If you are planning on renovating your bathroom, a question that you will most likely come across is what to do with the vanity when it comes to re-tiling the floor. Do you remove the vanity to tile under it, or can you simply tile around this bathroom fixture? To answer this question, we will need to consider several factors.
The question of tiling under the bathroom vanity is a yes and no answer, depending on how you plan to renovate your bathroom. You should definitely tile under the vanity if you plan on replacing it, but if not, you can tile around this fixture. If you have a wall-mounted vanity, then yes, definitely tile the floor underneath.
As you can see, the decision to tile under your vanity depends on what type of renovation you plan.
Important Floor Tiling Procedures
Tiling your floor, especially for a small room like the bathroom, will require a bit of calculation to ensure every tile falls neatly into place.
Calculating the Floor Load
If you are just starting to tile your home, the first thing you need to know is whether your home is structurally sound for tiling. Next, it would be best to determine whether your house can support the added weight of the tiles – and this is a considerable added weight, mind you. Expect the foundations of your home to support upwards of half a ton once all is said and done.
Now, when it comes to determining the floor load of your home, you will need to hire a licensed engineer. The engineer will check and calculate the structural load capacity of your home to determine if tiling is indeed an option. They can also draw up a design for the dead load support, which will consider possible additional temporary weight.
Including Expansion Joints
The engineer will also factor in expansion joints, which are areas on the floor exposed to sunlight or nearby heat sources, as the tiles surrounding this area will experience expansions and compressions regularly. If your vanity is nearby a heat source such as a heater, expansion joints must be considered when re-tiling the floor.
Tiling Under the Vanity
Replacing the bathroom vanity is the best time to tile the floor underneath it. However, there are also certain elements to consider before doing so. First, since you will be bolting the vanity back to the floor, you must factor in the tile itself. If you are using porcelain tiles, drilling a hole may crack or even break it. If you are using vinyl tiles, you don’t need to worry about splitting them when drilling holes for the screws.
So, what is the best route if you are using porcelain tiles? Well, we recommend you install the vanity first and tile around it instead.
Tiling Around the Vanity
If you don’t plan to replace the bathroom vanity, we suggest simply tiling around it. Now, this will mean that you will most likely need to cut the tile and backboard so that it can fit around the base of the bathroom vanity. This process will require extra care, and we highly suggest you check the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to cutting their tiles.
As noted earlier, you must also apply expansion joints when cutting the tile. This means that you should provide a small gap between the tile and the vanity’s base to accommodate the slight expansion due to heat and humidity.
Also, don’t forget to apply bathroom caulk to avoid moisture damage underneath the vanity and backboard.
Tips on Cleaning the Tiles Around the Bathroom Vanity
Once you decide to tile under or around the vanity, the next order of business is the issue of maintenance. Cleaning tiles can be a bit of a handful if you let mold and mildew develop. It goes without saying that prevention is always better than cure in this regard.
When it comes to tile maintenance, there are two surfaces that you will need to contend with – the tile itself and the grout lines in between.
Cleaning the Grout Lines
Cleaning the grout lines requires a brush with medium to stiff bristles and a cleaning solution designed for grouts. Grout cleaning products are pretty straightforward and effective to use. You will need to spray the cleaning solution over the grout lines and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Afterward, you can take the brush and scrub off the grime that breaks off.
Cleaning the Tiles
As for the tiles, there are dozens of cleaning products to choose from in the market. To help you with this chore, we recommend you go with the citrus-based cleaning solutions as these tend to work amazingly well and leave a pleasant fresh scent. We also recommend you use a microfiber mop when cleaning tiles as it works great on these types of surfaces.
If a particular area between your vanity and tile has a rather pesky hard-to-remove stain, one trick that should help solve this problem is using hot water. Pour hot water directly onto the stain to dissolve it and wipe the area with a cloth.