First, a picture or sketch of the spatial layout with length & width measurements is required to build an accurate design and generate an estimate. Please note:
- desired height of the tub or shower surround
- placement of accent areas or different tile types within layout
- how you wish to handle details like shower curbs, soap holders/niche, and window sills
- desired edge finish for exposed edges, i.e. pencil liners, bull-nosed edged tiles, etc.
- horizontal or diagonal tile layout
- edge trim, i.e. pencil liners, bull-nose, etc.
- transition between splash and windows (stone? edged tile? granite is easier and looks great)
- any electrical outlets or other wall fixtures, and how they may affect accent pieces
The color of the tile grout is typically decided by the installer. If the customer wants a specific color, please discuss with your Artistic Stone consultant well in advance of the day of installation. The installer typically also decides spacing between tiles when he or she examines the prepared site and the tile material. Very small gaps (1/8 in.) are harder to perfect for certain jobs; ¼ inch is more common (the minimum spacing is 1/16 in).
The customer then chooses the desired material, taking color, pattern, accents and orientation of the tile into account.
For the initial estimate, we ask that the customer provide measurements of the layout. To finalize the pricing and material amounts, an Artistic Stone representative will come to your home or office space and take final measurements. We’ll also count how many of your chosen accents are required to fit the space.
Choose your Material
Natural stone tile is suitable and functions great for all tile jobs. Stone can be polished on its exposed edges, has a natural, organic feel, and each piece is unique. Natural stone does require periodic sealing.
Porcelain tile is another great choice for all tile showers. Bathroom and shower floors require a certain graded material. Porcelain cannot be polished, so some trim or bull-nose pieces are needed for the exposed edges. With porcelain tiles, maintenance is easy; there’s no sealing required. Porcelain tiles are also strong.
Ceramic tile is a great choice for walls. It is not suitable for flooring or outside applications. Ceramic tiles require no sealing, but they do need trim or bull-nose pieces for the exposed edges.
Glass tile is beautiful for accent, splash and bathroom applications. There is no sealing required for waterproof glass tiles, but due to the difficulty in cutting glass into tiles, the labor cost for glass tiles is higher than other materials.
When ordering tiles for showers, remember to account for any trim, accent or bull-nosed edge pieces. For horizontal lays, add 10% overage for any cutting and breakage. For diagonal lays, add 15%. Allow 4-10 days for tile orders to arrive.
To ensure a smooth installation, note that the area must be completely cleared before it is prepared. Any damaged drywall and/or studs should be removed. If Artistic Stone is hired for this step, our team typically completes demolition within ½ day, possibly 1 full day for larger jobs.
There are a few steps to preparing the walls and tub or shower area for a slab install. Some of this information may or may not be relevant to you, but we thought we’d include it for you or your contractor’s information.
A waterproof backer board (Hardi-Backer) may be used on jobs where little or no leveling is required. Hardi-Backer is typically ¼ – ¾ inch thick. ‘Floating’ concrete will be used on jobs where walls are not leveled adequately. A wire mesh like chicken wire is used as reinforcement for ‘floated’ walls. For leveling by ‘floating’, our team uses thin-set mortar up to max of ¼ inch and concrete for anything greater than ¼ inch.
If a shower pan is required, the installer will need to build a frame, install the plastic water membrane per city requirements, run a 24-hour water test, and float the concrete sub-base including slope per city requirements.
Where only wall prep is needed, our installer requires about ½ day or more depending on the existing wall condition. If Artistic Stone is fabricating a shower tub, add 1-2 days for fabrication of the tub, and 24 hours for the water test.
Tile setting requires 5-8 days for most jobs (add an extra day for large jobs or for elaborate accents or lay designs). The installer needs 2-3 hours for grouting, which is usually done 2-3 days after tile setting is complete, and one hour for sealing 1-2 days after grouting is finished.
The final balance is collected after the job is finished.