They both seem right Which one is righter?
June 24, 2012 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Sink first or tile first?

We are replacing the linoleum in our house with tile, and we're starting with my bathroom. Part of the renovation of the bathroom also involves removing the vanity that's in there now and replacing it with a pedestal sink, and I don't know whether to tile first and then put the base of the sink down, or whether to put the base down then tile around it (the water pipes are in the wall, so the base is basically free-standing).

I have read that both are OK, and I keep seeing quotes like "chicken or egg situation" - so I come to the hivemind to get some actual experience-based information. Which way should I go? Tiling the whole floor first would be easier, probably, because it would involve less cuts, but I don't know which is the preferred way if there is one. Help?
posted by pdb to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Tile first, then install the sink, because a) the floor will be better sealed from water spills; b) as you say, fewer cuts and it will look cleaner; c) if you ever decide to replace the sink you won't have to pull up tile. The only downsides I can see are that it may be harder to level the sink, and the overall height of the basin will be a bit more.
posted by TDIpod at 8:51 AM on June 24, 2012 [6 favorites]

Unless you are skill and have professional tools, I can't see a way that installing the sink and cutting tile around the base will look good. Tile first and lay a nice bead of caulk around the bottom of the pedastal where it meets the tile. It'll look great.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:16 AM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Definitely tile first.
posted by Flood at 9:29 AM on June 24, 2012

Nthing tile first; the idea that this is an either-or situation is... well, totally wrong. Sooner or later you will need to move that sink base. Something will break or go out of fashion, or you'll have a leak in the drain piles that are partially concealed inside the sink base, and if you've tiled it into the floor then you will be screwed.

Same goes for the toilet.
posted by jon1270 at 9:32 AM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by jon1270 at 9:34 AM on June 24, 2012

Tile first. Even with a world champion tile person, the tile around the base won't look right.
posted by Marky at 10:09 AM on June 24, 2012

Tile. Particularly in a place you might live long enough to decide to replace the sink.
posted by phearlez at 10:18 AM on June 24, 2012

From someone who spent most of their life in the industry, tile first. The reasons have been covered in the previous comments.
posted by nickthetourist at 10:42 AM on June 24, 2012

I'm not as qualified as the last guy, but I do watch lots of "This Old House."

The pedestal can rest on the tile, and then all you have to cut is pipe-holes and mounting-bolts, and in the process you're allowed to make a mess of the tile-portions that're concealed by the pedestal-- that means you can use a chisel instead of a tile-saw to get the pipes past the tile-- way easier.

There's a little technique with the chisel: you can use a chisel to tap a line-- a breaking point really-- into the tile and then a hard hit to the disposable region shatter the tile hopefully right up the that line. Or, you can tesselate two-to-four parts of the same tile into the visible region of your tile, while leaving a gap for pipes and mounts. Save your sawn tiles for this and the toilet. This will keep you from eating into your supply of replacement tiles, which you'll keep for the lifetime of that floor.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:08 AM on June 24, 2012

Mr. bluedaisy is a professional tile installer (family business that falls back on when necessary). He says tile the floor first and then put in the sink. The base of the sink should sit on the tile. You don't want to have to cut all that tile around the base because it'll take a ton of extra time and be a pain in the ass. And then if you ever replace the sink, you won't have a weird hole the shape of the pedestal.
posted by bluedaisy at 5:15 PM on June 24, 2012

Please tile first.

We bought a little house. At one end of the dining room is a huge pseudo-built-in desk/hutch contraption. It takes up way too much floor space for the small room, is too "office-like" to suit our taste in dining room furnishings and was slated for immediate removal ... until we discovered that the tile flooring was installed around it.

We've been searching for two years for tiles that match that original floor. Until we can find them -- or reconcile ourselves to replacing the flooring in the entire dining room and huge adjoining kitchen -- we're stuck with the damn thing. I hate whoever decided to leave that 10 square foot hole in the floor.

Don't be that person.
posted by peakcomm at 7:32 PM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

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