One Room Challenge Week 3 // Tile Prep

Here we are at the half way point, week 3. If you have not been following along, I’ll quick fill you in. I am tackling my third One Room Challenge, a bi-annual online blogger event where 20 featured bloggers and hundreds of others make-over a room in 6 weeks and document their progress on their blog and social media.

Modern Sunroom Make-over

This week was definitely not the most glamorous or the most satisfying week for the One Room Challenge. This was tile prep week. Last I checked in with you, I was choosing tile. I made my selection, a really well priced porcelain cement-look-a-like by Merola Tile. In fact, I partnered with Merola on this project, but truth be told, this is the tile I would have chosen no matter what.

Back to the prepping, we ripped the carpet up to discover wood subfloors instead of cement, I thought “great, I made the right choice with tile. I will just spread the mortar and start making it look pretty.” WRONG! After consulting with google, I learned that because the wood subfloor expands and contracts, you need to install a cement subfloor, using cement backer sheets.

One Room Challenge Progress

I followed this tutorial to install. I started off by myself, but quickly realized it is not a one person job. You must spread the mortar, lay the cement board, screw it down and get ready for the next board very quickly, before the excess mortar dries. Then as you work your way to the edges you need to score and cut the boards to fit. It was exhausting!! Thankfully my husband was there to help for most of it.

How to prep a wood subfloor for tile

Once you lay the boards, you need to tape and mortar the seams.

How to prep a wood subfloor for tile
How+to+prep+a+wood+subfloor+for+tile

I am not going to go into all the nitty-gritty details of the how-to, the video I linked to is an awesome resource, but I will give you a few tips.

  • you will need cement backer board to cover the area of the room (I used 1/4”), a trowel, backer board screws, a drill, joint tape, a sharp box cutter, mortar

  • I mixed my own mortar, but buy premixed to save a step

  • I repeat this is not a one person job, it’s much easier to keep things moving with at least two people, but honestly, I think three would be ideal

  • be sure your drill and a back up drill are charged. You will be using it A LOT

How to prep a wood subfloor for tile

Here is what the room currently looks like.

How to prep a wood subfloor for tile

What’s still left to do?

  • Tile

  • grout

  • clean the paint off windows

  • hang the awesome fireplace, I cannot wait to show you

  • hang the light fixture

  • assemble and move in furniture

  • hang art

The tile and grout should be done by next week, then the fun part! Shopping, styling, hanging, arranging and rearranging!

Don’t forget to follow along on Instagram!


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One Room Challenge