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Showing posts with label shower. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shower. Show all posts

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Do's and Dont's of Choosing a Tile Installer to do Work in your Home

Tile installation is a very specialized trade and most tile after installed is in effect a concrete like product and can't easily be changed. In most cases if change is needed then new material will have to be repurchased. So it is imperative to hire a qualified professional tile installer to do your work. But How do you know who to choose?

Here are some basic guide lines that can help you make an educated choice.

1. Its always nice to find someone one of your friends has had in their home and has had experience with the installer's work, so start with friends and family to see if any one knows a quality tile installer
2. If none of your friends or family knows of a good tile installer , then the newspaper or numerous internet classified sites are your best bet, the most known of course is craigslist.
3. Always get at least 3 quotes  and if they seem like high prices  they probably are and continue looking until you find something comfortable for you.  The most economical way to go is to find a labor only installer and supply the materials yourself.
4. ALWAYS  get and check as many references as possible  the best reference is a completed tile job somewhere in public  that you can go out on your own and see for yourself.

For instance,  I have 2 jobs in the public mall here in Boston on the North Shore that anyone can just go into the store and see the work.
5.  Longevity and durability of a job is very important  if you can talk to a customer of your installer who's job was done some years ago  you will know the job is still in tack and done in a quality manner and you will get a lasting installation
6.Ask questions of your prospective installer before committing to hiring him. NEVER let ANY installer tell you its ok to lay tile on top of a wood substructure, It will not last half the life of tile laid on Hardiboard or Durock your grout can crack and tile break  from wood movement and any water ever on your floor will cause failure . make sure any tile laid in a wet area such as shower or bathroom is installed with thin set concrete and NOT tile mastic as mastic does not do  well in a wet environment. Never install tile in a shower on Sheetrock  or green board use only Hardi board or durock.
7. Always insist your installer use spacers and if he tells you he doesn't need them he can do well without them  then  don't hire him  period. I've been installing tile for over 37 years  and can lay a floor without spacers  but the finished product is  NEVER  as clean and straight as the one done with spacers.
8. I personally would never want any bench in my shower built out of wood, wood in a wet area makes no sense. Cement blocks are much less costly and will last forever.  I would insist on a concrete block bench in my shower
9. Finally your installer  will be in your house for some  days make sure your choice for a installer is one you feel comfortable and at ease  with.

I hope this advice has given you some inside information and thoughts from a professional tile installer that will make your choice for a tile installer easier and less stressful   

Remember, tile installation is a very hard and physical trade right up there with stone masons, sheet rock hangers  and roofers many years of work can take a real toll on the body. I myself have had both my hips replaced,  my knees are sore, and my back hurts as i step out of the truck first thing in the morning. We deserve to make a good wage,  not outrageous , but fair and honest working pay. If you have any question about your job  as always I am here and accessible by phone to answer any questions from anyone who needs  guidance    chris lawson  Tile Excellence  978 471 9127

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ceramic Tile Repairs | Floor Tile Replacement | Shower ReGrouts

Ceramic Tile Repairs Floor Tile Replacement 

and Shower ReGrouts

MA Reality persuaded us to rewrite several of Tile Excellence's blog posts for their publication, including contractor "Guides" and "Expert Contributors". Nice gig!

This "Guide" is on Ceramic Tile Repairs: Floor Tile Replacement and Shower Regrouts. The article is about the controversial issue of Copper Pans vs. Rubber Membrane in shower installation. Catch them all on ask tile excellence, or read a couple here! Read Chris's Profile on MA Reality.

Links to his profile and articles.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Question from reader and my responce

Hey There, Regards, Chris
Morning Chris,

Well I'm at the point of applying tile in the shower and on the tub deck and backsplash when the tile arrives. However, I have a question about adhesives and waterproofing and crack isolation membrane, specifically Mapelastic AquaDefense, which is a paint on membrane which was recommended when I was picking up quick pitch systems and floor mud and I said sure; @ $50 a gallon. The tile guy I have here said it would produce a better bond but apparently he didn't read all the specs because you can't apply it and then use premixed adhesives which I assume rules out Type 1 Mastic and limits him to thin set which he didn't intend to use on the walls and ceilings.

