Monthly Archives: March 2013

Unlike porcelain or ceramic tiles, installing marble mosaic tile in a shower gives a feeling of richness and depth. A natural material, each marble mosaic tile will appear to be different in terms of patterns and color tones which make the shower unique. Follow the step-by-step guide below to install these tiles in your shower.

What you’ll need

  • Utility Knife or Backerboard Knife
  • 1/2 -inch Cement Backerboard
  • Backerboard Screws
  • Drill
  • Thinset Trowel
  • 15 lbs Roofing Felt
  • Marble and Granite Thinset or FlexBond
  • 2-inch Fiberglass Tape
  • Staple Gun or Hammer Tacker
  • Grout Float
  • Grout
  • Marble Mosaic Tile
  • Grout Sponge
  • Penetrating Grout and Tile Sealer
  • Margin Trowel
  • Tile Spacers
  • Joint Knife

Step 1 – Apply Penetrating Tile and Grout Sealer

Apply a layer of penetrating tile and grout sealer over every marble mosaic tile. This prevents the dye of the grout seeping into the marble tiles.

Step 2 – Check for Mold

Remove the existing drywall and shower items. Check the studs for mold. If mold is found, apply bleach on the affected areas. Air-dry it completely before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3 – Install Roofing Felt

Cut the roofing felt (15 lbs) into pieces and fit them over the studs. Use a staple gun or hammer tacker to attach the roofing felt onto the studs.

Step 4 – Install Cement Backerboard

Cut the cement backerboards and screw it onto the studs with backerboard screws. After doing so for all the backerboard, apply the thinset over the joints with the joint knife one by one. Next, cut the 2-inch fiberglass tape and place it over the applied thinset. Excess thinset is to be scraped away using the joint knife. Repeat the thinset process for all the joints.

Step 5 – Moist the Backerboard

Remove any debris and dust from the backerboard’s surface. Using a slightly damp sponge or spray bottle, moisten its surface.

Step 6 – Apply Thinset onto Shower Walls

Mix the thinset consistently in a bucket and make sure that you have enough thinset to finish the whole project. After mixing the thinset, let it rest for 15 mins. Then, use a joint knife or margin trowel to remove the thinset to load on the thinset trowel. Apply the thinset with upstrokes onto shower walls.

Step 7 – Install Marble Mosaic Tiles

Spread the thinset onto the marble mosaic tiles and install onto the shower walls. Use tile spacers to create straight and consistent grout lines.

Step 8 – Apply Grout

Let the marble mosaic tiles dry for 1 day. Then remove tile spacers from the marble tiles. They can be kept for future tile projects. Mix the grout in a bucket to consistency and let it rest for 15 mins. Then, use a joint knife or margin trowel to remove grout from bucket and load it on the grout float. Apply the grout onto the tiles and grout joints with upstrokes. Apply the grout with force into grout lines so that there are no gaps or spaces. Let it dry for 20 to 25 minutes. Excess grout is to be wiped off from the tiles with a damp sponge.

Step 9 – Apply Penetrating Tile and Grout Sealer

Let the grout stand for 3 days. Then, apply 2 layers of penetrating tile and grout sealer onto the entire surface of grout lines and tiles.


Often times, if the damage is not too extensive, it may be beneficial to simply seal a cracked shower tile rather than replacing it.

What you’ll need

  • Utility knife
  • Silicone or water based tile and grout sealer
  • Tile grout

Step 1 – Remove Old Tile Grout

Using a utility knife you can very carefully scrape out the old tile grout from around the cracked tile. The reason for doing this is that the grout may have been cracked as well due to the shifting of the cracked shower tile and this will allow water into your underlying wall. You want to avoid this happening as much as possible as it will allow mold to grow.

Step 2 – Seal the Cracked Shower Tile

To seal the crack in the time you will want to use either a water based or silicone tile and grout sealer. You can push the sealer into the crack with your fingers to totally fill the cracked area. Make sure to wipe the rest of the tile clean and remove all of the excess sealer before it dries on the tile.

Step 3 – Reapply Grout and Grout Sealer

At this time you can apply grout around the repaired tile and once it is dry you can apply grout sealer. Make sure to wipe off any access grout or grout sealer from the shower time before it dries.


Installing ceramic tiles can provide you with a beautiful and durable floor for any room in your house. However, these tiles have been known to crack in many situations. Here are a few potential reasons that your ceramic tiles might be cracking.

Construction Problems

One of the most common reasons that tiles crack is because they are not constructed properly. When ceramic tile is made, it is constructed of a clay base and then a protective finish is baked onto it. In this process, mistakes can be made. The clay might not be completely uniform. It could potentially get an air pocket somewhere in the clay or between the clay and the glaze. When this happens, there can be weak spots in the tile. After a certain amount of time, these spots tend to manifest themselves in the form of cracks in the tile.

