Welcome to week three of the Jeffrey Court Renovation Challenge! This is the week when all of the fun begins! Now that the mudroom actually looks like a room with walls and shiplap it’s ready for some tile. I always love tiling…it really transforms a space and makes the room feel complete.
My tile of choice for the mudroom floor was Jeffrey Court’s Basalt Grey Herringbone mosaic tile. I love that the herringbone pattern adds dimension while keeping a clean look. I recently installed large tiles in herringbone on our porch, so I wanted to stick with this pattern. I think the contrast between the white shiplap and dark tile will look amazing!
Cement Board Installation
Tile underlayment separates the tile from the subfloor. It is used to protect the tile from moisture and prevent the cracking of the tile installation during temperature changes. There are many different types of underlayment, but for this project, I chose to use cement board. I have used cement board for all of my previous tile projects and decided to stick with what I know.
Cement board isn’t difficult to cut, but it is a pain, so I installed as many full pieces of cement board as possible before I began cutting the smaller pieces. I secured the cement board to the subfloor using construction screws.
In order to cut the cement board, you simply have to score the surface and bend it to separate the two pieces. I scored the cement board using my oscillating tool. I know that it will wear down my blades, but I have been scarred for life when it comes to cutting cement board. Last time my husband scored cement board using a box cutter, he ended up with stitches. Needless to say, he is banned from helping with cement board installations!
There were a few very small gaps between some of the pieces of cement board. The mortar will fill in any of these gaps during the tile installation. Once the cement board was installed, it was time to bring out the tile!
Before I began the tile installation, I laid out several pieces to get an idea of how many pieces I would need and where I would need to make cuts. Tile boxes may have different shades or patterns of tile, so it is important to mix up the tile from different boxes.
Once I had an idea of how many tiles I would need, I marked the center of the room using a rope. I started at the garage door and worked my way towards the house, installing the center line of tile first.
When most of the full tiles were installed, it was time to fire up the wet saw and start working around the perimeter of the room. I left just enough room to be able to walk around and install the final tiles.
In an attempt to be exact with my measurements, I measured, cut and installed each piece one at a time. I found that it was easiest to measure the tile cuts from the points of the tile.
I have only used a tile cutter and snippers for my past tile projects. The tile cutter works great, but doesn’t make the cleanest cuts. I thought it would be difficult to use the tile cutter on the stone mosaic tile and wasn’t sure if it would make perfect cuts. Instead of taking a chance with the tile cutter, I bit the bullet and purchased a wet saw for this project!
I’m so glad I decided to use a wet saw! It was super easy to use and the cuts were perfect! I will definitely be using my wet saw for all future tile projects.
I quickly worked my way around the perimeter of the room and had some decisions to make when I got the doorway. Luckily, this is the only doorway where I would need to transition to other flooring. I considered taking the herringbone tile all the way to the flooring in the adjacent room, but ultimately decided that it would not make for a clean transition. Instead, I installed the field tile that I would be using for the baseboard as a transition between the two flooring types.
There was a slight difference between the dimension to the field tile and the shiplap wall. In order to deal with the different dimensions, I cut the sheet of mosaic tile. I was then able to cut the sections of tile to the two different dimensions. Once installed, there is no way to tell that I installed the sheet of tile in two pieces.
Once I made it around the doorway, it was smooth sailing from here on out!
Now that the floor tile was installed, I felt like I could breathe a little easier. Installing tile is easy, but exhausting. It certainly would have been easier to have a second set of hands helping with the installation, but I appreciate it just a little more know that I did it all by myself!
I wanted to make the mudroom feel more substantial, so I chose to finish the tile off with a nice tile baseboard. Luckily, Jeffrey Court has a 4×12 Basalt field tile that matches the herringbone tile that I selected.
For the tile installation, I used an adhesive mat as opposed to the mortar that I used for herringbone mosaic tile. The adhesive mat is clean, quick and easy to use. I started the installation by using my miter saw to cut the roll of adhesive mat to the same width of the tile. Once it was cut, I quickly applied it to the base of the wall.
There are a few great things about using this adhesive mat. First of all, if you only remove the paper from the portion where you will be installing the tile, you can finish installing the rest of the tile whenever. You don’t have to rush to finish the install with the fear of mortar drying. Secondly, you don’t have to wait to apply grout…there is no dry time!
With only a few cuts required for the baseboard, it was a super quick install! I really feel like the baseboard complimented the herringbone mosaic tile perfectly!
Check back next week for detail on the grout installation, sealing, and the final tile reveal! But for now…please go vote! As part of the Jeffrey Court Renovation Challenge, I am competing for a dream vacation, and after this tile install…I could totally use a vacation!!