Bathroom Tiling - Day 32

Sunday, November 11, 2007 | 0 Comments

Mortaring the tile took a lot longer than we had thought it would. This was mostly because the sheets that we had were not laid square or evenly at the factory, so our layout got almost 1/2" skewed!!

Being the miracle engineer that I am, I was able to re-align the tiles so that you would never even notice.This involved stripping most of the rest of the tiles off the sheets and laying them in singly without spacers. Sounds like a mess? IT WAS!! I had to forgo the knotched trowel for the most part to ensure that I had enough mortar behind the tile. And mortaring single tiles resulted in the mortar getting everywhere.

But they cleaned up nice and all was well! Since our tiles had a glossy glaze on the face, the mortar basically wiped off when dampened a bit. It would have been a bitch with unglazed tiles!

We waited 48 hours for the mortar to cure before we grouted. After the first 24 hours we started to clean out the grout joints to make room for the grout. This meant taking a utility knife and scratching out mortar that had squeezed into the joint. The advice we got on this was that the joint needed to be at least 2/3 cleaned of mortar. This process took a lot of time, took a lot of blades, and created a lot of blisters. I did find that the carbide cutter that we had bought to cut the Hardibacker worked very well in removing the mortar -- however, it was also quite effective at chipping and scratching the tile. So I used that in bigger grout joints and areas where I could keep steady control over it and used the utility knife for the rest.
The grout went rather well. FYI - the grout mixed should be about the consistency of soft peanut butter. There were a lot of differing opinions on this on the forums that we were consulting, but peanut butter is definitely the way to go.

Hometime has an awesome video showing how to grout. We followed that pretty much to the letter and it worked.

We did have a mysterious problem with the grout we noticed shortly after finishing. The first half of the grout we laid in was sinking. It was well below where it should have laid. We considered mixing some more grout to go over it right away, but after consulting the forums again, we decided against it. I basically said - Screw It! It will just have to be low! We went to the high school play that JD had helped work on (he was an usher during the play -- very handsome and gentleman-like, and he built the sets -- they were beautiful! Hmmm... construction is in the blood, I think). When we came back and looked at the grout, it had strangely enough expanded back to where it should have been. I really have no clue what happened but I am so glad that we don't have to scratch it all out and redo it!

The new flange gave us a little bit of trouble. It would not sit flush (no pun intended) with the finished floor. We chiseled a little bit of material out of the floor around the flange, and bingo! it fit perfectly. Then it was just a matter of tightening the bolts evenly around the flange until they were tight and the rubber gasket was sufficiently compressed.

We had to turn down many a fine proposal for fun making in this fine November weather - but it was well worth the sacrifice -- WE HAVE A TOILET!!!

Isn't it beautiful?
It brought a tear to my eye.


Leon J. de la Garza said...

everything seems to be going about smoothly..

I see you now have a toilet, so you wont have to go to you neighbor anymore :P
Must be nice..

What can I say... umm.. there is really nothing new or interesting around here.. so..

I'm just visiting..
But do me a favor would ya?
Have yourself a great rest-of-the-week!

Sylvana said...

Leon, thanks. It is so nice to have our toilet back! And I was relieved to see that the tiling actually looked the way I had imagined!

You have a great week&end too!

pastamasta said...

Haven't seen anyone cry with joy over the existence of a toilet since my great-granny moved out of her 18th-century backyard-loo house in South Wales. It's very moving. ;)

Michael Manning said...

Better you than me. That is damn HARD work in my opinion. You did a fabulous job!

Sylvana said...

PastaMasta, if ONLY we had a backyard-loo during this! But in a sense, I guess our neighbor's bathroom was ours! :)

Good to see you around again, BTW!

Michael, hard work, but well worth it! And thank you for the compliment. Just a few more details to go and we will have a bathroom we can be proud of.