Can You Tile? Bathroom Remodel- Edition 3
Or rather, the question should be, Are you SURE you want to tile?
I mean there are some things that are fairly easy to DIY around the house, paint the walls, put in a garden, change out a light fixture etc. So really, adding tile to that list wouldn’t be a bad option right? RIIGHT???
The day started like most days during the remodel, get up, have coffee, take Evie to school, come back and cut tile only to find out the saw you borrowed to save money is too small for the super GIANT tiles you decided to pick out because I mean, that’ll be easier than laying a bunch of little tiles. (I know, I ran on, but think in the context of saying this out loud with frustration and panic setting in.)
After wasting our time, trying to cut the tile one side, then the other. Which didn’t work out by the way. We conceded and set off for our home away from home, Home Depot. We rented a gargantuan saw that would surely cut our 12×24 inch tile. And it did. $80 later.
Did I mention it was raining? We just so happened to pick the day for torrential rain ALL DAY. Thankfully we had a pop up canopy so we stayed somewhat dry. But a tile saw is a wet saw, there was going to be water regardless.
We started on the first wall, the largest of the shower. You’re supposed to start the second row up from the tub. Why? because tubs are usually NOT level and doing that would make all subsequent tiles un-level. So thats what we did. They’re heavy, they slide. We sat there holding the damn things to the wall until they stuck. You’d think watching whatever youtube videos, we would follow whatever these seemingly Pro’s were saying. YOU’D THINK.
Somehow, we managed to get the entire wall up, issues small though, we thought, “Yeah Man, we’re doing it!”
Until the back wall. Oh the back wall. I will forever, EVER, remember what you did to us.
We start on the back wall. This time we shimmed the second row to hold the tiles in place, you know, so they won’t slip down and we wouldn’t have to hold them until they dry. LOL!! Everything was going smoothly, too smoothly, every cut, perfect, spacers, perfect. Two tiles fit slightly off because our walls are not straight thus, the corners are not perfect 90 degrees either, but I digress. All the way up! It looks great! Look how level and even we are with the other tiles on the other wall!!!! Ok, cool. time to put the first row in, remove the shims. Once the last screw was out of our shim board and we’re ready to place the first tile and then….
Everything happens in slow motion….
The wall of beautifully laid tile, starts SLIDING!!
Oh heaven help us!! GOOD GOD!! STOP IT!! STOP IT!! ITS TOO HEAVY I CAN’T HOLD ON MUCH LONGER!!
We’re gonna have to do it all over AGAIN! No, NO we’re not. That sh*t just took us TWO HOURS! I am not doing it again!!
We take the top row off. We push, we get that first row tile in, shim the bottom. Its in. Fix the gaps, put in the stupid spacers, realign the tiles, its straight, NO ITS STRAIGHT. Leave it! JUST LEAVE IT!!
Put the top row in. Its done. We’re done. No, actually, we’re not. We have the wall with the shower assembly left. Great, now we have to drill holes in the tile. This will be fun. Open a beer. Its gonna be a long night…
Surprisingly, the cuts, the drilling for the plumbing, everything goes as planned. Until, the last tile. We measured, but the unfinished side of the tile. Maybe the drill will be easier. Drill through, it took 30 minutes. The diamond drill bit, isn’t so “diamond” anymore. Go fit the tile. NO. Just No. We didn’t think to compensate the backside of the tile measurements for it to fit correctly on the finished side. SERIOUSLY?!
By this time, it was 9 pm. 9 FREAKING pm.
Well, it will look stupid when every tile is two pieces on the wall and then the ONE row is three. Okay fine, open the other box. We measure again, correctly. Start drilling. This isn’t working. We have to go to Home Depot, AGAIN. By this time we’ve probably made 5 trips there the whole day. Home Depot loves us. By the looks of our Home Depot credit card, they REALLY love us.
We find a diamond drill bit. This should work. Or give us a little leverage to get the hole cut through. Get back to the house, its 9:45. Cut the new hole for the shower head. It fits, thank you God, it fits.
Perfect, we’re done. But no, you’re not. You still have to tile the floor….
The bathroom is tiny, there isn’t much area for the floor tile. Its a lot easier than the wall tile. We slap down what we don’t have to cut because by this time, its 11 o’clock at night. We don’t want to disturb the neighbors.
What a day.
That really happened.
I’m never going to tile ANYTHING myself again. And I have huge amounts of respect for those who do it on a daily basis. But, I’d imagine after doing it over and over, you’d get good at it. Thats why we leave it to the Pros.