Licensed contractor Amy Matthews shows how to install tiles in a bathroom shower area and the walls to transform a tired old bathroom into a classic Art Deco retreat.
Step 1: Plan Project and Select Tiles
In our project, we brought an old ’70s bathroom into classic Art Deco style. We removed a wall where an old single vanity used to be in favor of a double vanity. To get the plumbing ready for the new vanity, a vented T was added and the drainpipe extended.
Since the backerboard is already installed around the tub, the tile is ready to be installed. In our project, the homeowner met with a tile expert for design advice and was impressed by handmade 3×6″ subway tile. Compared to mechanical or machine-made tile which are lower priced, handmade tiles feature more pooling of the glazes at the edge and appear more textured.
In our project, the homeowners decided to go with machine-made subway tile (about $2 to $4 per square foot) versus handmade tile (approximately $13 to $30 per square foot). Machine-made tile is easy to install yourself because the tile is beveled out. As a result, you don’t have to use tile spacers. Both the subway tile and accent tiles we used are self-spacing in this way so they don’t require spacers. These tiles have a small lip that creates a uniform gap between the tiles, forming perfectly spaced grout joints.
Note: Finishing options include top caps, called listellos, and the use of accent tile between the top cap and field tile. Field tiles are those in the main field of a floor or wall and they’re flat in contrast to trim tiles which are shaped. Border tiles border around field tiles while accent tiles are used to add interest, usually intermixed with field tiles. Read more »