CARRARA MARBLE TILE
Carrara marble is timeless and elegant. When I was making selections for our bathroom renovation, I knew I wanted to incorporate marble into the space. I’ve used it on my fireplace and I have plans to use it in our kitchen renovation too. It is one of the ways I am unifying the rooms in our home. Marble is beautiful, but it also requires maintenance and a little expertise on how to install it properly. Today, we are going to share some tips we’ve learned from our friends at The Tile Shop.
We are collaborating with The Tile Shop on several projects for our home remodel. We’ve visited their showroom here, have taken their tiling classes here, and you can see our first project, our marble fireplace makeover here.
Today is all about the new marble floors in our bathroom remodel.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN | CHECK YOUR SUBFLOOR
Once we ripped out the old tile in our bathroom, we noticed a few things going on with the subfloor. A great takeaway from the tiling class was that prep is key to ensure a proper installation.
Our subfloor in this room is poured concrete, but there was an area that used to be a closet that was just thin plywood. It wasn’t thick enough to handle marble tile and wasn’t level with the rest of the floor. It is so important to have a level surface and thick enough subfloor when installing marble. If you don’t, you will have uneven tile and it will crack. After talking with the experts on the best way to handle this issue, we used a self leveler to thicken the closet area and level the subfloor.
The self leveler does just as its namesake states. We mixed it in a bucket using a mixer drill attachment. It is pretty easy to apply. You just pour the self leveler over the surface. It spreads on its own. We did help it into the corners on our first pour, but it really does most of the work. It levels out as it sets.
It was also recommended that we install concrete board after the self leveler. This ensured proper thickness of our subfloor. Concrete board is mold resistant and perfect for high moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Using a hammer drill and concrete board screws we installed our cut boards.
Subfloor issues solved! Now we can tile…
TIME TO TILE
For our floors, I selected the Hampton Carrara Polished 8 x 19.5 inch tiles. These tiles have gorgeous veining and variations. My tip is to lay out the tiles before installation. This way you can create the exact look you want. I have “feature tiles”. Those are the ones I knew I wanted be seen the most, so I made sure they had top placement.
*all products from The Tile Shop
2 large pails
3/16 PRO series v-notch trowel
Economy ultra light float
Pro Bond thinset
Pro Grout Sanded
Pro Caulk and caulk gun
Marble Sealer Kit
Spacers are recommended
*products available online at The Tile Shop
ONE | Cut & Tile
wet saw, tile, spacers, thinset, trowel, float, sponge
Using your wet saw, cut the first 2-3 rows of you tile.Mix just what you need for the thinset. It should be the consistency of peanut butter. Getting the first rows level and straight are so important and this step will take longer than laying the rest of the tile. Using your trowel, apply thinset to floor. Place tile and use spacers to keep it even. Press down to level with the float. Keep a wet sponge handy incase you get thinset on the tile or the surrounding area. Wait 24 hours before grouting.
TWO | Grout
Grout, float, sponges, buckets,caulk
Remove your spacers. Mix your grout and apply grout with the float. Make sure to get all the spaces evenly. Go over grout lines with a wet sponge. Keep a bucket of water handy and change it out as needed. We changed ours quite often. Let grout set for 24-48 hours before sealing. Note that you also want to caulk around things like your tub and toilet. Do not grout around these.
THREE | Seal
Marble sealer kit
Sealing your marble is so important. Sealing it prevents discoloration and scratching. It makes for easy clean-up. Since marble is porous this is a must do. The marble sealer kit from The Tile Shop comes with everything you need. We just followed the instructions that came with our kit. You will want to seal your marble once a year to ensure its beauty.
The Carrara marble tile has added so much richness and beauty to our bathroom. We are, as I type this, working on Phase Two of our Bathroom Makeover in which we have gutted and are getting ready to tile our shower and tub. I have selected a gorgeous Carrara hexagon tile that is going to mix beautifully with the rest of the room. You can see our Phase Two Shower Makeover plans here.
If you have The Tile Shop in your area or close by, it is a fabulous place to visit if you are sourcing tile or thinking about taking on a tiling project of your own. Their selection blew me away! It is seriously tile heaven. We had so much fun browsing their showroom. They have so many rooms to get ideas from and can answer any questions you have.
I’d also recommend taking the tiling class. The class is free and hands on. You do every step in the tiling process and the tile expert can answer specifics for your particular project. Such a wealth of knowledge! We learned so much in that class.
What we have learned with each tile project we have tackled, is that each one is different. Each tile project comes with its own set of obstacles. Especially with a remodel, you run into unexpected’s and things you feel not quite sure how to handle. That is where The Tile Shop has been such an asset to us. During the prep and tiling process, if we had a question, The Tile Shop experts were just a phone call away and always made time to answer and help with our projects. I can’t sing their praises enough!
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with The Tile Shop. The Tile Shop supplied the tile, products, and tools featured in this project. I only share brands and products I love. All opinions and photography is 100% mine.
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