I am redoing my shower, I replaced the walls with hardibacker board (vapor
barrier as well)
and now I'm ready to tile. I noticed that most showers use small tiles but I
would like to use
16 x 16 tiles (Low water absorption). Is there any reason why we don't see
too many large tiles
in walls? is there any tip I should know before I do it? Can it be done??
Thank you in advance,
Whatever looks right to you, but it is easier to disguise any uneven
parts of wall with smaller tile. Personally, if I ever feel rich enough
to get a gut job done on my bathroom, I'm gonna go for solid surface
panels in the tub enclosure. I hate cleaning grout joints. The bigger
the tile, the more time needed to square up opening and shim the studs,
but it sounds like you are already past that point. I'd check yours
carefully with framing square and straightedge, before you buy your
tile. You don't want a high spot to show.
It shouldn't be a problem. I'd use the "X" spacers between them and
appropriately trimmed below the bottom row just to be sure things stay in place.
Don't mix your thinset too thin.
I used 12x12 tiles and had no problem, even on the ceiling.
*I have 12"x12". You must make sure that your wall surface is perfectly
flat otherwise the unevenness will be very evident when you install the
tiles. Hold a 4' level against the hardibacker surface and see if there are
high or low spots. Grind down the high spots with an angle grinder (Very
dusty; wear mask and goggles). Use thinset and not glue with a 3/8" notch.
Go with a bigger joint such as 3/16". I used Laticrete Spectra Lock epoxy
based grout (Get it at Lowes). It is more expensive but is resistant to
staining and mold and never needs sealing. I choose to install my tiles
brick style with alternating joints rather than continuous rows. I am very
happy with the look.
Walls would be no problem...just plan your layout so you don't wind up with
skinny pieces at the edges.
Small tiles are easier to use on the floor because the floor isn't flat (has
to drain). Big tiles can be used there too but need to be cut to conform to
the slope on each of the four sides...slopes that form triangles from each
corner to the drain.
Elsewhere, you wondered about weight...a square foot of tiles of the same
thickness will weigh pretty much the same no matter the size of the tiles.
I had my bathroom completely done over last year - we did not do the
tile work. The floor tiles match the wall tiles in color....but the
floor tiles are 12 x 12; the wall tiles are 8 x 11 in. The outside
trim is about 2 in. by 8 in. long. The tile starts on the outside
edge of the tub and by the time it reaches the corner - the last piece
is about 4 in. wide....then the tile starts in the center back and
works outward so that the pieces meeting at the corner are all the
same size .... hope that makes sense. The large tiles look good.
We did ours in a porcelain 12x18 tile. What the others said about the
wall is right. It has to be flat but other than that it is no problem.
I used "flex" thin set. It is a lot stickier because of the acrylic
additive and the tiles tend to stay where you put them better than
regular thin set. It does cost more but you will not really be buying
that much. They have it at HD/Lowes although you usually get a better
selection and grade of tile at a real tile store.
I would have to suggest that it can be done. I used solid
surface material in my shower which means my large walk-in shower only
has thee tiles (panels.) It sure makes cleaning easier. Not much in
the line of grout lines to clean.
Small tiles (2x2 or smaller) are usually used on shower "floors" to conform
to the slope of the mud bed to the drain. However, there's no reason you
can't use larger tiles on the flat walls. I used 6" tiles on our shower
walls, but have seen 12" tiles on many shower walls.
I measured up to the "second" row of tiles from the floor, then used a
straight edge (a 2x6 in my case) to use as a level reference. Then I worked
my way up the wall from the straight edge, using plastic spacers to ensure
proper spacing and prevent the tiles from sliding down before the mortar
set. The next day I removed the straight edges and cut the bottom row of
tiles as needed to fit between the floor and the second row of tiles.
We used 13" tile in ours..no problems. At ~5 ft above floor, we used a row
of 4" square tumbled travertine tile all the way around.
Above that went a row of the 13" tile but they were cut diagonally
("corners" cut off at mid point, leaving a tile which was 13" measured
DIAGONALLY) yielding a diamond shape when placed "point"s up n down. The
"trimmed corners also being used in this same row (picture a bunch of
XXXXXXXXX). Above that was another row of travertine, and finally, more
regular 13" to (and Including) the ceiling. Floor was the 4" also.
It made for a nice design feature w/o buying a lot of expensive tile trim
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Small tiles on the floor, to make the low/high spots less noticible, and
large tiles on the wall.
The larger the tiles, the more spacious it looks.
And don't worrry about being even or anything, that's the job of the
hardiboard installer and they should all be plumb and even surface anyway.
Plus there is a little give when you butter the backside of the tile; as it
floats on a thin bed of set.
You butter up and slap up a line of tile, then use a large long
straightedge to press firmly, but lightly on all the tiles at once and that
will even them all out in that row. Same for the next row, and if you work
quickly you can also do that on a slant across all the tiles.
Oh, also, make sure you stir in some smooth waterproof stuff into the
mortar mix. I bought all my stuff at FloorDecor.
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