Jeffrey Court Renovation Challenge Week 3
We started this week with NOTHING in the bathroom and are ending with half of the floor tiled, and a shower curb! Progress is slow with real life and three young kids but slow progress is still progress!
So first we added our cement board to the subfloor. If you have plywood subfloor like us, you really need to use cement board under a tile floor. Plywood is just too flexible. (You could also use Schluter’s Ditra system but not with mosaic tiles.) I bonded the cement board to the subfloor with a thin layer of Versabond using a v-notch trowel. Then use 1 1/4” cement board screws to really secure the cement board to the plywood about every 8 inches.
We’ve now used Hardie backer cement board and Durock cement board and I can tell you that the Hardie backer board was a zillion times easier. They both do the same thing. I will always use the Hardie backer board from now on. It cut easily with a utility knife. So easy.
Once my cement boards were down, I used cement board mesh tape on all the seams and covered them with a thin layer of Versabond. This just helps everything stay solid.
After the mortar dried overnight, I laid out my Jeffrey Court mosaic tile. I wanted to start with a full tile at the doorway and beside the shower curb. This mosaic needed some cuts to lay straight against the shower curb and walls, so I marked where I needed to cut with my green Frog tape. Then I used my wet saw to slowly cut along the Frog tape line. PERFECT lines every time.
Once I’d cut all the edges, I cut out tiles to fit around the toilet and sink plumbing. Having worked with large 12x24 tiles and these mosaics, I can say that I infinity prefer mosaics. It was so easy to just cut a few tiles out with a utility knife.
I mixed up more Versabond (about 25 pounds worth aka half a bag), and laid the mosaics row by row making sure I kept them in the correct place. My biggest pet peeve is seeing the sheet lines on a floor with mosaics so I kept pressing them tightly together as I laid them and then stepped back to make sure I couldn’t see sheet lines. I also took a picture as I was laying because sometimes they jump out in pictures.
We’re only laying the tiles in half of the bathroom because I want to get the toilet and sink installed then work on the shower then work on the tub area last. It kinda worked that way for practical reasons.
Once all the floor tiles were dry over night, I cut lots of half tiles to finish off the wall edges. I will use baseboards so they don’t have to be perfect - just close.
Last order of business was laying the shower pan. I mixed up Shluter AllSet mortar and used a 3/8’ trowel to spread and then laid the shower pan in. I used two levels to make sure the edges were level so water would drain properly.
Next up is waterproofing the shower pan and installing the drain, sealing and grouting the floor tiles already down, and finally reinstalling the toilet and vanity. So excited for a half working bathroom again!