Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oh, hai. Remember us?

Oh, hey, how's it going?  It's been a LONG time, but don't worry, we're are getting work done in the blue house on the corner.  Actually, we've gotten a lot done.  Sorta.  But, I can't throw it all out at you at once.

Unfortunately, someone (me) left our camera at our friends house when we went to a party there for the May 24th long weekend.  These friends also happen to live 2+ hours away.  We only just got the camera back near the end of July, so, there's a bit of a gap where our work wasn't quite photo-documented the way I'd like, but, there are some ok iPhone pictures we can share.  I'm going to take a few (2?) posts to bring the world up to date on where we are in the bathroom, and then we'll move on to what we've done in the rest of the house.

When we last spoke we'd finished laying the tile in the bathroom and had it all grouted.  The next step was tiling the shower.

 The first step in the process was mixing up some thinset to apply the Kerdi membrane to the walls and floor.  As I mentioned waaaaaay back in January we used the Schluter Kerdi system for the shower.

Image from

The first thing that goes on is the Kerdi Band.  A 5" strip of membrane that helps to seal in all of the corner joints.  That was definitely me work and not Derek work, as it was finicky and required a small amount of patience.

Once all of the corners had been covered in Kerdi Band, it was time to put the membrane up on the walls.  Now, here is where I will fully admit that I made a mistake.  I grabbed the wrong trowel.  So instead of having a nice thin coat of thinset with the small, v-notch trowel that Schluter recommends, I grabbed the big honkin square notch one we used for the floor.  This resulted in a THICK later of thinset that didn't exactly dry smoothly, and really built up the corners.  So, always make sure you grab the right trowel!

We let the thinset set up for a few days and then got to work on the tile.  The tile we got for the shower walls is a 4"x16" white ceramic tile.  They're huge.  We played around with a few layout options and decided that we really like a running brick pattern with a 1/3 offset.  It makes more sense when you see it.

Derek got started laying the tiles and made it about 3 rows before the number of swear words quickly out numbered all other words.  Tiling, not his forte.  I stepped in and continued on.

See the pattern?  At this point, the camera-forgetting weekend happened, so the only other shower progress picture I have came from my phone.

We sort of played around to see where we wanted our row of mosaic tiles to go, just sort of taking a look as we went to see what we thought looked best.  We settled with just about eye level.

Neither of us can remember for sure how long that took, but I think it was one good, solid day of work.

The next wall had all the freaking holes in it, but, we had our diamond hole saw from doing the floor, so those were easy as pie.  

The best advice I can offer for tiling is to make sure you clean our as much thinset as you can before it dries.  We spent DAYS cleaning the thinset out from the grout lines.  The worst was in the mosaic tile.  So, even if you're tired from tiling, take the time to get the thinset out while it's easy!

The grouting of the shower was pretty easy, although it did take quite a while, and we probably mixed up too much grout at one time, but it got done.  Installing the tile on the shower floor was a fun job.  We ended up getting a special tool from a stained glass shop here in town to cut the glass mosaics on an angle.

Rotary nippers turned out to be the perfect tool for the job.  Home Depot doesn't sell them, so you'll need to find a stained glass shop, but they were only about $20. (or you can borrow ours)

Here's the final thing.  You get a preview of the wall colour in this shot, but hey, that's ok.

I love it.  Here's a closer look at the floor to.  Love that x a million.

Now we just need to get the glass guy in, and the work on this bad boy is done.  We've already installed the shower head, but I'll tell you about that in my next post, where I'll also share the store of the toilet install, and the fiasco that was our pop-up drain.

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