Lazy Girl Tiling

Who here has ever tiled before?  I have helped people tile, have watched people tile, but until we started working on our bathroom I had never actually tiled before.  Nope, never. So if you have something you want to tile and are a bit unsure of yourself, trust me when I tell you…it’s not that hard. Granted, I started off with a really easy tiling project, but I feel pretty confident that I could tile a kitchen backsplash or something without any problem.

Now let me tell you some shortcuts :) For this particular tile project I had a deadline (I was entering the bathroom in a contest) and we were running behind schedule, so I needed to finish tiling in one naptime. And I did! Here’s how…

First I prepared my tile.  I had found these tiles on clearance at Lowes years ago…like we still lived in New York type years ago. They were really cheap and I bought them even though I had no plans for them. The husband was sure they would never get used, so I think he was pretty surprised when he saw them up on the wall. Anyway, I didn’t like the rounded pats on either side, so I cut them off. Don’t worry, I kept them…eventually I’ll find a use for them. That’s for sure and for certain!

Usually the next step is to apply the mortar, but mortar takes about a 24 hours to set and I didn’t want to mess with it. A friend recommended that I try a product he called “honey strips” that replaces mortar.  It basically is just a thin, sticky, fiberglass sheet that you adhere to the wall and then stick your tile to. Now, I’m going to help you out here and just let you know that honey strips is not the proper name, and if you tell the guy at Home Depot that you are looking for honey strips he will look at you like your crazy.

This is what you’re looking for, a tile setting mat.

Here is what it looks like up close.

I cut mine down to a little wider than the tile was going to be. To adhere to the wall you just peel off the backing…

then press it into the wall, making sure it’s on really well (I went over it a few time with my fist).  Next you just pull off the plastic to expose the “honey strips”…

…and press your tile into it. It’s that easy! You just saved yourself at least 24 hours and avoided a mess.

From here on out the process is the same as if you had used mortar. I chose to make this tile job super easy, so I bought the spray sealer. Usually you seal the tile after you’re completely finished and the grout is dry, but I sealed it before I put the grout on as well. The reason is that some of my tiles were tumbled (porous) stone and I didn’t want the grout to stain them.

I also went ahead and bought the premixed grout since I didn’t need much. (the color is linen, in case you were wondering).

To apply the grout you need to use the proper tools and try to keep it as neat as possible.

OR

you could do things Domestic Imperfection style and just scoop some out with your hand and smear it on.

Yeah, the second one sounds more fun, I know. You do need to be careful to get the grout in all the spaces between the tiles though.

After you have the grout all pressed in wipe it with a damp rag or sponge to get all the grout off the front of the tile – you will probably have to go over it a few times.  This part will probably be much faster if you used the proper equipment to apply the grout, lol.

After you have cleaned off all the grout, give it good coating with the sealer, and your done!

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Comments

  1. Rebecca says:

    Couldn’t have come at a better time; I just received a shipment of tumbled travertine mosaic for my kitchen backsplash, and I’m TERRIFIED! Definitely going to have to look for some honey-thingies!

  2. I love the photo of you smearing the grout on the tile with your bare hand…keeping it real.
    Emily recently posted..Weekend Recap – Memorial Day 2012My Profile

  3. That sounds like a good shortcut. I tiled our kitchen backsplash last summer, and for sure to cut out all that spreading and back-buttering would be very helpful!

  4. I didn’t know such a thing existed! Oh I’m so excited! Thank you!!! And I wouldn’t have thought to use my hands either, but I think I may.
    Amy@DisneyLiving recently posted..Monday’s PINspiration ~ Popcorn ConesMy Profile

  5. What a brilliant idea. I want to do a strip of tiles around my sink so I’ll be looking for this product.

    PS – Love you choice of tiles.
    Sandy B recently posted..Hummingbird Cake (aka King’s Landing Crown Cake)My Profile

  6. Does that honey thingy really work well?

    • It really does. No one paid me to write about it or sent it to me for free, I just really liked the product and would use it again. I would still use with mortar if I was doing a shower or something, but for small areas it’s great.

