Sugar and water? Hadn't heard that one. I've found that the green
kitchen Scotch-Brite pads work pretty well for cleaning the haze
after it's dried. Of course one wants to get as much up as
possible before it dries, but I never seem to get that part right.
There are also additives one can add to the rinse water to help cut
Our contractor cleaned our tile well, but left instructions to use
vinegar and water at a certain point - two hours? two days? after the
grouting was done. I recently redid the grout in our walk-in shower, so
took particular care since it is a problem that appears often on ahr.
Not difficult at all to remove the grout. Just don't let the darn stuff
dry, and if you use unglazed tile, I believe they need to be sealed
before they are installed. RTFL.
Best tip I saw was to take a 5-gal (Joint Compound) bucket and a large
car washing sponge. Immediately after grouting, dunk the sponge, ring
it out well, and wipe a stripe one sponge width wide. Go over it
twice, once for each side of the sponge. Dunk the sponge, squeeze it
out, and do it again. Be sure to use a light touch so you don't wreck
your nice smooth grout.
This take a large portion of the haze off before it has a chance to
dry. A few hours after that, use cheese cloth to buff the tile.
The base is most important. I put down 1/4 inch hardibacker and the put
the tile on it. As others said check Home Depot for their two hour
class on laying tile. Well worth it.
The guy there said to put the hardibacker down with galvanized roofing
nails. I thought I would do better and use self countersinking screws.
After trying about four of them I gave up. No way could I drive into
that hardibacker. I went to the nails. Once that is down you won't get
tile coming loose.
That is what I was trying. My driver just wasn't strong enough.
Concluded that with nails every six inches it wasn't going anyplace
Just don't lay over linoleum. A neighbor did that. One came loose.
When trying to replace it they all came loose.
No one does the first time. I've now done two bathroom floors, the
laundry floor and walls, and a couple of closets. I have the
master bathroom left to do as soon as it gets a little warmer.
As others have said, you really need a wet-saw. I bought one a few
years ago and use it often. Harbor Freight has what looks like a
nice one for a good price (significantly less than I paid for a
There are cheaper ones there but IMO you do need a wet-saw. You'll
*easily* save enough on the first job to pay for it. That's how I
build my toy^h^h^htool collection. ;-)
It's a big job, but it's certainly within the range of a DIYer. If
your house only has one bathroom things might be, um, interesting
for a few days. ;-) A bathroom floor takes me about a week (I'm
- One day to remove fixtures, tear out old flooring (unless it's
tile, then it's month ;) and prep. Maybe spackle the walls.
- One day to do the setup, cut the backer to size and maybe
install a sheet or two. ...perhaps paint the ceiling.
- One day to finish the backer and tape it. Plan the tile cuts.
Plenty of time to paint the walls (easy before the tile goes
- Two to three days to lay the tile. I like work backwards from
the door to the wall far. If everything works out the cuts can
be hidden by the base molding rather than being exposed by the
saddle and tub. This means I only do as much as I can step
over (3-4'), at least the first day. Since I don't do this
every day I also don't want to do it tired. I tend to make
stupid mistakes when I'm tired.
- A short day to grout and clean up.
- And a short day to reinstall the fixtures.
- I plan so I can seal the grout the following weekend (an hours
job but the grout should set up for several days before).
Re haze: I have very little tiling experience, but my bro is a pro,
and I've helped him on a couple jobs. Bucket and sponge as posted
above is correct, working diagonally tp prevent pulling out grout. He
emphasized to me the importance of keeping sponge clean- rinse _a lot_
and change water, wring out, wipe, repeat. Go over whole floor a couple
times. Cheesecloth as mentioned above. Should be no haze.
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