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Deconstruction and Reconstruction of a Bathtub Faucet

vegas 1Have you ever gotten into a project at home, then get pulled away from it for one reason or another, and when you finally make it back, you’re not sure where you left off, what goes where, or how in the world you’re going to put back together what you took apart in the first place.  Believe me when I tell you, if you’ve been there, it’s a bad feeling. But, you’re not alone. We’ve done it and had to call in our friends from Las Vegas Appliance Masters to help us get our kitchen working again when we decided to ‘improve’ some of our old appliances.  More recently, we took apart the leaky bathtub faucet.  This was the help we got to bet it back to working order…

What we need to do is apply the Teflon tape to the threads, and also some joint compound to make sure it doesn’t leak right here at this particular point so again, what you’re going to need on this is joint compound, a school of….some Teflon tape and of course some toilet paper, some kind of paper to wash your fingers clean, now what we’re going to do here is to go ahead and take a little bit of this, it’s going to be kind of messy so we’re going to take a little bit of this compound and apply it right here to the threads and you’re just going to wipe it all the way around, make sure it gets inside the thread here like so, do this all the way around, get the compound all the way in there, good, once that is done, then what we’re going to do, I’m going to wipe my finger, get that cleaned off a little bit, don’t let this too nasty.

Then what we have is a Teflon tape, now the secret to Teflon tape is this, you’ve got to put it on in the same direction that you’re going to putting on, so what we’re going to do is put the Teflon on and the Teflon tape about it, you’ve got to go in the direction that you’re going to turn, so I’m going to go clockwise with this because this is the direction I’m going to turn and insert, so okay, now we’ve got that already and we’re ready to insert, so we’re ready to go the next step, now what we’re going to do is just simply get this started back on and you’ve got to make sure it’s kind of square going in, if you put it in the angle or whatever, you have a strong tendency and a likelihood that you’re going to do some cross threading and you don’t want to do any cross threading, so we’re going to take it just like so and tighten this up as we go.

Bear down on this if you have to, just want to make sure that you’re completely on and in, now what we’re going to is just put on the sleeve, the sleeve back on and this actually fits around that whole fitting so this’ll just tighten up, this contraption that you just slip inside like this and what that does is it keeps it snug and go ahead and put this end over the sleeve, like so, and now we’re ready to put the handle back on, now just going to show you something interesting here, the inside of this handle is going to love a soap kick up, like I said this is a very old tub and floss it, so I’m going to just take something like something straight and hard here and just take it and clean this up all the way around, if I have to take like sand, paper, that’s what I’m going to do right here.

Make sure that is safe and clean and completely scraped up, the next step we’re going to do is to place the handle back on their correctly, all the way in and then take the screw, put it back in and you want to tighten this up, okay that’s good and tight, then you take the cap and it’s kind of cool, to go ahead in such an open position, put that in like that, straight up, now the last thing you’re going to is one test is that you’re turn, good and it’s in the off position, then you want to go to your cut off valve that you turned the water off on and turn it back on, come here test it, make sure it doesn’t leak, there are no leaks around here and then let the water turn on and off as it should.

Shower Tiles – part 2

We’re just continuing on from the first part of this article where we started installing tile into our bathroom shower. If you missed it, go here for part 1.

tilingSo again, I’m just lining up with my line here and my tile that I’ve already put on, pressing it on and not worrying too much of the space back here, that is going to, in this case, it’s going to get silicone, grout then silicone, so we need a little bit of leeway, I’ve got a bit of a bulge, so it’s a wider gap over here. Another thing, check your tiles that are around the one you’re putting on, make sure it feels pretty good, you don’t have any huge differences in thickness away from the wall. We’ve got that on, I’m going to put a couple more on this way down, then I am going to switch it up and go across this way so we can get into some cuts. I’ll stick this on.

This type of Master that I’m using is a warm water and soup clean-up but try not to get too much on the surface, or on your hands, or on the wall. It will clean up relatively easy though. So again, I’m lining up with my line, you could see some adhesive squirted out there, we’ll clean that up little bit later and in this case, these tiles do have a small nub that creates a space, I wanted a little bit more of a grout line there. If you can buy plastic spacer, use match sticks or whatever you want. I’m shooting about 8 inches grout liner. We’ll stick this one on, then we’re going to go up and do some more 6×6, I think you’ve got the idea of how this works. Just pushing it on there.

If you can, when you’re doing a wall tile, try to put your tiles on and in this case, I’m working down, so I want to put it tight and slide it down to get my space, as opposed to sticking it on the wall and sliding it up, you have more opportunity for the tile to want to sag or slide back down the wall, if you slide it up like that. Okay. So we’ve got three on there, we’ve got our one 6×6, I’m going to continue across here, it’s going to take me another two or three 6x6s and then I’ll be into a cut, I can show you . Now we’ve got a spot up here, where we got to make a cut on this extra couple of tiles, so I got these tiles in place now, I’m going to measure off of this tile to get my distance and then transfer that measurement to the new tile. I’ve got 4 1/8th there, 5 and 3/8th this way.

white shower tilesNow I’m transferring those measurements to the tile, a mark to cut from; I want to be 5 and 3/8th and 4 and 1/8th. I’m just using a pencil, for the most part generally you can at least get a little bit of a scratch on there with the pencil to give you a guideline. Now I’m going to move over to the score and snapping saw and make this cut. This tile cutter is really designed for straight cut where you put your tile against the small fence over here, but as long as it is a straight line, you can just make any cut you want. In this case, we’re cutting off the corner of the tile, so I am [inaudible] where I know the cutting heel is going to be, I line it up with the little heel, make minor adjustments and now I just want a little bit of pressure on there, you can hear the heel making that screeching sound, now I just set the heel back on the tile and it breaks that corner off. Sometimes it;s a little jagged, that’s where this stone file comes in, clean it up and it’s good to go.

