Bathroom floor tile

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Posted by: from Wyevale
12/31/2010 at 8:52:05 AM

HI, We are gutting and completetly redoing a bathroom. This means new drywall, new insulation, new tub, vanity, toilet etc. We purchased a mosaic patterened marble floor tile where each 12" x 12" (irregular edges) mesh sheet is made up of many mosaic pieces (@ 1.5" long x 1/4" wide), many of which are on the diagonal. When laying any type of stone floor would it be considered normal to tile underneath the tub and underneath the vanity or not? When buying the tile I was told to buy enough to go 6-8" under all edges of vanity and tub. This type of tile is apparently difficult to cut because of all the small bits iof tile on the mesh. But the contractor has only tiled the floor up to the edge of the bathtub and up to the edge of the vanity and created an uneven, roughly cut edge that he has cover up using a piece of wood moulding. Is this normal?

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Date/Time1/7/2011 at 1:11:43 PM

Hi James- depends on who did the floor & tools used to cut tile. If the floor was not layed out properly prior to tiling, you will get uneven lines at walls, tub, vanity. If the room is square & proper layouts are done, your tile floor should look fine if you only go to tub/vanity. I don't reccomend going under the tub- if for some reason you or someone in the future purchases your home & decide to reno the bathroom- the tub may be in good enough shape to stay, but will need to be removed in order to do floor. If you use a wet saw to cut your tiles you will have no problem- the mosaic pattern is actually easier to cover uneven lines. Good luck.

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James in Wyevale
Date/Time1/9/2011 at 9:04:47 PM

Thanks for your reply Bill.

The mosaic flor tile was laid over a basement floor tile that wasn't removed. Over the old tile the contractor laid some sort of covering that supposedly levels itself. Then he laid the mosaic tile over this spending quite a few hours trying to get it straight and level. I guess the newly prepared floor was flat but not level, because from one end of the room to the other there was a floor height difference of over an inch! With this levelling issue plus the rough floor tile edges where the floor tiles meet the fixtures, the moulding was necessary to cover everything up. Apart from cutting the tile better by using a wet saw, I just wonder how the job could have been done differently in order to have a more level floor and not have the moulding where the wall tiles meets the floor tile hiding the problems. Thanks for any input. James

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Date/Time1/10/2011 at 11:10:49 PM

Hi James,

It is not a common practice to tile under the tub. If a client is replacing a vanity I generally advise them to tile the entire area under the vanity (up to the walls). If you or someone else chooses to replace the vanity with another size, or perhaps one with "legs" or even a pedestal or wall hung vanity, the floor tile will not cause an issue.

It is always advisable to ensure the floor is as close to level as possible. This is typically addressed prior to the tiling by making adjustments to the sub-floor via a variety of different methods. It sounds like the previous tile was not removed, this makes leveling and uneven floor more difficult and the results speak for themselves.


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Date/Time1/13/2011 at 10:44:33 AM

Hi James- Roger is correct on this matter- I did not realise the old floor had not been removed. Removing ceramic from concrete is a messy job, but one that NEEDS to be done. I have seen it too many times where lazy contractors keep' layering' over floors when it does not take that long to remove it. (5 layers over a kitchen floor is the most I've seen: ply/vinyl, ply/vinyl, etc til you need a ramp to get into other rooms, and the ceiling fixture gets closer) I always rip out- then I know what I'm dealing with. It's much easier to level floors/walls. I still maintain that proper layout makes for a clean job, but if the room is way off square, it's better to start your floor on the empty wall (if available; most bathrooms have 1) and work your tile into the vanity/toilet wall, hiding uneven lines there where they become less visible. Wall tile should be started at the finished height (if doing wainscot tile, 1/2 way if entire wall)and brought to the floor- no trim required- if the floor was properly levelled, the bottom row of tile should be the same.

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Date/Time1/24/2011 at 9:00:55 PM

Hi James.

The previous postings are correct in that it is not advisable to tile under the tub and levelling the floor is important. When using tiles such as yours they are most often used as an in lay with a border around the edges. This involves a little more planning but provides for even lines along the edges and a nice finished look.

I have attached a picture to show how we laid a limestone tile border around the interior mosic tiles

Bathroom floor tile
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Date/Time1/25/2011 at 3:54:11 PM

Hi James,

If you install the vanity and the bathrtub first that is quit alright. The tile installer should tile up to both and come within 1/8 of an inch to the vanity/bath and then his grout will fill that gap or better yet he can use a cualk that matches the grout so it has room for flex. Hope this helps. It works everytime for us.

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Rod. from Artall R.M. in Toronto
Date/Time2/1/2011 at 1:58:23 AM

Hello James,

I will not address the quality of the work since there is no picture provided. Regarding other matter "under or not", I have to say that bathtub is considered "equipment", and vanity "furniture" of the bathroom. So if the bathtub is not of a free standing kind, the tiles do not go under it, but in case of vanity I must say YES - tiles should go under vanity. Often people effectively change the look of the bathroom in few years by replacing the vanity,accessories, painting etc. Very rarely change the floor tiles, unless some damage occurred.

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Bridget from EllisPIper Homes in Chilliwack
Date/Time2/10/2011 at 7:40:28 PM

Hi, Having read the replies so far, for the most part I would agree with what is said. I would never tile over existing tiles, they should be removed, and the floor leveled before setting new tiles. A good result is dependent on good preparation. Laying tile on tile increases depth therefore causing more height problems at the threashold. You can tile to an existing bath, but with a new installation, I would tile under the bath to a depth of about 6 inches. But remember then you have to make level under the supports of the bath as well.

Tiling completely under the vanity is a very good idea, look on it as future-proofing the bathroom. It is common to change the vanity and not the bath at a later date.

The front of the bath to tile edge can be caulked over the grout for a neat seal, never put wood in this position to cover up, it is a wet place and a reciepe for desaster in the future with mould and damp.

Attached is a bathroom I did not so long ago with a mosaic tile insert.

Bathroom floor tile

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