Out on the Tiles

We’re one step closer to finishing our office reno! The tile is 100% laid, scrubbed, and ready for grout.

Tile Progress

We started tiling last Saturday. If you remember, my mom, sister, sister’s mother-in-law, and adorable niece, Emma had all drove down from Indiana to help us tile (as a surprise)!

We were all really excited to get the first batch of thinset mixed, especially Indiana. She couldn’t wait to help my mom.

Excited Indiana

Fievel was also really helpful in rolling out the Ditra.

Fievel on a Roll

So what is this Ditra we keep going on about? It’s an “uncoupling membrane.” Basically, the Ditra underlayment is designed to allow for slight movement in the tile and subfloor, helping to alleviate in-plane stresses and prevent the tile from cracking. It can also serve as a waterproofing layer and vapor barrier.

We felt it was important for us to use because both the age of our house and the intense thermal cycles we experience here in Texas can cause movement in a floor, leading to tile cracking over time.

The Ditra was a cinch to lay down: just apply a thin layer of thinset with the recommend trowel, and smooth the Ditra down.

Laying Ditra

Once the Ditra was down, we could start tiling. I won’t go into the detail of how to tile here; there’s tons of great tutorials that do a much better job explaining than we ever could. The basics were simple:

Create a thinset bed, “back butter” your tile, place, and space.

TilingWhen we came to the edges, we measured and cut our tiles using a small wet saw.

Wet Saw

We laid our last tile on Wednesday night. Last night, I had to clean up the mess we’d made with the thin set.

Our thinset came off the tiles pretty easily with a warm, damp cloth and a razor blade, but I have heard that if you have some really stubborn thinset that vinegar (a mild acid) will help get the stuff off.

Thinset Cleanup 2 Thinset CleanupAnd that’s where we are today: ready to grout.

Tile ProgressWe’ve already come a long way and we’re not done yet.

Little House Big Heart - The Office Before

We plan on grouting tomorrow, freshening up the paint in the room on Sunday, and moving everything back into the room Monday night.

What are your plans for the weekend?


    • Jessica Beals says:

      Honestly, I wasn’t sure how it would end up either. Because we use the room first and foremost as a mudroom for the dogs, though, we HAD to have tile in there. The carpet just wasn’t cutting it.

  1. Lindsay says:

    It looks great! We did a similar slate-look porcelain in our mudroom a couple years ago. It’s a big undertaking! We used Ditra over slab and 3 years later, it’s solid as a rock.

  2. bekah says:

    The tile makes such a HUGE difference! Great job! We had to do a temporary sticky floor in the bathroom here so that we could move in (little kids + subfloor seemed like a bad idea to me) but we have all of the tile for the room, and I am so excited to get started on that!

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