  7. That looks awesome and I love the lazy style waaayyy better ;)
    Kristin C. recently posted..Patriotic wreathMy Profile

  8. Having just done about 40 sq ft of tile this past weekend, I wish we had those honey strips! But we did use the hand spreader method in the corner since the float wouldn’t reach. I would love it if you would share this on my linky party
    http://www.claimingourspace.com/2012/05/tout-it-tuesday-8.html
    K @ Claiming Our Space recently posted..Willow Wednesday Plus Info on the Group We Adopted Her FromMy Profile

  9. I like your methods! They sound way easier than the conventional way! The little splash of tile looks great under the mirror!
    Kassi @ Truly Lovely recently posted..Bloggie Bestie – Tiffany of Life with the Little ManMy Profile

  10. Thanks for sharing how easy this can be. Your new look is fantastic!

  11. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing. I always like an easier way out!!!

  12. Wow, I have never heard of this product, but love the results!! Thanks for linking up to Beyond the Picket Fence.
    Becky recently posted..My Strange AddictionMy Profile

  13. Wow! Great job – and sooo quick! Thanks for all the info. I’d love to be brave enough to give this a try, cuz I’m not even a beginner, but a lurker of DIY projects. Love the tiles, too!!

  14. That’s not lazy, that’s just SMART! Exactly the way I would have done it. That color is gorgeous and adds so much to the look.
    Carolyn recently posted..Barstools from pallets!My Profile

  15. You’re so resourceful! I didn’t know about some of those shortcuts. The finished bathroom looks amazing! I love the natural wood, the vessel sink and your tile border. Great job! I’m visiting from Serenity Now!
    Ellie recently posted..Good EatsMy Profile

  16. Wow, your tile turned out great- and how fortunate that it fit so perfectly!
    SheilaG recently posted..Finding a Replacement Table TopMy Profile

  17. I’m a new blog follower from the Six Sisters blog hop. I would love if you followed me back at http://iheartpears.blogspot.com

  18. I am SO GLAD to have found you via TT&J Link party. I have never even LOOKED at tile in the stores…but I have been thinking about doing a backsplash in my kitchen. Are there any other pointers you could give? I will deffinately be looking for what you have used in this project! Thanks so much!
    Christy recently posted..Friday Faves {Freaturing YOU}My Profile

  19. That little tip was worth all the time I “invest” in web-surfing. Thanks!!!

  20. Wow! That is too cool. Thanks for the tip :) I am all about the “lazy girl” way of getting things done. I’m visiting from Frugal Friday.

    Carolyn
    {my simple messterpiece}
    Carolyn {my simple messterpiece} recently posted..My ‘No Patience Required’ Burlap WreathMy Profile

  21. This looks so nice!! Love the bathroom!! We are so glad you joined our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. We love to see all of the great recipes and ideas!! Thanks and we hope to see you again next week! -The Sisters

  22. I have quite a few tiling projects I’d like to do, but I’m intimidated by the thought of mortaring, grouting, etc. I love the “honey strips!” What a great idea. :) Do you know how durable it ends up being?
    Mrs. Handyverger recently posted..Quick Patio UpdateMy Profile

    • My tile has only been up for a month or so, but it’s not going anywhere! The friend who told me about them, his family does remodels (like, for other people) so I’m sure they work well long term.

  23. great job ! beautiful, really. i love shortcuts like this because you cut back on time, but not quality. better than half-doing real mortar and not properly letting it sit ! i love the sink and wood countertops and exposed piping !!

    ~ jackie
    imathriftaholic.blogspot.com
    Jackie recently posted..Wooden Side Table – A MakeoverMy Profile

  24. Thanks for this info! Tiling scares me, but this makes it look doable!
    margo recently posted..Tie Dye CupcakesMy Profile

  25. I put some thin mosaic tile up on my kitchen back splash using mod podge a few months ago. It’s still holding up great and I never got around to grouting it yet. That premixed mortar sounds like just the thing I need!