We’ve got the tile cut, I got the adhesive on the back, get it into place here, press it on the wall, check for flatness, I’ve got the next tile already pre-cut, pre-adhesived, so I am going to stick it on the wall as well. Again, I’m just trying to keep my grout line consistent, keep the tiles stepped on well and that’s good. I’m going to finish everything up here and then we’ll come back in and we’ll show you the finished product.

I just wanted to show you one last thing before we wrap it up, for the shower head up here, I had to drill one tile with a hole in it in order to be able to attach the plumbing, that’s where I used this drill bit, attached to my cord of the drill simply mark the center of that position on the tile and I drill half way through and then I flip the tile over, drilled from the other side until your piece comes through; in this case, the cleanness of the hole is not that necessary because we’re going to cover it with the chrome anyways, but I just wanted to touch bases on that, if you’re going to drill round holes in other types of tile, like stone, this probably won’t do it in stone, you’re going to have to go to a diamond type blade but for porcelain and ceramics, this definitely does a good job.

I’m going to stick this on the wall and then we’ll wrap things up. Okay. So this project, we’ve got all the tiles applied to the wall, we’ve not yet done the grouting, simply because this particular type of Master needs 24 hours to cure, before we can grout it. Anything you use is going to need some time, just check the bag or pile or whatever it came in, it will tell you how long you need to wait before grouting or walking on it. This one is 24 hours. Well, I guess we’ll wrap things up now that we’ve got that done.

Installing Wall Tile for a Shower

shower tilesToday we’re going to be talking about installing wall tile. So some of the first products we’re going to need is adhesive, in this case I’m just using a non mortar type of adhesive, it’s all because we’re not in an area that’s going to have a lot of water contact, we’re actually trimming around the shower, not in the particularly, shower, so this product will be fine to use on there.

You’ll also need a notch trowel, whatever type of product for your glue that you’re using will specify the type of trowel, depending on the tiles you’re using as well. In this case I’m using a 3/16ths by 3/16ths notch trowel. You may also want a pair of tile nibblers, this is just for making small adjustments, small trim, work around the tile. They are just simply like a pair of pliers once you square the tile. Snap the pliers off. If you got to drill any holes through the tile, you’ll want a simple adjustable hole saw that you put in the corner’s driller and to drill, you can adjust the size of the hole by sliding this piece one way or the other. So that’s a good thing to have.

I also like to use this stone file. Sometimes you need to just take a slight amount off as you cut or maybe it’s not quite perfect cut, you can kind of cleaning up a bit. This works well for that. And then, when you’re doing just straight cuts, probably all you’re going to need is a snap and score, scores and snaps great and you simply can take your tile, in this case we’re using, of course, porcelain tile; slide it in the machine wherever you need it, make your measurement, there is a small heel down here and as I’m sliding it across the tile, it leaves a score mark, this little foot here, this heel, you push down and snap the tile off. Perfectly scored.

For what we’re doing today, that’s all we’re going to need. Okay. So the situation we have here is we’ve got a pre-shower stall installed in this bathroom right now. You’ve always got this transition from dry wall to the stall itself, some people will bury this flange, I don’t know if you could see that, but they will put this flange behind the drywall, I’ve seen few different things done. What I like to do is leave it exposed and actually trim this off with a nice tile, I just think it really finishes off really nice and you don’t have any ugly painting to do up against the tile or anything.

shower wall tilesSo for this particular bathroom, we chose a simple 6×6 white porcelain tile, nothing fancy about it, but it’s nice and clean and it goes well with the shower finish, then I’ve also bought these tiles that are 3×6 as well. The 3×6 we’re going to place along the front edge and the 6x6s are going to go across the top. So we’re going to have this type of look. You could if you wanted, and I’ve done it in the past, you could just buy all 6x6s, cut them down to do this; I’m just saving a little bit of time by not having to cut and you get a nicer edge as well.

So, we’re going to start out, first with this initial 6×6 and because we are doing such a small area, normally I would apply the Master or the glue on to the wall, but it’s a little difficult to do with a bigger trowel on small area, so I’m going to actually butter on to the back of the tile, trying to cover the whole back as well as you can, once you’ve got it on there, leave the strokes so that it actually leaves the glue on the tile and that’s ready to apply. Another thing that’s a good idea, it’s not such a big deal on small tiles, but I usually like to apply so that the lines on my glue are vertical, you have a little less in that way, sometimes when you put it like this, this little lumps will roll down the wall and you’re having your tiles sag, so just practice few, apply them in that manner.

So you want to press it to your wall, run it to your guidelines which I forgot to mention, press it to your guidelines, get good contact with the wall and just make sure it’s nice and straight. The guidelines that I use, I simply used the level and made a measurement out from the shower, mark myself a plum and square lines to run by. Just little easier to try to follow the shower, this way if there is any inconsistencies at a joint or something, you could easily fix that up with some, when you’re grouting with silicone. So we’ve got that on there and I’m going to put the 3×6 down the side here, same idea when I applied the adhesive on the back, give it nice stokes so we get nice lines in there.

A good way to know whether you’re getting enough Master on there or getting good contact, is to try to put one on , peel it off. You should have a good 75% contact on the wall and then you know you’re getting the right pressure on there.

There’s more to come in part 2, so keep reading…