Toronto Tile Installation

Mario Martins - Custom Tile Installer 

Tile Blog & Videos

Mario Martins's blog about tile jobs in progress, before and after shots, interesting things that happen on the job and random thoughts about, well...tile.

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Kitchen Backsplash with White Textured Subway 80/20 Split

Posted on December 29, 2016 at 3:40 PM

Watch the transformation of this kitchen with an expertly laid backsplash in an 80/20 split.

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Basement Bathroom Transformation

Posted on December 26, 2016 at 4:35 PM

Old basement bathrooms are small, cramped and usually have crooked walls. Here's a newly completed project in which walls were straightened, and a set of marble shelves was installed in the shower stall. It looks cleaner, brighter and more spacious.

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Clean white bathroom with mosaic trim

Posted on February 1, 2016 at 6:15 PM

A video slideshow of a small condo bathroom that looks double its size with a simple white subway tile, mosaic trim and stone-grey floors.

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White rustic backsplash laid 70/30

Posted on February 1, 2016 at 6:10 PM

Here's a slideshow taken from a recent tile project in which a backsplash was tiled in a 70/30 split pattern with a stunning white textured tile.

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Straight and level

Posted on April 14, 2015 at 9:05 PM

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This working wood fireplace was transformed into a modern gas one. The owner wanted tile as the surrounds on the wall and floor. Here are some shots of the work in progress.

I arrived at the job after the contractor complete the framing, strapping and sheetrocking over the old brick hearth.

My job is to lay the tile, but before starting that, I draw out an exact layout for each 18 x 18 tile, centering the lines over the centre of the fireplace so that everything looks symmetrical. Then I start laying the first few tiles at the hearth area, making sure everything is level as I proceed.

Fixing a customer's botched-up tile job

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 5:15 PM

A homeowner attempted to install a slate backsplash into his kitchen. When he had finished, he called me to fix the resulting mess. Here's a brief look at the job and how I fixed it:

 Here's the before shot

Slate is a porous natural material, and as such, grout sinks into the tile surface upon contact. The homeowner had a hard time removing excess grout when it started to dry and harden.

The remedy:

1) I completely removed the above section of the wall, including the drywall. The tile was stuck down with cement instead of mastic glue. As a result, when I started to remove tile from the wall, off came the drywall.

 2) I reinstalled the slate mosaic tiles, but before grouting, I sealed the tile to ensure that no grout would seep into the surface of the tile.

The homeowner installed tile around (not under) the power socket. This is not how to do it. The correct way to install tile around a socket is shown the following images:


Another before shot

But here's the after shot


I removed the socket plate, unscrewed the box and let the wires dangle...


I then installed mosaic tiles individually around the box.




I then installed the plate on the outside of the tile, giving a nice, clean, finished look.


What is the best layout?

Posted on January 21, 2008 at 7:03 PM

The above tile job was not one of mine, but was one that I noticed at a client's house. One of the major reasons I decided to specialize as a tile installer was because I saw shoddy tile work everywhere. One thing that I have always noticed is how bathroom floors are mainly laid out back-to-front and the cut sides on the wrong walls.

One of the major reasons that installers lay tiles incorrectly is because they want to start at the back wall and work their way to the doorway. They do not want to do half the job one day, and then complete it the next. They want in and out the same day. This may suit them, but it doesn't suit the end look.

If I were to lay the tiles in the bathroom above, the first 3 rows from the doorway going into the room, would be full tiles. The photo below gives you a rough idea:

Then, as I lose space to stand in, I am forced to stop and let the tiles dry until the next day. The next day, I would be able to stand on those tiles laid the day before, and complete laying the rest of the tiles towards the back of the room.

In order to lay the tiles all in the same day, you have to lay them incorrectly. In order to achieve the best layout you have to do it over 2 days. Ask yourself this question: which layout would you want in your bathroom?

How can they sleep at night after creating such shoddy work?

Posted on October 18, 2007 at 11:09 PM


I was called to inspect a tile job completed recently, in which the homeowner was trying to recover a refund from the original tiling contractor. I was amazed, but not surprised at what I saw (I took pictures, which are shown above). I came to the conclusion that some so-called contractors have no clue about how to lay tile, or maybe they don't care, thinking that the client won't notice. It's unfortunate, but true. But it goes to show how important it is for any homeowner to ask for testimonials, references and actual pictures of work completed. If the contractor fails to show these, then the red flags should immediately go up. Stay away from such folk and you'll save years of heartache.

I also recently completed a shower stall in which prior to me laying the tiles, the entire job had to be ripped up not once, but twice by the homebuilder. Twice the tile contractor started the same job and botched it up. I take my hat off to the homebuilder for giving this guy a second chance! But, seriously, who can afford to have tile laid and taken up twice? Better to get the job done right the first time.

Beware of shoddy tile installers -- ask for references, pictures...even ask to inspect recently completed jobs. You'll be glad you did!