  26. This turned out beautifully! I love the tile with the wood. I’ve got stuff around here that I bought ages ago that I WILL end up using someday!
    Alecia @ Chicken Scratch NY recently posted..4th of July Firecracker CenterpieceMy Profile

  27. The tile looks great and adds a great touch to the bathroom. I didn’t know these mats existed. I’ll have to check it out.

  28. This is a fantastic tutorial! Would you consider linking it up at my Pinworthy Projects Party? I hope to see you there!
    Shannah @ Just Us Four recently posted..Let’s Have a Party – Party FavorsMy Profile

  29. Some great tips, I need to remember the honey strips/tile setting mat one for some tiling I need to finish in our bathroom, that stuff looks really nifty! Love your tiles too by the way :)
    Anji* recently posted..the crown jewelsMy Profile

  30. This is so cool, never heard of the honey strips. We are thinking of replacing our backsplash in the bathroom and I could actually do this! Thanks for linking up I will be featuring it next week.
    XO

  31. That looks so amazing! Thanks for all the tips. I really want to tile my backsplash in the kitchen and I love those honey strips! Now I just need to find some discounted tile.
    Miranda recently posted..Elsa’s Writing DeskMy Profile

  32. if you have to tile a small space…that’s the way to go!
    Daniela recently posted..Insalata Caprese twistMy Profile

  33. This is ingenious and boy did it come out fabulous. This was such a wonderful post. I would love it if you would share this at our WIW linky party. I hope you can join.

    Paula
    ivyandelephants.blogspot.com

  34. Well…if you aren’t the sharpest pencil in the pack! I like the way you did the grout especially. We just paid a huge amount to have tarvertine tile laid and all along I thought it didn’t look that hard to do for the money the charged. Now I know I was right! Great job.
    The Other Me Is Sane recently posted..$10 SaturdayMy Profile

  35. It’s perfect! You’re doing such a great job with every detail! XO, Aimee
    Aimee – ItsOverflowing recently posted..Simple Cheesecake Tart {Recipe}My Profile

  36. Elizabeth says:

    I just found your blog and how timely it is! I’m redoing my boys bathroom, just finished painting the old cabinets and they now look very nice. There is a small area that could use some tile and I’m definitely going to use your methods.

    One unrelated question – I’ve been looking for a rug similar to the one you laid out your materials on. Did you by any chance purchase at a national retailer or on line? If so, would you let me know where?

    Thanks so much for all the great advise here!! ~ Elizabeth

  37. Just found your blog today (via : Better After) and LOVE it! Already subscribed! Your tile project turned out amazing! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! I was wondering what you did about the extra bit of “honey strip” that was left at the top of the tiles once you were done? Did you cut them off with an xacto knife? Do they peel back off the wall easily, if you do have excess?

    • Yay for new subscribers! To answer your question…the extra that was left I did cut off with an exacto knife. No, it didn’t peel back easily…it was a total pain. The strips do their job well and it took the paint AND the texture off the wall…I had to do touch ups. My advice is to make sure that there isn’t any left on the top, even if you have to make it slightly too short. I don’t think your tile is going anywhere. Good question, I should have addressed that in the post!

  38. Hi,
    I loved this post, and wanted to let you know that I have featured as one of my favorite bloggers in my Favorite Friday Blog Links. Take a look. The link is below.
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/06/favority-friday-blog-links-6.html
    Have a great weekend
    Sincerely,
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Abov
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com

  39. WOW! I have been reading your blog all day and you are such an inspiration!!! This blog entry on tiling is AWESOME! I have been wanting to put a tile back splash in my kitchen and bathroom but am terrified of screwing it up somehow. (I’m good at that.) Thank you thank you thank you!!! I am going to get some honey thingies so I can FINALLY install my tile and surprise the hubby with my (hopefully) handiwork! :-) Keep on bloggin!
    Val recently posted..Recycle, Reuse, RepurposeMy Profile

  40. I’ve never had to do tiling before, but I’m about to start work on my bathroom too – so this post couldn’t have come at a better time! Thanks =)

  41. Looks amazing! Great job:)

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