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So, Where to Buy Tile?

Tile can be expensive, and finding tile that you like can be hard. There are lots of retail options for buying tile but there are also lots of pros and cons to consider like selection vs markup, easy returns vs online availability, etc. It’s a good idea to know where residential reno tile comes from even if you’re working with a pro designer. Knowledge is power after all, and some tile buying intel can be a powerful cost savings tool. So this post has some tips! Continue reading So, Where to Buy Tile?

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Let’s Talk about GROUT!

Here’s some info about different types of grout and the pros/cons of each. This post doesn’t have detailed instructions for installing grout yourself, but does have lots of details about what kind of grout to use if you are wanting to do a DIY project. It also has all the info you’ll need to have a clear and informed discussion with an installation pro about what’s the best specific grout to use for YOUR particular tile reno project! Continue reading Let’s Talk about GROUT!

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To Niche or Not To Niche?

Trick question since the answer is always YES, definitely put some nice niche goodness in your new custom shower or tub surround! Including well designed in-wall niche storage in your custom tile project can be stylish in addition to practical. Niches are like super fantastic closets for your shower. They can also substitute for ledges or benches as a convenient footrest for leg shaving, etc. This post has lots of design ideas for adding value to your custom tile shower or tub surround install. Continue reading To Niche or Not To Niche?

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Shower “Pan” Sloping

Here’s a detailed description for how to properly install a traditional PVC vinyl or fiberglass “pan” to waterproof the base of a custom tile shower install. It is possible to DIY a shower pan for yourself, but most property owners hire this out. Either way, it’s a real good idea to know how to do this critical step correctly to ensure that your project is done right regardless of who does the actual hands-on work. I frequently get sad calls from folks with leaky showers needing very expensive fixes. This post describes how to make a properly sloped and waterproofed shower base. Continue reading Shower “Pan” Sloping

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Tile Shower Waterproofing Basics

There are several different ways to properly waterproof a custom tile shower. Unfortunately there are very many more ways to screw up shower waterproofing. Sometimes, an improperly waterproofed shower will start obviously leaking right away. Most of the time, unfortunately, it takes several years for moisture from a leaky shower to start causing visible symptoms like swelling baseboards or moldy wall cavities. This post describes how to ensure that YOUR custom tile shower waterproofing is done correctly. Continue reading Tile Shower Waterproofing Basics

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Shower Floor Resloping

This post describes how to remove and reinstall shower floor tile to correct an improper slope. To drain effectively, shower floor tile needs to be sloped at least 1/8-in per linear foot of run from the walls to the drain. Sometimes installers screw this up. But if there is a properly installed waterproofing liner below the surface floor tile and concrete drypack layer, it can be possible to fix a bad slope without ripping apart the whole shower. Read on to see how! Continue reading Shower Floor Resloping

A very BRIGHT Bath Do-over

This project was for clients who wanted to get rid of a terribly designed (and not well installed) shower and tub combo. It’s unfortunate when a previous renovator vomits dark travertine limestone all over every surface in sight for no good reason at all. This house is a 1930s two-story saltbox bungalow in Austin’s historic Hyde Park neighborhood. Sometime in the 1990s, a previous owner … Continue reading A very BRIGHT Bath Do-over

Outdoor Patio Tile Install

This post gives a detailed description for how to install patio tile for a crack-free lifetime guarantee. If you want to cover an outdoor concrete patio slab with ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone tile, then you need to consider how daily and seasonal heating and cooling can cause the tile and concrete below to expand and contract at different rates. This combined with freezing and thawing moisture often results in an eventual cracked tile mess. Here is a step by step guide for making a perfectly tiled outdoor space. Continue reading Outdoor Patio Tile Install

Shower and Garden Tub Re-do

This project was for clients who wanted to turn a very blah builder-grade 1990s -era master bath into a stylish contemporary space while still keeping to a pretty tight budget. As realtors, they understood that bathroom remodels do add to a home’s value and definitely reduce time on market when selling. For example, which of these two bathroom showers would YOU rather buy? And as … Continue reading Shower and Garden Tub Re-do