This week (month?), I take a break from my normal posts to show you the bathroom I’m remodeling. I tried to finish the entire thing in 5 days and failed. I was going to quit, but in the interest of transparency, I need to show you the full story. The good news is that we are almost done.
This is my second to last bathroom update. The thing is soooooooo close to being done, but with the work-week upon me again, I probably won’t finish until the weekend rolls around again.
As has been the case, (insert one: bacterial infections, real job, beer, neighbor spats [across the street, but not involving us]) have continued to conspire against me. Most of all, it’s been my full time job. Lately, it’s been full time and a half. Software development is fun, but can also be highly stressful and involve lots of hours. It isn’t fun to work 50-60 hours a week, only to have these projects going on at the same time. I said in the last post and I’ll say it again here, the Frugalwoods nailed it. However, I hate to complain when life is still pretty great and the project is almost in the can. Time for the update.
Making things harder than they need to be
The floor tile was a bit of a challenge because of the age of the home. Because the house is 50+ years old, nothing is ever straight, floor included. This means that you have to really pay attention when setting the tile. Some tiles get a lot more thinset than others. (Tip: Use a level and mark the floor off before starting).
To make things even more difficult, I used natural slate tile. Slate looks pretty great when done, but the cheap off-the-shelf stuff from Home Depot is a crapshoot. No two tiles are the same thickness. Some of them come in at over half an inch while others are barely one quarter of an inch. Again, careful planning is a must. That, or spring for the costlier tile that are more consistent.
Tile and cheese
I walked into someone’s house one day and immediately encountered a truly horrific, gag worthy smell. Turns out that obnoxious odor was part of dinner. The guy was frying up some form of nasty cheese on the stove:
- Me: What the hell is that smell? Is there a body in the basement? Have you not showered for a year?
- Dude: No, I’m frying up some cheese. The rule of cheese is to never judge it by its smell.
Whatever. There was no way that cheese was ever going anywhere near my mouth. I tell you now that that a similar rule applies to tile jobs though, especially mine:
The first rule of the tile job is that you don’t talk about the tile job!!
Wait, wrong movie. The actual rule is this:
Never judge a tile job until you see the final product.
I make messes of epic proportions when setting tile. Tile thinset gets on top of the tile, all over my clothes, in the walls, in various body crevices (TMI, I know, I know) in my hair and sometimes, even in my beer. The horror, the horror. I hope the stuff isn’t toxic.
When we do buy the $$$ tile
The slate comes in at less than $2/square foot which is pretty cheap for tile and in the general scheme of the remodel. We do use pricier stuff, but only for certain areas. We bought some nifty glass tile at Costco for about $5/square foot. We are using it for accents around the tub and also for the vanity backsplash:
One more post
I’ll post a final update next week when the project is all done. I’ll show you lots of pictures and tell you how much everything cost.
Finally, I couldn’t publish this without a shout-out to my little tile saw. This thing has saved me many thousands of dollars in labor. Tiling has super bang-for-the-buck. There is nothing like replacing ugly linoleum with beautiful tile to really spice up a room. I strongly suggest you learn this skill if you haven’t already.
*Actually, my name isn’t Mud. I was going to use the name for this post, but completely forgot about it. Anyway, that Claypool dude can really play the bass…
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