May 18, 2020

House Post Monday: Everything Hurts and I'm Dying

First, some progress pics. This was two weeks ago today:


One week ago today:


Today:


On Friday, our GC's crew finished up the drywall and passed the baton to us. They're not done, but they're done for now. On Friday night, we primed the entire room, including the ceiling, and on Saturday morning, I painted the ceiling. Do you know I feel about ceilings?

Haaaaaaaate

But the ceiling had to get done, because it had to be done before we laid the floor, and the floor has to go in because we're on day 8 since I was last able to run a load of laundry, and we only have about 5 days left before that becomes a critical situation.

Despite wanting to get it over with as fast as possible, I took my time because I rushed the 7 ceilings upstairs (also just before the floors got done) and I kick myself to this day every time I look up at them. Happy to report I can't find fault with this one.


Then it was time for tile. First, we decided which visual we wanted to appear straight - since something would end up being crooked in this room, it's an old house after all.  We decided we wanted straight down the center to be straight because that's the angle people will mostly look at it from. So we measured each end of the room and discovered they were 1.25" off from each other. Really not too shabby for this house!

Next we found the midpoint of both ends and snapped a chalk line straight down across the room.


After that, we nailed a piece of scrap wood down the chalk line to get us started on our straight visual line. We didn't keep it there forever, but it did help us start straight.


At this point I hadn't yet decided if I wanted to work in quadrants (laying out 1/4th of the room in a dry fit, then mortaring before moving on to the next quadrant), but I talked to a fellow old house owner who advocated strongly for dry-fitting the whole thing.

I was so nervous that this very geometric hex tile would start getting crooked the further I went, (even a little crooked would be SO noticeable with so many straight, diagonal lines across it), so I decided to take his advice, and we dry-fit the whole thing. This took 9 hours on Saturday, and was a good decision.


Normally when you dry fit, you label each tile and then take it out of the room so you have space to work and lay Thinset in big patches.  I decided against that for a room this big and left them all in place, thinking I might take them up a few rows at a time to lay down Thinset and then put them back. But...I started to get a little crooked and decided that wasn't going to work. So I ended up Thinsetting each individual tile.

Me at 3pm on Sunday, less than half done, realizing today is going to suck

For the record, that is not how you're supposed to lay tile, and it probably took me twice as long as it otherwise would have, but I think it was the right decision in here. It allowed me to level each individual tile with Thinset, and to keep a neurotically close eye on if anything got even slightly crooked.


That said, I also just about lost my shit doing this part. It was 8pm on Sunday, I was on hour 11 of working, still had three hours to go, and every part of my body ached from 20 combined hours of crouching, kneeling, sitting, tiptoeing and handling rough Thinset and Durarock over two days. There were storms rolling in, and I had to finish the tiling sitting on the outdoor stoop as I set tiles on my way out the door.

I very nearly gave up and called it a night, but I am not that kind of person, it would have driven me crazy to know I had an unfinished project sitting over my head. Plus it needed to get down and start curing so I could grout it and do some damn laundry!

Nick saved my life with a delicious salmon and rice bowl, and I persevered with the help of my favorite Spotify playlist. And got done at 11pm, 14 hours after I started. Just in time for a massive storm to hit minutes later.


The bottom line is, I took the longest, most agonizingly precise route to get this tile laid, and it was SO much work, but it was the right decision. This very easy to get crooked pattern isn't crooked at all, anywhere, even if you're looking for it. And trust me, I have.


Now it has to cure for a couple of days, and then we'll grout it. Then once the grout is cured, the platform, washer, dryer, chandelier and drying rack can go in.  One step at a time.

21 comments:

  1. It looks AMAZING!!

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  2. DAMN girl. That is SO MUCH work. But that tile is GORGEOUS.

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    1. Thank you! It was more than I thought it would be, but worth it.

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  3. God that looks AMAZING. Like also yes an absolute fuck ton of work and better you than me 😂 but damn is your laundry room gonna be the laundry room to top all laundry rooms!!!

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    1. I hope so, we are never redoing it again, haha.

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  4. It looks so fucking good! Holy shit friend. That was a mental feat you just pulled off (physical too but i feel like the physical telling the brain to just 'stahp' is the hardest part to push through mentally!)

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    1. Thank you SO much, it really was, both in terms of the math it took to make it straight and in terms of mind over body. I hurt everywhere today, lol.

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  5. Wow. It looks FANTASTIC! Such motivation and inspiration to take your time to do it well. Great job! I hope you're not too sore for too long.

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    1. Thank you! I hope not either, I dragged myself out of bed for 7:40am Pilates today and that helped.

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  6. That looks AMAZING!!!

    That said, you have just killed any motivation I might ever have had for laying hexagonal tile. Thanks! I think I'll stick to my 18 inch squares. :D

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    1. Oh man, SO many times I thought about how much easier this project would be with squares. Is it weird that I'm looking forward to how easy the backsplash should be?

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  7. I am completely floored by your floors! This whole room is going to look so darn good- all this pain will be WELL worth it for the satisfaction you will have every time you walk in there.

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    1. Thank you, I hope so! I keep telling myself, we are only doing this once. I wish you could see it in person before you go <3

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  8. This is absolutely incredible, what an amazing job!!

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  9. You have some serious patience. But it looks AMAZING, so totally worth the agony.

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  10. wow, that is a lot of work and it looks amazing. It reminds me a lot of works by Escher.

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  11. good gosh. As someone who has put down floor tile before, I am wildly impressed with a) how good this turned out and b) how dedicated you were to the process

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  12. ...and that's the story of why I have large, non-pattered tile that no one looks at twice, haha. Your outcome is amazing but I don't have your gumption!

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