Sunday, June 26, 2011

Casa: the one where I talk about tiling

Oh dear.

This story begins with a lovely carpeted living room.

Oh, my lush carpet with a souped up carpet pad that we paid extra for. You make the room cozy and you're only 4 years old. My husband John doesn't like you because you collect dust and stains and pet hair.  So you must go.

I was never 100% on board with the removal of the carpet and replacing it with tile. But I obliged and, to save money, suggested we do the install ourselves. I looked over some articles and watched some youtube videos, it didn't look like rocket science. John wasn't confident in our abilities but I just kept saying it would be okay.

John and I took Thursday and Friday off to do the install of a basically square 16' by 16' room. Surely it wouldn't take longer than that. The weekend before we had gathered our supplies as well as ripped the carpet up and prepped the slab.

Evan was off to the sitter's. We were set.


 Carpet removed:

After coffee we dove in. Since we were just adding on to existing tile, we started in a corner against the existing tile. We worked our way clock-wise around the room, planning, so that we didn't trap ourselves. We each tried our hand at being the tile-setter and the mortar-layer. I ended up being more skilled at the mortar while John was better at the tile setting. So, I laid 256 square feet of mortar WITHOUT knee pads. Savage. It was pretty easy on day 1. Once you get going it goes pretty fast.

I was being extremely frugal so no knee pads, no mortar stirrer....I used a paint stirrer and old and cheap kitchen mixer....yeah. Anyways, lay some mortar down, use your notched trowel to level it, slap a tile down, use your level to make sure it's flat and adjust the tile as needed. Easy peasy.

John caved and bought knee pads
Day 2: A different story. We were very sore from the day before. My mortar laying went more slowly because my hands hurt. Our knees hurt. We didn't finish by the end of day 2, it continued into the weekend.

In the end, it was worth it. I had fun listening to music and chatting with my husband and getting my hands dirty. Saving $700 on labor was awesome, too. Of course, we aren't pros, there are blemishes and areas with issues but I'm sure no one would notice unless we pointed it out.

To date, the tile has been nice, easy to care for, pet messes and people spills are easy to clean up. Yet, I do miss my plush carpet now that Evan is more active and cruising.

Nitty Gritty
  • notched trowel
  • mini notched trowel for tight spots
  • bucket for water to rinse rags 
  • bucket for mixing mortar
  • bucket for mixing grout
  • sponge
  • rags
  • gloves
  • level
  • 15 boxes of 18"x18" tile from Daltile, Village Bend in mushroom 
  • grout in bone
  • borrowed wet saw
  • patience
  • time

So, there you have it. And we all lived happily ever after.

No comments:

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Writer's Blog by 2008

Back to TOP