A very good friend of mine had a few floor tiles missing in their kitchen that their landlord had not gotten to, so they decided to make the repair themselves. I was oh so eager to lend a helping hand. They purchased this really cool tile. This project was done in two evenings, after she got home from work.
Step one was removing the tile and smoothing out the subfloor. For that I used a rasp, an attachment for my JobMax tool that I had never used. I actually didn’t know what it was and had to Google to make sure it was the appropriate device. 10 tiles were missing and I removed 6 more to accomplish the pattern. Years past someone repaired that same area, but they used an adhesive that obviously did not adhere to the tile, since they came up, but firmly attached to the subfloor. What I thought would take a couple of hours to lay the tile took about four because the areas with adhesive put up a strong fight. We actually had to send her nephew and son to Lowe’s to buy a second one. In the area where I removed tile the rasp worked great as thinset was used in that area. It was like grinding cement. DIYer lesson number one: use the right product. If you’re not sure, ask. I had thinset left from my master bath tile project, so I was happy to make it available.
Once we got the area relatively flat and cleaned up all the dust we laid the tile. I troweled the floor and my friend back buttered the tile. Honestly I don’t know if back buttering your tile is necessary, but all the shows I watch do it. I like to let my tile flop to the floor (I lay one side and let it drop). I believe that motion and the back buttering creates a strong suction. I think press the tile with my float to try and make sure their even. The floor had huge grout lines, so we eye balled the alignment instead of using spacers.
Tonight I went back and showed her how to apply the grout. I also had black grout left over from my 1st floor bath tile project. Black is a very messy grout, which I’d be reluctant to use on any future projects, so I was happy get it cleared out of my basement. I had just enough for them to use on theirs. This was done in less than two hours and I believe any other color grout, for an area that small, would have taken even less time. There is a lot of extra wiping involved with black. This little project didn’t involve cuts, so truly an easy DIY project. I was happy to lend a hand and share my little knowledge on the subject. Now they have a pretty area to stand while washing dishes.