Adhesive Gaps

Another reason that tiles can crack is because the installer did not make sure that there were no gaps in the adhesive under the tile. Tile adhesive is a lot like concrete when it hardens. It is going to provide a lot of support for the tile once it hardens. If the adhesive is not uniformly distributed under the tile, you can run into serious problems. If there is a gap under the tile, the tile could start to break when someone walks on it. The only way to know if this is a problem is to take up the tile and see if the adhesive is uniformly distributed underneath it.

No Concrete Board

If you are installing tile on a wood subfloor, you have to first install concrete board. Concrete board is necessary to give the tile the support that it needs on top of a wood subfloor. Sometimes, installers will take a shortcut and put the tile directly on top of the wood subfloor. After a very short amount of time, the tile will start to crack. When you walk on the tile, the wood subfloor is going to flex a bit. This movement causes the tile to crack and break. The only way to fix this problem is to take up the entire floor and reinstall it the proper way with concrete board.

Concrete Slab Issues

Another reason that ceramic tile can crack is is of the concrete slab below it. It is acceptable to install tile directly on top of a concrete subfloor. However, in certain cases, the concrete can cause the tile to break. Concrete likes to break apart over time. It can experience hairline cracks and when tile is installed on top of it, it will usually crack the tile as well. This is very common when you are working with a new slab that was not given enough time to cure before installing the tile. If you are installing tile on top of a concrete subfloor with cracks in it, you should use a crack isolation membrane that is designed to protect from further damage.

This Porcelain tiled floor with a faux stone pattern had previously been sealed with a type of Varnish to give them a shiny appearance however the coating hadn’t taken and had come away allowing dirt to get trapped onto surface giving a dirty appearance. It’s a fact that almost all Ceramic and most Porcelain tiles won’t accept a sealer and if they do it has to be one that works with Micro-Porous tiles.

Porcelain Stone effect Tiles Before

Cleaning Porcelain Floor Tile and Grout

A strong coating remove product was required to shift the remaining varnish from the tiles so we applied a solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with Nano-Tech Ultra Clean which contains tiny abrasive particles. This solution was left to dwell on the tile for some time before working it into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. We took the opportunity to scrub the grout at this point as well using a stiff hand brush before removing the cleaning solution using a wet vacuum which I highly recommend for removing liquids from floors. The floor was rinsed with clean water and checked for any further issues; unfortunately the Grout did not respond as well as we had hoped from the cleaning and still had evidence of staining so after checking with the owner we proceeded to apply a grout colourant.

The stripping of the Varnish, cleaning and Grout colouring made a big difference on the floor appearance and now looks revitalised after we had finished and the customer was happy not seal them again.

Porcelain Stone effect Tiles After
Source Porcelain Tile Cleaning in Dorset

Installing ceramic tiles over chipboard can provide you with a durable and beautiful flooring surface to work with. This job is not complicated, but it will take some hard work on your part as well as some knowledge of the process. Here are the basics of how to install ceramic tiles over chipboard.

What you’ll need

  • Ceramic tile
  • Concrete board
  • Nails or screws
  • Hammer or drill
  • Thinset
  • Trowel
  • Tile spacers
  • Grout
  • Grout float
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Water
  • Wet saw
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk line

Step 1: Measuring the Room

Start out by measuring the room. You need to get the length and the width of the room and then multiply the two dimensions together. This will give you the exact square footage of the room. Then add 10 percent to that number so that you can have enough for waste.

Step 2: Install the Concrete Board

When you are installing ceramic tile over chipboard, you need to first install concrete board. Chipboard is not dimensionally strong enough to support tile. If you install the tile directly over the chipboard it will crack and break. To install the concrete board, you will need to first put a layer of thinset on the bottom side. Then press the board down onto the chipboard. You will then need to fill each hole in the concrete board with either a screw or nail. This will properly adhere it to the floor.

Step 3: Find the Center

The next thing that you need to do is determine the exact center of the room. Take your tape measure and get the center point of each wall. Then snap a chalk line in both directions so that you can see the center. You will need to start laying the tile in the corner of the intersection.

Step 4: Lay the Tile

You are now ready to start laying the ceramic tile. Use your trowel to apply some of the thinset to the floor. Spread it out evenly over the area. Then press one of the tiles down into the thinset. Place tile spacers on all of the corners of the tile. Take another tile and place it directly against the spacers of the first tile. Continue laying tiles in this manner.

Step 5: Cutting the Tile

Once you are to the edge of the room, you will need to make a cut. You can use your tape measure to get the exact size that you need. Then place the tile on the wet saw to make an exact cut. Then place the cut piece into the gap.

Step 6: Grouting

After you are done laying all of the tile, you need to let it sit overnight. Then you should be ready to start grouting. Take your grout float and use it to apply the grout to the joints. Make sure that all of the joints are filled with grout.

Step 7: Cleaning Up

When you are done grouting, you need to use a bucket of water and a sponge to clean the tile. This will remove all of the extra grout and it will also smooth out the grout joints.