Now I haven't actually applied the liquid membrane yet and was even wondering if it was a good idea because as an after thought, I'm thinking that it would hold any water seeping through the tile at the top of the base whereas I thought the idea was for any water seeping through to arrive at the shower tub membrane and be weeped over to and removed by the weep holes of the clamping drain.

So given this, I suppose my questions are:

1) Is Type 1 Mastic a better adhesive that latex or acrylic thinset and which of those two are better?

2) Is this membrane product even worth using at all?

3) Might it be worth using on the floor base and cinder block and deck mud bench seat and leave the hardy board untouched.

4) Or use it on the entire shower surface and tub deck and use thinset, latex or acrylic, on all surfaces including the ceiling which was the recommendation of the Mapei Product Support guy. He also said there is a quick drying thinset that I could/should use on the ceiling.

I was thinking that if I do the seat and floor, I'd leave six inches around the drain untreated as a means of allowing any water that did get through to weep to and pass through to the shower pan membrane.

I did search the internet but couldn't find any useful info on this situation and any thoughts you might have would be helpful.



Chris Lawson

9:36 PM (22 hours ago)
to Kirby
I always prefer thinset over any adhesive as concrete is never affected by water and lasts a lifetime.
using the waterproofer on the entire shower walls and floors is always a good idea and insures no water EVER
ends up behind walls and effects wood.  leaving  space around the drain doesn't seem required as if water ever gets by
the waterproofer it will be drained by the drain weep holes any way. Many showers and wet installations are done entirely
with out the waterproofer and last problem free for the entire life of the installation. But the use of waterproofer just insures added protection and safeguards against  any water damage that could ever occur  regards   chris 978-471-9127

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The simplest tile pattern shower for the tile do-it yourselfer part 1

pic #1 raw concrete floor ready to tile
Broke joint tile or brick pattern offset tile is by far the easiest tile to install.And If I was to advise the homeowner of a tile that they could install themselves with limited experience this would be it.The pictures below show the work and the process of 3 hours of working time on my job this week.I will walk you through it and hopefully you will get the idea of how to do it and why its by far the easiest tile to lay yourself.picture  

2 below shows the standard 6 by 6 ceramic tile.Picture 3 and 4 show the tile cutting machine and the 6 by 6 tiles cut in halves ready to start laying tile on the wall
picture 5 and 6 show the first level line of tile on the back wall and the beginning of the second and third course. Notice how on the straight part of the wall where the tile starts on the first row is a half tile then second row is a whole tile then third row a half again.  This starting off with half whole half whole gives you the offset brick like pattern. Picture 7 and 8 show thinset mortar on the wall ready to continue tile up the wall and the 1/4 notched trowel used to put it on the wall. Picture 9  10 and 11 show the wall tile as it progresses up to 6 courses high. picture  12 is of a bear right side wall ready for tile ,The first thing is to install 2 by 6 bullnose on a level vertical line just past the joint of the durock and the finish wall.Picture 13 and 14 are side and full views of the bullnose .Picture 15 shows the first piece of bullnose installed on the wall and you can see the level horizontal line for the first course of tile .Picture 16 shows the horizontal first course line in a better perspective.Picture 17 and 18 are both side ways and show the bullnose as it works up the wall again these photos are sideways, please excuse my disabilities with tech stuff, I couldn't for the life of me figure how to rotate the photos.Picture 19 shows the finished bullnose to the ceiling on the right side wall.Picture 20 shows the first line of tile on the right side wall laid on the level line ready to stack rows of tile on top.Picture 21 shows where the right wall tile meets the back wall and matches the corner meeting lines.Pictures 22 and 23 show the  6 inch wide by 5 ft long marble threshold that will finish off the top of the curb.picture 24 shows 6 full courses of tile finished on back and right side wall and picture 25 shows the first corner soap dish installed on the top corner of the six courses.Picture 26 lets you see how to get and draw your level lines around and over your corner soap dish  to make your precise cuts.Pictures 27 and 28 show the back wall with 3 more courses above the soap dish.Picture 29 shows the side right wall with 3 more courses filling all around the corner soap dish.Picture 30 and 31 show the second corner soap dish on top of the ninth course and the wall soap dish installed Finally The last photo ITS LUNCH TIME ha ha . All these photos and work was done in 3 hours from 9 am to noon.This tile installation is one of the more simpler installations because the tile lines are offset like bricks and no straight lines are required.If you start simply with a first row of level tile then progress off of one wall with a half tile then a whole tile one course at a time you cant go wrong.The finish product looks very nice and as you will see in part 2 add a little color with a design strip and you have a wonderful design shower!!So be on the look out for the second part of this blog when we do the rest of the walls,the floors,and finish the curb  and complete this project with more photos 

