Installing Quictile for the first time was quite exciting! Long story short, we move into a new home. The home could certainly use some updates to make it feel homey to us. I didn’t want to jump into a renovation without properly planning this out. So my first thought was to do a facelift on the bathrooms.
I wanted this to be quick, I knew if I just painted the walls and vanity I would not be happy with the floor as is. The floor can make or break any room. I recently discovered QuicTiles, by Daltiles, a flooring tile system that is geared for time installation. It looked to be the easiest solution to experience real tiles without being a professional tile installer. This system is perfect for DIYers wanting to do the work themselves.
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Leveling the floor
Remove the objects in the bathroom.
I wanted the installation to be as easy as possible, so I removed everything from the space. I removed the toilet vanity, baseboard, and door trim. I am not a fan of the trim, so I will be upgrading them eventually.
How to remove the tiles
Quictile can be placed over many existing flooring, tiles, concrete, vinyl floor, and even laminate, to name a few. Laying the “Quictiles” over the existing tiles was my first choice, but as I inspect the bathroom, there were too many obstacles. Going around the toilet and vanity with the tiles looked like a challenge. In another room, I would have laid this over the existing tiles to save time.
I thought it would be more efficient if I cleared this bathroom. After clearing out the room, the real challenge was taking up the tiles. The installer did a good job; “this was tough to remove.” After trying a number of tools, I made no progress until I pulled out the rotary hammer paired with a steel chisel. I started at the doorway since it was the edge of the tile; this way, I could get up under the tile and lift them. Having the right tool made all the difference.
Although this didn’t seem to kick up much dust, it did! So I recommend closing off that area with plastic.
Once I had all the tiles removed, I could see I had some work ahead of me. I needed to strip this floor, removing all of the adhered thin-set. This part was labor intense. Chances are you may not have it this bad with your existing flooring.
There was a thin membrane under the thin-set, which made it nearly impossible to separate the thin-set from the floor. To tackle this, I used a grinder, a diamond cup disc, and a dust shroud pro. If you need to go to this extreme to get to the bare concrete slab, I recommend using a dust shroud and a shop vacuum. A bit of patience is required due to this constant cleaning of the vacuum filter. To put things into perspective, I dump the vacuum about seven times. In total, I took up about 9 gallons. That was not enough to fill the vacuum, but the fine dust would clog the Vaccum filter.
Leveling the floor
Once I got the floor stripped, I used a long level to check the floor’s leveling. I saw high and low spots that I felt needed to be addressed. Some are areas with up to a 1/4in. difference. I wanted the floor to be as leveled as possible. Leveling the entire floor can be a bit intimidating so another option is to just do a spot fill. The floor doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s best if it’s as level as possible.
To prep the floor I applied, a concrete primer using a brush.
Next, I prep the floor by taping off the areas I didn’t want the concrete leveler to go.
Finally, 2.5 bags of Rapid set Concrete Leveler were mixed per the instruction then poured on to the floor. Once poured, the leveler will begin to spread itself. Next, use a floor squeegee to push the concrete leveler around. After that, let it setup. I let that sit for four hours.
After the floor set up, I did notice a couple of spots was off, which I then grind it down, and I was ready to move forward.
Install the underlayment
If you wanted to install QuicTile over existing floor, assuming the floor was much easier to remove, and no leveling was required, this is where installation would start.
When installing QuicTile, it’s recommended that you use QuickPrep universal underlayment. It comes in a box, and it’s stiffer than typical underlayment. On one side, it has a grid layout, which is great for cutting a straight line. It’s easy to cut and made for many other applications.
Once I have the underlayment laid down, I used an underlayment tape to seal the joint.
Install the QuicTile
When I think of QuicTile, I think of laminate flooring. Overall it’s a three-step process, Lay the underlayment, install the tiles and grout. You can measure your space and input that data in the Home Depot Square footage calculator.
Before the installation, I measured the space to figure out the direction I wanted to commit to. I knew starting near the tub was what I would be happy with; this is the first section you will see when entering the bathroom. I wanted to see a full tile near the tub and work in the next direction.
Now that I know what I want, I will cut the door jamb and the tile; the tile will slide under. It’s recommended that the tile has room for expansion, so a 1/4in. gap is recommended. I used this flooring installation kit. It comes with spacers.
The carpet just outside the bathroom will be removed at some point. Before installing the tiles, now is a good time to put in a transition at the door. For now, I skipped this because I will address it when I remove the carpet.
It’s recommended that you mix the tiles; this way, if the colors are slightly off, it may not be as noticeable. For this, I laid the boxes out so I can grab one from each box and mix it rather than mixing them up.
QuicTile has a tongue and groove system as each tile snaps together. I put three tiles near the tub, snapping them together. I also added wedges for expansion.
When it comes to the layout, this is somewhat limited; you cannot do a straight grid or herringbone. Everything needs to be interlocked correctly for maximum strength.
Following the installation instructions, you’ll want to start row one with two tiles, row two with a tile and half, and row three with a tile and a third. Each tile is marked with two indicators, 33% and 66%, to make things easier to the layout.
Next, I repeat this pattern over and over until I get to the other side.
Since this is in a bathroom, I’ll need to cut the hole for the toilet drain. I did the best I could to calculate the drain hole on the tile. I lucked out because the hole fell with-in one of the tiles. I ended up using a grinder to carve out the hole carefully.
Using a pull bar is one way to make sure the tiles are connected tightly.
Add the urethane grout
Now, the tile is done; it’s time to grout the joints. When installing QuicTile you must use the recommended grout. Since these tiles are floating, you need a grout that’s meant to be flexible.
Here is a closer look at the tiles; I am thrilled with the outcome of the floor. It’s a big difference from where It started.
With the floor done, there will be a change of plan to upgrade the rest of the bathroom. I would feel guilty about putting the old vanity back in the bathroom. So stay tuned for that.