April 7, 2017

Given the popularity of home improvements shows, you may be feeling inspired to undertake a home renovation on your own. While a complete overhaul may be taking the DIY trend a bit far, tackling a more manageable project such as adding a tile accent in your bathroom or kitchen can be an excellent place to start.

If you are curious what it takes to install tile without hiring a professional, read on to learn the necessary steps.

Step 1: Organize Your Materials and Collect the Necessary Tools

To complete a tiling project on your own, you will need:

Step 2: Make Sure the Power Is Turned Off

  • Safety goggles
  • Your chosen tile (An excellent option to consider is faux brick panels. Faux brick panels make a classic, timeless statement.)
  • Tile spacers
  • Your selected grout
  • Plastic sheets
  • Gloves
  • A wet saw / tile cutter
  • Ledger board
  • Sponges
  • Cleaning solution
  • Power drill
  • Mixing paddle
  • Notch trowel
  • Several buckets
  • Joint Knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Joint compound
  • Permanent market (if desired)


Head to your circuit breaker and turn off the power supply to the area you plan to tile. Also, remove any outlet covers in the tiling area.

Step 3: Protect the Surroundings

Protect any exposed countertops with sheets of plastic. Cover outlets, countertop edges, and cabinets with painter’s tape.

Step 4: Move Any Appliances Away From the Wall

Pull any appliances in the tiling area away from the wall.

Step 5: Attach a Temporary Ledger Board

Screw a ledger board into the drywall to indicate exactly where you should quit tiling.

Step 6: Make Sure the Wall Has Been Properly Cleaned

Before beginning, use a cleaning solution mixed with water to wipe down the walls. If the wall has a glossy finish, you will need it sanded or deglossed.

Step 7: Complete Any Necessary Wall Preparations

If the surface of the wall is uneven, spread a layer of joint compound onto it, let it dry, sand it down until it is smooth, and apply a primer.

Step 8: Determine the Center of the Wall

Using a tape measure, measure the length of the wall to find the center and mark it with a pencil. This is where you will want to begin laying your tile, working your way away from the center.

Step 9: Mix Thin-set Mortar

Mix thin-set mortar by following the manufacturer’s directions. It should have a consistency that is similar to peanut butter.

Step 10: Apply the Mortar

Spread a patch of mortar on the wall and comb over it using a notch trowel.

Step 11: Start Tiling

Install the first piece of tile and gently apply pressure to it using a rubber grout float.

Step 12: If Needed, Cut the Tile

If a piece of tile needs to be cut, use a permanent marker to mark it before cutting it with a wet saw.

Step 13: Install The Rest of the Tiles

Install the remaining tiles, checking frequently to make sure they are level and making sure to leave a one-eighth of an inch gap between the bottom of the tile and the countertop.

Step 14: Wait 24 Hours

Wait 24 hours to allow the mortar to fully set.

Step 15: Mix the Grout

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix the grout (it should have a consistency similar to cake batter).

Step 16: Use a Rubber Float to Apply the Grout

Spread the grout evenly onto the tiles, ensuring that it gets into every gap. Rub it into the tile at an angle for the best results.

Step 17: Clean Up any Excess Grout

After 10 minutes, use a wet sponge to wipe away any extra grout on top of the tiles. If a haze develops, eliminate it with a layer of haze remover.

Step 18: Complete the Tiling

Apply the grout sealer after allowing it to dry for the specified amount of time and add caulk to the expansions between the tile and the countertop.


Hopefully this breakdown helps to make the job of a DIY backsplash seem more manageable. If instead it has just scared you away from ever considering it, then look into the aforementioned faux wall panel option. This option involves zero grouting, spacing, or mess. Just a few simple cuts on panels that cover more area at a time and some glue and voila! Plus, with a large variety of faux stone and faux brick panels, you’re sure to find something to your liking.

April 5, 2017

If you are planning on remodeling your bathroom, you are probably aware that you have a big task ahead of you. Even with the assistance of a professional, the majority of the planning, designing, and choices fall on you.

Read on to learn eight tips for streamlining your bathroom model, regardless of whether you choose to tackle the project yourself or hire a professional.

Step 1: Determine Your Vision

Before you do anything, think about what your ideal bathroom would be. Consider how many people will use it, how long you plan to own the home, if you want to increase the resale value, why you are remodeling it, how much storage you need, and other important details.

Step 2: Determine Your Budget

It is important to set your budget before you get carried away. A typical remodel can cost thousands of dollars. Basic remodels range from $3,000 to $12,000 whereas deluxe remodels can skyrocket to 100,000 and up. It is a good idea to include a cushion of around 10 to 20 percent to cover any unexpected costs that will inevitably arise.

Step 3: Consult a Professional

A professional designer can help you come up with concepts you may not have thought of otherwise such as incorporating a washer and dryer into your bathroom, utilizing the space more efficiently, or adding a skylight.

Unless you are completely comfortable handling the demolition, construction, and installation yourself, you may want to consider hiring a contractor. If you lack construction experience but still want to save a bit of money, handle easier tasks such as painting.

Step 4: Finalize Your Plan

Refine your plan and work on finalizing any details and addressing any concerns. Determine what kind of storage you need and where the outlets should go. If you need inspiration, look at photos to gather ideas and visual cues.

Step 5: Choose Your Materials, Finishes, and Colors

The next step is researching materials, colors, and finishes that will fit your design. When considering materials, do not forget about faux stone. Faux stone can add a stunning visual appeal to your bathroom for an affordable price.

Additionally, consider the atmosphere you would like to create. If you intend to use your bathroom for relaxing in a soaking tub, consider a warm palette that will create a rich, calming, inviting feel. If your bathroom does not have any windows, consider using bright colors or a bold pattern to bring the room to life. Also, you can make a tiny bathroom feel larger by keeping the color scheme light and bright.

Step 6: Prepare Design and Construction Documents

This stage involves reviewing the floor plan, elevations, tile layout and any other relevant designs associated with your project. This stage also involves the process of obtaining permits.

Step 7: Get Quotes From Contractors

If you are working with a designer, they will probably have recommendations for skilled contractors. It is important to obtain several bids to help you determine which contractor to hire. However, do not automatically rule out the highest bid. As with many things in life, sometimes you get what you pay for. Although a particular contractor may charge a higher cost, you may end up saving money in the end if they work efficiently and avoid mistakes.

Step 8: Plan for Installation and Prep for Demo

As you already know, bathroom remodels involve a significant amount of time, research, labor, and effort. Depending on the scale of your project, the entire process can last anywhere from a month to over a half a year or more.

Ideally, you should have the details completely planned out and materials chosen and ordered prior to the beginning of construction. The last roadblock you need is getting partially through the process only to find out you cannot continue until your special-order marble arrives from Italy.