Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I think I've managed to stumbled up that steep tile-setting learning curve.
A young painter's helper asked if I had really tiled the master bath floor myself & when I nodded he told me I have "serious skills". (for those without teenagers, that's a good thing)
My very first tile project - ever. (No, no, not the shower stall, we hired someone to do that part, there's tricky window bits there & we want to be in the house before next Christmas) The downstairs bathroom floor in white 3" ceramic mosaics.

Tile project #2 was a doozy. 18" (very heavy) porcelain tiles.
I thought "this won't take long, because the tiles are so big there aren't very many of them, should take about 1/2 the time the 3" mosaics took."
What a deluded moron - try 4 times as long. This floor took me FOUR!! long (as in 10-12 hours) days. I'm almost embarrassed to admit it took so long.
And I'm still going to have to ban any guests from using the toilet because that's where I started tiling and I don't know if we have liability coverage for badly stubbed toes.

The finished floor looks much more impressive in real life. The tile has a speckle-y stone-like pattern that's very nice. Also, this picture was taken before I'd wiped off the haze from grouting.

Tile Project #3: My little tiny powder room.
Planning the pattern & layout takes such a long time.

This is some (a very small part) of the tumbled travertine that Kim negotiated for with the manager of the Rona store that closed last summer.
"How much of a deal will you give me if we take the your entire stock?" A pretty darn good one as it turns out. I wonder if travertine would work outside on the deck?

The inset tiles are not black, but impossible-to-photograph iridescent jewel-toned glass pieces. I bought one sqare foot of a multi-coloured glass mosaic and ripped them off the backing. The glass tiles work well with the rough tumbled stone because the glass has an uneven ripple-y surface & they aren't perfect squares but look like broken bits with jagged edges. Click on the photo to see closer but to get the full effect you'll have to visit in person and have a seat....
while you admire all the pretty colours.

No in-progress pics of Tile Project #4, just the final result.
We liked the 'hopscotch' pattern in the powder room so much I used some left-over white 3" tiles from my first floor to do the same thing in a larger scale in the master bathroom.
Most of the travertine we bought is ivory-coloured and tumbled but we had just enough of these honed, darker tiles to do the floor. Really - just enough - I have less than a whole tile left.
When Cole was sponging the tiles off for me as I installed them, he kept saying how much nicer the colour is when they're wet. So I searched for a sealer that would dry with a wet-look.
Found one called a "stone enhancer" that did just that so I got the dark-coloured floor I had been campaigning for after all.

This shows how I spend a typical Saturday night - tiling the tub-deck. What a party animal.


Tina Holden said...

Impressive tiling work, Jem! No one will be able to nominate you for the next "Canada's Worst Handyman". Ever watch that series?

Anonymous said...

That looks awesome. Wish I could do that to my rental.I love the hopscotch pattern. Well done Jem.