One Room Challenge Week 2 + 3 – installing tile in our Crane Bathroom

One Room Challenge

April 19, 2022


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In week 1, you saw that we are working on our basement bathroom. We’ve called it the crane bathroom because of the wallpaper that we are using.

This week we are going to show you which flooring we installed, where we got it, and if we would install hexagon tile again.

Remember, we are first timers when we come to tiling. Romie’s dad loaned us his tile saw, so besides that we had to buy all of the materials.

Step 1 – find tile.

We went to Floor and Decor in Leesburg, Virginia. I’ve found that this is probably the cheapest place to get tile if you are remodeling your home. I compared prices to Home Depot, Lowes, Wayfair, Overstock and it was very reasonable at Floor and Decor.

We went with a hexagon tile – and I didn’t think it was going to be that difficult. My dad actually told me NOT to choose hexagon, but we went against his advice. Probably not a good idea. LOL

We went with the Adessi CANDLER GRAY MATTE PORCELAIN TILE (9×11) from Floor and Decor. It was $1.23 per tile and we bought 7 boxes (84 tiles).

Now we also bought the following:

  • Mapei 77 FROST FLEXCOLOR CQ GROUT – $51.94
  • Mapei Thinset Keraflex in gray – $21.94
  • Tile installation tool kit $13.29
  • Knee pads – $5.59
  • Small spiral mixer attachment – $8.39
  • Nap roller cover – $2.79
  • Grout haze remover (we didn’t end up using) – $11.59
  • Pry bar for removing baseboards – $10.49
  • Grout caulk Mapei Frost – $6.94

I started by taking off the baseboard and quarter round around the room and at the base of the already installed cabinet.

Then I started peeling up the vinyl floor that was already on the floor. This proved to be difficult so I went to youtube for guidance. I saw that people put wet towels on the ground to loosen up the stickiness, so I tried this and it worked. We left them on over night.

Once the vinyl was up, I wanted to make sure the floor was level. Since this is a basement, we had a concrete subfloor. I had asked multiple contractors if I could lay my tile right on top and they said yes, but it was still recommended to put something underneath. They said, concrete will become cracked one day.

So I decided that I wanted to lay the tile directly on top of the subfloor. So I wanted to prep the floor. I scrubbed and cleaned it and then vacuumed all of the dust off of the floor. Then I rolled on multiple layers of the Mapei crack isolation. It goes on purple and then dries a horrible brown color. Then I dusted again and dry fit all of our tiles. This took about a day in itself to make sure the pattern was symmetrical and perfectly straight.

Now cutting hexagon tiles was fine for the straight lines, but where it proved difficult was corners because you have 6 sides rather than the typically 4 sides. It was also difficult because of the spacers we were using. You have to make sure that all six tiles are perfectly fit.

Let’s just say this was a huge learning curve for us because we are new at tile.

This was the dry fit

It was also funny because Romie has not really done a lot of DIY projects, and he isn’t really proactive about learning anything on youtube. He wants me to learn and then teach him. Well I’m more of the ‘let’s just go ahead and try stuff out’ type of person. So I did all of the cuts, and he placed them all and did all of the mortar. It took us about 3 weekends to do this, as I’m in real estate and he works full time in scientific sales consulting.

  1. Take out toilet.
  2. Peel off vinyl floor
  3. Clean up dust and sticky paste from vinyl with shop vac
  4. Paint on crack isolation membrane
  5. Make sure floor is level
  6. Install self level substrate or membrane depending on subfloor type
  7. Dry fit tile and make cuts
  8. Mortar the floor in tiny sections
  9. Wait for mortar to dry
  10. Grout
  11. Wait for grout to dry
  12. Seal the grout
  13. Install toilet

Stay tuned for next week when we install our board and batten and wallpaper!

@oneroomchallenge | @apartmenttherapy #oneroomchallenge #ORCAT

Follow me at @rococo_realestate_design on instagram to follow along on our progress!

Check out the for all of the participants in this spring’s challenge

  1. Kylie says:

    I love the tile you chose! So pretty!

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