Less than a handful of years ago, a homeowner approached Collins Tile and Stone in Ashburn, VA, with an extensive remodeling plan for the master bathroom. In response to a requested “spa effect,” the installation team successfully executed the owner’s vision with an enclosed steam shower, accompanying bench and traditional Japanese soaking tub — all of which helped create the relaxing oasis.

These elements were complemented by a combination of different tiles, including a 14-square-foot feature mural in the middle of the shower wall featuring handmade tiles from Lunada Bay Tile. The 1- x 4-inch glass mosaics from the Tozen collection were implemented in the Tresse pattern in the color “Argon,” with a silk finish, which adds a nice accent to the gray tones of the other cement-like wall tile.

A complete overhaul

The new bathroom required a complete demolition of the existing bathroom finishes, the elimination of two picture windows, the addition of a new 84- x 24-inch transom window to allow natural light in, and significant modifications to the cathedral ceiling to accommodate the steam shower.

“We used the best products and adhered to every industry standard,” said Buck Collins, president of Collins Tile and Stone in Ashburn, VA. “This allowed us to not only enhance the beauty of the bathroom remodel, but to ensure longevity of the tilework.”

To withstand the constant moisture conditions, a lineup of suitable products from Laticrete in Bethany, CT, were utilized. The Hydro Ban sheet membrane, a thin, liquid-applied waterproofing anti-fracture membrane, was used to waterproof the cement board in the steam shower. For all movement joints within the shower, Latasil was used — a high performance, one-component, neutral cure, 100% silicone sealant, specifically designed for ceramic tile and stone applications.

When it came to installing the Lunada Bay Tile mural inside of the shower, the Collins team turned to the Laticrete Glass Tile Adhesive, a water-mixed, non-sag, polymer fortified adhesive mortar that is specifically formulated for use in glass tile applications. With great workability, this adhesive produces an ultra-white finish that enhances the look of glass mosaics.

For the larger, heavier tiles that were employed on the walls and floors, 4-XLT was required. The multi-use, polymer-fortified adhesive mortar offers tremendous utility, including non-sag capability for wall installations, and non-slump characteristics when installing large and heavy tiles on floors, with buildup capability of up to 1/2 inch thickness.

Lastly, installers utilized 254 Platinum to apply the ceiling tiles, which is a one-step, polymer-fortified, high-performance, thinset mortar. It is designed to mix with water, has a long open time and high shear bond strength, which results in an adhesive mortar with unsurpassed adhesion and workability.

The 140-square-foot bathroom remodel took just under two months to complete, and has received widespread recognition, including the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) Five-Star Grand Prize for Residential Tile Installation at Coverings in 2015, one of the highest recognitions a residential installer can receive.

“It’s just fantastic,” said the homeowner, who sketched out the original designs for the bathroom. “I’m not a designer by any means, but since completing the bathroom, I’m now working for a company designing tile. I have no technical background, but I’ve become so interested. It’s become a real passion of mine.”

Private residence


Tile Contractor: Collins Tile and Stone, Ashburn, VA
Tile Supplier: Architectural Ceramics, Chantilly, VA (Lunada Bay Tile’s Tozen collection)
Installation Products: Laticrete, Bethany, CT (Hydro Ban, Latasil, Glass Tile Adhesive, 4-XLT, 254 Platinum) — purchased directly from Architectural Ceramics