Bathroom Mod Blog Seven - tile and air blower - jspirate

Weekend Sixteen (10/2) - There are four things that need to be done in the short term (relatively speaking).

1.  Relocate the tub's blower motor to the closet in the other bathroom

2.  Cut and install the last piece of Durock for the front of the tub

3.  Install the access panel for the tub's faucet valves

4.  Tile the tub and shower

As the list implies, the obvious and wise choice would have been to work on the blower motor.  Its not a small task and ideally, it should be done before I do the Durock, but I decided to do some tile work instead.  Maybe next weekend I will have the moxie to work on the blower...

Weekend Sixteen - custom tile cuts

This tile job doesn't really have any cuts that I would consider tricky, but I've never done tile work, so maybe I am just ignorant.  This piece will be placed around the shower valve's housing. Its basically just a square cut, but the 8 inch tile saw does not cut all the way trough the tile when you get to your end mark (round blade has curve).  So, two holes were drilled such that the saw could cut deep enough.

The recently acquired drill press sure did come in handy!  And, I got some spiffy diamond drill bits off of Amazon.

Weekend Sixteen - the result

Weekend Sixteen - just a test fit

Huge sigh of relief!!!  I was confident that the valve controls would work, but mistakes happen and I am a newb in this area.  My measurements and estimates were good! A mistake here would have dealt a significantly awful blow to the project.

Weekend Sixteen - second tricky cut

Weekend Sixteen - whew, it fits

I measures three times and cut once ~ awww yeah!

In the back of my mind I wondered if having such a small tab was a bad idea.  I motored through by reasoning that the tile will be stuck to the wall in a flat position with Thinset.  It should be strong, but I don't know about expansion and contraction.  Time will tell...

Weekend Sixteen - tiling progress

Things went fairly well, but maybe a little more slowly than I would have liked.   At first, I found tile work a tad worrisome, but then on my third batch of Thinset, I discovered a couple tricks:

1.  Make about 20% less Thinset than you think you need.  It slows you down and the ticking clock on the Thinset-setup-time just fades away.  You can always mix more.

2.  Use a short bucket for the Thinset and don't let the material get on the rim/side of the bucket.  This allows you to keep the notched and flat trowel handles clean.  When necessary, just use one tool to clean the edges of the other (instead of scraping them off on edge of bucket).  It works great and clean tools are winning.

Once I discovered these two tricks, I became an instant fan of tile work.  Its reminds me of a Lego project only there are no instructions and you have to make all of the pieces.  Its fun and its going to make it hard to work on the tub's blower relocation!  Especially since the RedGard walls are starting to get on my nerves.  They put a red tint on the whole room, including the tile.

Total project time to date = 205 hours

Weekend Seventeen (10/9) - There are four things I have been wanting to focus on since the beginning of last weekend:

1. Relocate the tub's blower motor to the closet in the other bathroom

2. Cut and install the last piece of Durock for the front of the tub

3. Install the access panel for the tub's faucet valves

4. Tile the tub and shower

I tried to make myself work on the blower motor relocation, I really did.  In the end, I worked on installing the last piece of Durock and laying more tile.

Weekend Seventeen - Durock is complete

After a coat of RedGard, its done ~ yay!!!

Weekend Seventeen - more costum cuts

The cut around the shower threshold was a bit of a pain.  It wasn't a hard cut by any means, but I still managed to mess up the first piece.  As is most often the case, I measured incorrectly and made gorgeously perfect cuts using those incorrect measurements.

Weekend Seventeen - another view of the threshold cut

Weekend Seventeen - under the window sil

After the tile is installed I will be adding a piece of wooden trim under the window.  This requires a place for the nails to pass the tile and anchor to the framing underneath the tile.  I used one my spiffy new hole saws on my recently acquired hand-me-down drill press.


Weekend Seventeen - more cuts

Don't ask me how, but I nailed this cut on my first try.  It makes no sense because it is infinitely more tricky than the shower threshold cut that I messed up.  It really does pay to focus ~ haha

Weekend Seventeen - shower nice work

The wife and I decided to tile the back of the niche with the same stone that we got for the floor of the shower.  I felt like I was way out of my league on this part, but I managed to pull it off.

It still needs to be grouted (as does the rest of the tile), but I feel like it might look half way decent when it is.

Weekend Seventeen - more niche

Weekend Seventeen - a couple more tile pieces

After the niche, I had the wife help me dry fit the tub one more time.  Its hard to tell in the pic, but there is a dotted line showing where the tub's edge will be. After the dry fit, I finished the weekend out with some more tiling.

I had a really hard time getting in a groove during weekend Seventeen, but I did make forward progress. The tub deck will soon be worked on and that should go fairly quickly because there are not really many custom cuts.  Its mostly going up and down stairs to get to the tile cutter.  Its great exercise!

Total project time to date = 220 hours

Weekend Eighteen (10/16) - It is time to work on the tub's blower relocation!

Weekend Eighteen - more tile work

The cement backer board that is used for the shower walls doesn't go all the way up the wall.  I stopped it just above the shower spigot.  Up that high, there is no concern of water getting through the tile or grout.  The catch to this is that the tile needs to go up past the backer board. So, in order to make sure the Thinset stuck to the painted wall, I sanded with 100 grit and then used my utility knife to score, but not cut through, the paint. 

Weekend Eighteen - pump relocation

Ok, ok, ok... so this isn't a pump relocation picture.  I tried to work on the pump, I really did, but I ended up tiling instead.  And here is why...

So, a few weeks ago the bathroom modding project was dealt a significantly catastrophic blow.   When we placed the tile order it included bullnose tile to match the shower wall tile.  Bullnose has a rounded edge and makes for a nice end piece when transitioning from a tile wall to a painted wall. When the order was delivered, the bullnose was not on the truck.  That part of the order was sourced from a different location and would be shipped separately.  I wasn't concerned in the least because I had plenty of work to do and it would be awhile before I needed to lay the bullnose. So, I started tiling.  After having a fair bit of shower tile laid, the store contacted me to tell me that they ordered the wrong bullnose.  From there things really got bad.  As it turns out, the tile has been discontinued and they could only get a few pieces of bullnose.

Lesson learned - don't start tiling until you have all the tile in your possession.

So, what you see in the picture above is something I can't even bare to look at.  Its pencil tile sourced from a different store and of course it isn't a perfect match.  In my mind it doesn't even come close to matching.  In fact, by the time I finished putting the pencil on the wall, it was all my wife could do to keep me from yanking it off.  I enjoyed a few Heavy Seas Loose Canons during the pencil install and my mindset was very precise.  In my mind, the pencil looked like someone came in and dropped a turd on my 200+ hour project.  At that moment, if the guy from the tile store had been in front of me, I would have kicked em in the nuts - twice.

Weekend Eighteen - tile progress

So, there it is... the ugly pencil tile and my other progress.

The other progress includes the tile on the tub side in the shower and the tile around the tub.  Oh yeah, I also sealed the Travertine pieces in the niche.  It is now ready for grout.

My wife says she likes the pencil and I guess I am supposed to believe her.  She thinks that when the pencil is grouted and the matching caulk bead on the wall side is done; well, she thinks it will look "fine."


Total project time to date = 230 hours