Shower Floor

On the last day of Bill’s visit the tile saw pump connection broke. It could have frozen as the temperature dropped from the 60’s to below freezing overnight. We couldn’t keep the water line connected so we stopped cutting tiles for the master bath shower and Bill started the layout for the family room bathroom shower.

I worked on the shower floor after the part for the saw arrived. I had to order a 1/2″ MPT to 1/4″ barb fitting online as I could not find one at the box store or at the hardware stores. I visited several! In fact I could hardly believe that I couldn’t find the fitting or even a combination of fittings that would work.

Once I was able to cut tile with the saw again we were blessed with several warm days. I was able to lay out the cuts around the drain and then finish the edges. We started with a square line drawn to the front of the shower. Since the shower was uneven front to back Bill brought the tile line a bit outside the shower entry to trick the eye. The original squared line would have left the side of the drain with a gap because of the wavy tile, so I moved the line over just half an inch to get easier cuts surrounding the drain.

Lined up and cuts

Lined up square to front and drain cuts

Bill advised me to do the floor in two days, first the alignment with the squared line and the drain, and then the perimeter, letting the first tiles dry and be set before installing the rest of them.

Partial installation

Partial installation

I’m using the levels as straight edges to push the tiles into square. Some of the tiles were a bit larger or smaller than ideal so pushing them into place could expand or contract the grout joint. That required a series of adjustments to get the grout joints as level and aligned as possible.
The next day the outlying tiles had to be cut to fit. I cut them all before I started laying them but a few still had to be trimmed. I back buttered all the tiles as I laid them on the 3/8″ notch troweled unmodified mortar. It seemed to be the easiest to then pull them up as Bill had taught me so the top edges aligned. If the mortar was too thick and squished up between the tiles, I cleaned the grout line out with an extra spacer. I didn’t get them all completely aligned but I’m not an expert and I hope the grout makes up for mismatched edges.

Tile laid

Tile laid

The next step is sealing the rough faced tile so that the grout is easier to spread between the tiles and doesn’t stick to them.

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