, you don’t get tile lippage and stub your
toe on the tile. So what about grouts? What are some of the
grouts that could make your life a lot easier? Well one of them is called QuartzLock. This
is by Bostik. And what’s great about it is it’s a urethane-based grout. It’s already
pre-mixed, so you don’t have to mix it. It’s got wonderful color consistency. And
it’s going to last for a year or two in your garage. So if you ever have a problem,
you can always just fill it in with this. That’s the other nice thing. When you use
Bostik’s QuartzLock, if you miss a spot, you can just take some and fill it in and
wipe it off. Now you have to work quickly with a urethane-based grout. But not only
is the color consistency there, it is stain-resistant. You don’t have to seal it. And you don’t
have to mix it up. So that’s pretty awesome. Another type of grout that you should check
out is by Ardex. Ardex, spelled A-R-D-E-X, they make great sanded and non-sanded grouts.
So check out the Ardex line of grouts. This is what some professionals like to use. But
again, you check out Ardex. You can check out Bostik’s, spelled B-O-S-T-I-K, grout
line and see which one will fit your needs. You always want to use silicone sealant if
you can in the corners of your shower or bathtub. The reason why is this corner is subjected
to expansion and contraction. So if you’re not using silicone and you use grout, the
grout will eventually pop and crack over time, which isn’t good. So in the corners, use
silicone. And also, when it comes to bathtubs, it’s
good to put 100% silicone between the tub and the bottom of the first tile.
All right, so those are the tips and techniques on tiling for today. I totally get that this
is not comprehensive. It’s more basic to get your brain kind of churning and get you
some ideas that will help you out with your own tiling project. If you’re planning your
own DIY bathroom remodel, you should check out BathroomRepairTutor.com, especially if
you’re looking to tile a floor, a shower surround, put in the tub and do the plumbing,
and so much more, we’ll help you out with that. Just visit BathroomRepairTutor.com.
That is it for today. I’ll see you down in the comments. Id’ be happy to answer
any questions you have. Take care. We’ll talk to you soon.
Man, we don’t get too many days like this in Pittsburgh. It is phenomenal. I figured
I’d show you what it’s like. It’s March. It’s almost 70° outside. Topnotch!


itzack rodrigues

Mar 3, 2016, 8:17 pm Reply

What type of tile and adhesive should I use for a shower ceiling

itzack rodrigues

Mar 3, 2016, 8:55 pm Reply

alright thanks


Apr 4, 2016, 6:47 am Reply

You are in Pittsburg, what state? California? If yes, can I hire you to tile my shower?

Cortney Johnson

Apr 4, 2016, 3:13 am Reply

Great video. thanks for the tips! Hard to find videos like these that talk about the important parts to keep in mind as you prepare to take on new projects!


Jun 6, 2016, 2:05 am Reply

jeff … good one there but huge mistake for mortar applied with Schluter System product (ditra, kerdi board …). Never install with modified mortar. Keralastic is actually polymere mixed with non modified mortar (Kerabond). You have to use Kerabond alone only to ensure Schluter warranty support. For oversize format i suggest Kerabond T without any additive especialy for Schluter system products.

Mohammad Zubair

Jul 7, 2016, 9:40 pm Reply



Aug 8, 2016, 10:24 pm Reply

Whats a good grout sealant? Thanks


Aug 8, 2016, 10:32 pm Reply

he flogs repair tutor,they want 250.00 for advice you can find for free,not impressed at all

And Rey

Sep 9, 2016, 11:32 pm Reply


ShOw StOppEr

Sep 9, 2016, 11:47 pm Reply


Simple Living

May 5, 2017, 4:50 pm Reply

What did you do on shower pan tiles or mosiac?


May 5, 2017, 5:19 pm Reply

Thanks for the help!!! These tips are gold!!!


Jun 6, 2017, 1:16 am Reply

Hi, even though this video was posted a year ago, I would love to copy that tile design. Do you have a record of what tile maker and model that you used? I have been to a few tile shops with no luck. Thanks


Jul 7, 2017, 12:50 pm Reply

lmao look at the reveal of the tile under the baseboard behind your face on your thumbnail

Kevin Erman

Aug 8, 2017, 5:20 pm Reply

very helpful video.  I was just curious what you use for the joint between tile and ceiling.  I have a finished ceiling and I'm not sure if silicone or grout should go at the joint.

Carlos Sanchez

Aug 8, 2017, 5:39 pm Reply


Peace Love And Unity

Sep 9, 2017, 10:23 pm Reply

Excellent tips, thx for the video!

Johnny C

Nov 11, 2017, 2:00 pm Reply

Don't understand why dividing in thirds prevents lippage.


Nov 11, 2017, 2:33 pm Reply

I agree with the silicone being applied behind the lower tiles and a minimum amount beneath. It's more esthetically pleasing and a more pro finish.

Oscar Gonzalez

Jan 1, 2018, 12:07 am Reply

Good gracias.👍

R.J. Mx

Jan 1, 2018, 6:08 am Reply

Great tips!


Jan 1, 2018, 2:26 pm Reply

What do you think of Mapei's Flexcolor CQ? I kind of already committed to two tubs of it for my DIY master bathtub and floor. 12x24x1/8th porcelain tilem using Mapei's LFT mortar. Just curious what you thought of Flexcolor?

Jennine R

Jan 1, 2018, 8:40 pm Reply

Hey! Great video. Getting ready to tile in my new house. What type of tile is on the shower walls? Love the look of it.

llamedos R

Mar 3, 2018, 8:49 pm Reply

Loving the global warming.

Danny Lee

Mar 3, 2018, 2:53 am Reply

How many of those products wouldn't you push of you weren't being paid to do just that??


Apr 4, 2018, 11:59 am Reply

What thinset to use to keep large format tiles from sliding down the wall?

Geo Synchronous

May 5, 2018, 11:59 am Reply

nice video of your face. how about showing the application next time ?


Jul 7, 2018, 12:56 am Reply

Thank you for the tips . Love that job you did btw ,especially the way the accents added to it

Matthew Noblett

Jul 7, 2018, 2:41 am Reply

What is your laser level set up?

Matt The Builder.

Jan 1, 2019, 7:17 am Reply

how do you waterproof the ceiling?

Mark Bidwell

Feb 2, 2019, 9:14 am Reply

like the tile all the way up,and color matching silicone,at change of plane, good tips w horseshoe shims

Travis Vossler

Jul 7, 2019, 10:42 pm Reply

Thanks dude you rock

Leave a Reply