What is the 2-inch layer of masonry under my bathroom tile?


The bathroom is the most popular room in a domestic home to find tiles. This is largely down to the hygienic and water resistant solutions they have compared to wallpaper, carpets and most paints.

In addition, tiles can add potential value to a bathroom and offer some unique finishes which can’t be matched by other materials. Bathrooms can accommodate all types of tiles whether they are

ceramic or porcelain

, travertine or slate. Ultimately, personal preference is key, however the tips below will help you narrow down your choices and assist you to choose the right tile for YOUR bathroom.


Bathrooms need to be a place of hygiene, which tiles can certainly offer. With their ‘fresh’ appearance and ‘easy wipe’ surfaces, hygiene is one of the first things that come to mind when using tiles in the bathroom. Although tiles are water resistant, they aren't totally waterproof. One very important piece of advice for shower areas is that you

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I had an area of bathroom tile that had fallen lower than the rest of the floor. When I started to explore under the 67 year old tile, I found a masonry "sub floor" that is crumbling. Under the masonry is a wood sub floor. My question-- Should I remove all the old crumbling masonry and rebuild a sub floor to support my new tile floor? (The old floor has settled quite a bit- at least an inch in the corner.)

If you don't want to dig out all that concrete (or whatever it is), I'd consider putting in 3/4 plywood over it, then staple on wire mesh, and put the thinset on this and the tile. It will float the tile over the subfloor. I've seen this done several times successfully. If you want ot go high tech, get the Schsulter system plastic underlayment and use that instead. I've see that laid on to of sculped styrofoam in a contoured shower pan. I'd maybe put floor leveler concrete on your broken concrete to lock it all it before the Schuler, but not the 3/4 plywood.


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Laying New Tile Floor: Special Grout & Other Earthquake Issues

I don't know if this is the right site for these questions, but since this is a home project, I'll start with you. We are about to resume renovation of our house. The tile in the bathroom, entry hall and kitchen has suffered a series of cracks. It looks like some maniacal spider was turned loose. I would like to retile these areas.

I am a potter and I want to make the tile myself. No worries. I've run a semi-professional shop in the past and I know what I'm doing with the tile. It is the grout and the foundation for the tile that I have questions about.

This is earthquake country. I am spiting' distance from the Loma Prieta fault and a hop or two from San Andreas. Lots of land movement. While I was working at the pottery in Mountain View someone mentioned that there were techniques in laying the base for the tile and grouts that included silicon which gave the tile bed enough flexibility...

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Bathroom Floor Tile Layout

It seems like a simple project- a small bathroom floor. You’ve picked out your tile at the local box store along with a few supplies and your ready to go. The problem is: Where do you start?

See my previous post on tile layout concepts and why this layout was chosen.

This post assumes that your existing floor is removed and your tile underlayment is installed. Basically you need to layout your bathroom floor for the tile that you’ve picked out and begin installing. So let’s get right into it. Here’s your plan of attack in 5 steps:

1. Find something to go off of

You have to measure off of something and draw a line. How do you know what to start measuring from? Generally, I look for the longest wall. Even better if it’s a long exterior wall.

Look to avoid small interior walls and tubs (plumbers go through extensive training to make sure they’re not put in straight). Sometimes a vanity works and sometimes it doesn’t....

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Finish of Stonework

Stereotomy. - The science of making patterns, or templates, to which a stone is to be cut to fill a certain place in an arch or other complicated piece of stonework, is called stereotomy. In practice, the engineer makes a drawing of the intended stonework, showing where the joints in the face are to be located, and the stone cutter then details each block and cuts it to fit exactly with the others. It is therefore important for the engineer to understand the different finishes to which stone is dressed, but it is not necessary for him to be able to make the templates for each stone.

Rock-Faced Work. In Fig. 3 is shown rock-faced, or pitch-faced work, and the method of using the pitching chisel. The face of the stone is left rough, just as it comes from the quarry, and the joints, or edges, are pitched off to a line, as shown at a. As this finish requires very little work, rock-faced dressing is cheaper than any other kind, especially when granite...

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Laying a tile floor is not as hard as you might think and can save the expense of having it professionally installed. To get started you’ll need:


Pencil Tape measure Level Speed square Notched trowel Rubber float Grout sponge Tile spacers Power drill Mixing paddle 5-gallon buckets Kneepads Safety glasses and earplugs Scoring cutter or wet saw Handsaw or jamb saw


Tile Thin-set mortar Cement backer board Cement board screws Grout Sealer

Measuring Floor

Measure your floor carefully and calculate the number of square feet needed.

For square or rectangular rooms, multiply the length of the room by the width, rounding all measurements up to the nearest foot. Divide odd shaped rooms into square or rectangular sections. Calculate the square footage for each section and add them together.

Purchasing Tile

Tile comes in a wide variety of sizes, styles, and colors. Keep these points in mind when deciding on...

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Removing Linoleum Floor to Install Hardwood Flooring

I would like to remove the linoleum floor installed in our kitchen so I can install hardwood flooring instead. Do you have any suggestions as to how I should go about removing the linoleum floor? The house was built in 1985 so there shouldn't be any danger of asbestos.

Having just removed one in my house to put down ceramic tile, I can tell you it is a bear. So, tell me, why do you need to remove it if you are putting down hardwood floor? The hardwood flooring can nail right through it. Is there a reason you want it removed? For the tile I wanted the mastic to stick to the plywood.

What I did, by the way, was just tons of grunt labor, I didn't have asbestos in mine either, but let me tell you, there was dust. So, wear a dust mask and ventilate the room real well. (a fan in an open window blowing out in the kitchen with a window cracked in an enjoining room)

I ripped it up, folding it as I went...

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Watch video of this step.

There are many types of floor tile, ranging from ceramics to clay to natural stone, and most can be successfully installed over various types of substrates, including existing tile, a mortar base, plywood subflooring or cement board.

If you lay new tile over old tile, the original tile and grout must be securely attached. Use a patching compound to fill in broken or missing tiles and any spaces in the old grout. Scuff the old tile surface with sandpaper to provide a better grip for the new adhesive or mortar. Before you begin tiling, wash the floor with a commercial detergent such as TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) to remove dirt, soap film and other contaminants that could prevent adhesion.

Tiling over a mortar (also called “mud” or thinset) base is preferred by professionals because it prepares the original floor with a solid, level base that results in an extremely durable finished floor. Working with mortar is more difficult, however,...

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