Tile Setting Mat Pros & Cons:
Tiles Setting Mat – What Is A Tile Setting Mat?
A tile setting mat is a type of surface treatment which is applied to the outside of a shower wall or tub to protect it from scratches and other damage caused by water splashing around. They are usually made out of tiles, but they can also include stone, brickwork or even concrete.
The purpose of a tile setting mat is to provide protection against water splashes and scratches. These mats have been used since ancient times, but today’s products are much better than those that were available when the Romans built their baths.
How To Install A Tile Setting Mat?
It is very easy to install a tile setting mat. You just need to first remove any existing tiles or other types of surfaces from your bathroom floor, then you simply apply the tile setting mat.
If you don’t want to bother with removing the old floors, then you could use some kind of spray adhesive such as Krylon Spray Adhesive (available at hardware stores).
There are two types of tile setting mats; the first is a hard surface coating such as marble, granite or slate. These are typically applied with a roller and then rolled up into a tube shape.
They can be very heavy and take some time to apply, so they are not recommended for small showers.
The second type of tile setting mat is called a soft surface coating such as porcelain or plastic.
What If You Already Have Tile?
If you already have tile in your bathroom, and you just need to replace the grout, then you should still use a tile setting mat, as this is the best way to do it. All you need to do is remove the tiles (you can re-use them later if necessary), then apply the mat, and then put the tiles back in place.
These can simply be applied by snapping them into place; there is no need to roll or spray anything. They are very easy to work with and typically very light. These are ideal for small showers because they do not weigh so much that they will cause the subfloor to sag.
Which Shower Design Will You Choose?
When it comes to tile setting mat selection, you have three choices: natural stone, porcelain, or plastic.
If you have large tiles, then all you need to do is remove a few of them along the wall, in order to make room for the tile setting mat. You can re-use the tiles in the shower floor or around the outside of the tub.
What If You’ve Already Got A Tile Setting Mat?
You may already have a tile setting mat in your bathroom. Each of these materials has their own advantages and disadvantages, so you need to take these into consideration when you are making your choice.
If you want the look and feel of real stone but at a lower price point, then natural stone is the way to go. Natural stone comes in a wide range of colors and textures, so you can choose the one that best fits your decorating style.
If you’re not sure, then look along the walls for any tiles that are missing and also check under the base of the tub. You can re-use your old tiles as long as they aren’t damaged. Make sure that you remove any loose grout first, then clean the area with bleach to kill potential mold and mildew spores.
Who Makes The Best Tile Setting Mat?
Porcelain tile setting mat is the best choice if you want to save money. You can get a polished or non-polished finish.
You cannot tile over natural stone, so be sure you have the area prepared properly or the mortar is applied correctly.
Natural stone is not the easiest thing to clean, so you should probably avoid it if you or anyone who will be using the shower has fragile skin.
Porcelain tiles are very easy to clean and they come in many different colors and styles. It is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, so it is easy to find one that will match your decorating style.
It is also fairly easy to clean so it won’t show dirt or water spots.
You can find tile setting mat at most home improvement stores, but always check the reviews first to see what other people’s experience have been with a particular product. Also, be sure that you are buying latex modified glass mat as this is the best type available.
If you’re not sure about how to apply tile setting mat, ask the people at the home improvement store to help you, or consult the instructions which should be on the package. Most of the time, you should be able to do it yourself, but if you run into a problem then it’s always good to know that you can get help.
If you are using natural stone, make sure that you have the right tools for grinding and cutting the tiles. You can re-use most natural stone as long as it is in good condition and no big chunks are missing from it.
If you need to cut the stone, make sure that you have the right type of saw as regular metal ones can easily crack the tile.
Porcelain tile setting mat is very easy to cut with a utility knife or even a pair of scissors. Use a straight edge to make sure that you’re cutting it at a perfect angle.
You can also use a small nail to scribe a line so that you get a very straight edge when you’re cutting. After you’ve cut the tile, you can use the scribed line as a guide to make sure that you’re cutting at the perfect angle.
After you have all of your materials, you need to decide how you want to lay them out. You should have a basic idea in your head already about how you want everything to look when it’s finished, but it also helps to draw a quick sketch first so you know exactly what goes where and makes more sense of the process.
You need to consider the shape of your room and how many tiles you have before you start arranging them. If you’re tiling a shower, there are several different patterns that you can follow.
The most popular one involves placing a row of vertical tiles down the center of the wall, then setting another row along the base of the wall and at the sides. A common mistake that people make is to put the row of tiles at the bottom of the wall first, then the row along the side and then another row along the base. This can make your shower room look smaller than it actually is.
You start at one corner and begin setting your tiles into the mortar. This is a job that requires a lot of patience as you have to make sure that the tiles are set in perfectly straight.
Each tile should fit snugly into the one next to it and you shouldn’t be able to see any white space between them.
You work all day and well into the night without stopping. After a while of doing this, your back begins to ache and your fingers get tired.
You have to stop every once in awhile to give them a rest.
You reach the corner of the room and realize that this is the last tile. It’s also a little crooked, but you can’t tell and you don’t have a straight edge to use anymore.
You step back and take a look at your work.
It looks okay, but the tile next to it is a little higher than the rest. The difference is so small that it is barely noticeable, but it bothers you.
You try to press it lower, but that just makes it worse and now it’s noticeably higher than the rest. You can’t bring yourself to leave it like that so you end up taking the entire tile out.
You take a deep breath and hold it in your hand for a few seconds as you look at the empty space where it once was. You know that it’s not worth the hassle to put in another tile and you really don’t want to start over, but your options are limited.
You can try to patch it up as best you can with the extra tile you have left, or you can try to fill the space with another type of stone altogether.
You decide to go with the second choice because it would be much easier to fill the space than to try to make the patch look good.
After you’ve finished making your repairs, you step back to take a look at your work from a distance. It’s not bad and it’s certainly passable from afar, but up close you can tell that something is off.
The color of the stone is a little too light and doesn’t quite match the rest of your work. You can already imagine what people would say if they found out about your botched job, but that won’t happen if you keep this to yourself.
Besides, who is going to see it up close anyway? You certainly won’t since you’re going to be careful not to bump into that section again. You won’t be taking any showers in this room either so it won’t get wet and there’s no need to clean it.
You doubt that anyone would even find your hiding place with the secret switch behind the shower tile, but if they did, they wouldn’t be able to tell that a repair had been done at all. You’re glad that you went with your original idea since this whole patch job idea was a lot more work than it was worth and only caused you to worry needlessly.
It’s getting late so you decide to wrap up for today and head to bed. You put away your tools and gather all of your building materials before locking up the room.
As you’re drifting off to sleep, you can’t help but think about how much better this feels compared to the last few weeks.
You smile to yourself as you drift off to sleep, knowing that no one is going to interrupt your sleep tonight.
~End of Chapter One~
I took the path of least resistance with this story for several reasons, but mostly because I don’t want to spend time building up a massive world with multiple species and locations. I’d rather focus on plot and characters instead.
This is also intended to be a short story so extensive world building would not be appropriate.
Other than that, there really isn’t much else to say. I hope you enjoy it!
Sources & references used in this article:
- Tile setting grid (M Vrnak – US Patent 5,447,004, 1995 – Google Patents)
- Mat for mounting tile and the like (CD Holcomb – US Patent 2,114,710, 1938 – Google Patents)
- Tile-setting. (JH Munro – US Patent 720,836, 1903 – Google Patents)
- Tile setting (US Patent 320,567, 1885 – Google Patents)