 pic #2  6 by 6 tiles for brick pattern

 pic #3  6 by 6's cut in cut in half ready

 pic #4  6 by 6's cut in half

pic #5  first line of level tile and beginning second and third row with offset joint

pic #6  close up of 1st row and second and 3rd starting course

pic #7  thin set applied on wall to continue 2nd and 3rd course

 pic #8   1/4 inch notches trowel to apply thinset to walls

pic #9  3 rows of tile completed on back wall

pic #10 closer view back wall 3 rows

pic #11  6 rows completed on back wall

pic # 12  right wall bear and ready for tile

pic#13 close up of 2 inch by 6 inch bullnose tile

pic #14 full view of 2 inch by 6 inch tile

pic#15 first piece of bullnose on wall with level line

pic #16 level horizontal line on wall ready to start first level line of tile

pic #17 is sideways but shows level line for bullnose

pis #18 is as well sideways showing thinseted bullnose

pic #19 shows completed bullnose tile laid to ceiling on right  side wall

pic #20 shows first level line of tile to bullnose on right side wall

pic#21 shows exact level line meeting corner from right side wall to back wall

pic#22 shows marble threshold that will finish top of curb

pic #23 close up of 6 inch wide 5 ft long marble threshold

pic#24     6 rows of tile finished on back and right side wall

pic #25  first corner soap dish installed

pic # 26 level lines  drawn from next course tile to gauge cuts around corner soap dish

pic#27 3 rows of tile above corner dish on back wall

pic#28 shows close up around corner dish with visual gauge line on right wall

pic #29  corner soap dish with completed 9 courses of tile

pic#30 second corner soap dish

pic # 31 finally the wall soap dish is installed

Its LUNCH time and the end of part !

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Basement Tiled Camouflage Floor I New Bathroom Tile Remodeling-

Bathroom Tiled Floor
Shower Tile Floor
Shower Curb

Custom Shower Bench
Mosaic Tile Shower Soap Box

Mosaic Tile Shower Soap Dish



pic #9

Tile Pattern Walls
pic #11

Shower Wall
Shower Bench
Shower Floor
Last week in Georgetown Ma. I completed 450 sq ft of tile in a basement and 120sq ft of tile in a adjoining new bathroom.Was a pretty simple job for me and the labor cost to the customer was $1350 for the 450 sq ft of floor tile and  $1000. for the bathroom. These customers were younger hard working first home owners.They used 18 by 18 porcelain tile on their basement floor and 2 ft by 6 inch tiles on the wall.The 18 by 18 floor tiles were what I would call a "real tree"pattern after the "real tree" line of clothing I love it !!I thought it to be the most natural soothing tile I EVER installed .The 2ft by 6 inch tiles on the shower wall looked just like wooden walls.The whole job screamed Chris Lawson!

This job was really enjoyable to me and I hope you enjoyed me sharing it with you.I give examples of my work and what I charge for such work as a reference for you the home owner and the consumer to know what costs for such work should be and how to know when you've met a reasonable tile man and when your being taken for a ride. I appreciate every reader and hard worker out there hope this benefits you and makes your tile choices and contractor shopping easier :) chris

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