Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Two walls

It's time for your Daily Tiling Update!


It's time for me to get a beer.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tiling off the leash

Bill asked that I not start tiling the bathroom until he was able to work on it too because he wanted to be in on the fun. But after a day of that, he realized what he really wants is to be in is a working shower and the whole process would go quicker if I tiled while he was at work.

Being left alone with a bunch of tiles and blank walls is leading to some unconventional tiling. I can't abide straight lines and perfect spacing. Ick! It makes me feel restricted and bound and boring. This, makes me feel more organic and grounded...

I'm nearly done with the back wall (there is a heart stone that was added after this picture was taken), and just started on the one to the left. When I'm not mixing thinset or freezing at the wet-saw, I'm dreaming up new ways to use the remaining tiles. It's just like quilting but with rocks, ya know?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bathroom tile warm-up

Bill had to go back to work today, so I've been sending him pictures of the bathroom to keep him excited for an evening of tiling tonight. TILE! TILE! Perhaps you'd like to see some photos too?

I was in charge of removing all the linoleum on the floor. Grrr. But done:

I also sanded some plaster which made my hair white. This photo was meant to tease Bill with how beautiful I'm looking today with the dusk mask, ear thingies (we just call them "ears" as in "do you have your ears on?"...but they must have a real name?), and dust that I can't shower off.

Our floor tiles are Travertine 6 x 18 subway tiles which will be offset by 1/3 because it looks balanced and will result in the least amount of cutting. Coopworth approves. (Actually, he just wants lunch.)

I cut some waterproof floor stuff. Note the holes for the toilet and water pipes. That's some fancy utility knife action there, my friends.

The shower walls are porcelain. I would have loved real stone for the shower, but the Bathroom Remodel Fairy didn't leave enough of a budget under our pillows. The shower is 2 2/3 tiles wide, so I think we're going to offset the rows like this:

We also have a wee accent stripe of white stone that will go somewhere. The tile man sold us "pencil" tiles (rounded sticky-out things) to put on the top and bottom of the accent to frame it and camouflage any difference in width between the accent and the porcelain. I'm not loving them and hopeful we can do something more artistic instead. They seem very serious and proper to me and that makes me sad and rebellious.

To balance out the straightness of the serious square shower tiles, we got Travertine cobblestones for the shower floor. They feel more earthy and natural - and therefore more happy-making - to me. I have the main bits laid out and there are lots of free-standing stones to fill in the gaps. We'll be sticking them down tonight!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Remember when this blog was about home improvement?


We had a septic issue earlier this week (clogged vent pipe + tree roots in the drain pipe to the septic, which led to shower water bubbling up in our bathroom sink), which let us discover the floor under our toilet has been rotting due to something about a wax seal.

So, since we had to rip up the floor under the toilet anyway, we decided to go all in and redo the entire bathroom.

Monday and Tuesday were for dealing with the septic issue. Wednesday and Thursday were for demolition (I. Hate. Linoleum. Forever.). Today we're starting to reconstruct.

(Check out the 4 layers of wallpaper that were behind our shower!)

In an ideal world, we wanted to get a shower base and just tile the walls...but we live in a house where (as Bill keeps pointing out) the bathrooms are "retrofitted." They weren't here when the house was built, so they are eeeked in. This resulted in our shower drain being off center in the shower base and not really moveable without mucking about with 150 year old floor joists. As a result, we'll be building a shower base with Michigan Mud and something the Tile Shop calls "goof-proofs" to help us get the slope to the drain just right. We got some kickin' cobble-stone like tiles for the base that I'm pretty excited about.

Today we're prepping for tiling. We're hoping to get the bottom layer of the shower base as well as the bathroom floor ready for tiling next week. There is a bit of drywalling we have to do and Bill's working on the cement board for the shower walls right now.

When we pulled out the horrid fiberglass shower form, we were hoping to find treasure in the wall. We always hope for treasure. The walls have never delivered. Dumb walls. We just got a piece of a pipe and a half-ton of walnuts. Dumb squirrels in the dumb walls.

We did make our own little treasure for the next folks that tear down a wall. Bill and I wrote a letter about us, the house, and the world in 2014 and I put it in a Ball Jar with a bit of the linoleum floor I've been tearing up, some wallpaper, and coins. I also included a zip drive with some photos and videos of the house and farm and a copy of some of the posts from this blog. I have no idea if anyone will find it or if they'll be able to do anything with it when they do, but it seems fun.

Back to work! More to come as we (hopefully) make lots of progress.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

White Groundhog Day

We woke up to 7 unexpected inches of snow. This is especially weird because before this winter, I don't think we've had much more than 7 total inches of snow any winter that we've lived here.

Here's our propane tank, which is thankfully holding propane. We had it filled just before the first blast of cold and before propane tripled in price.

And here's some snow. It is oddly sideways everywhere. There is 4 inches of snow sticking off the side of every tree branch and sturdy weed around. How does that happen?

Proof of deepness:

My fingers are delighted that gloves are not necessary today with the temperature being an entire 25F on the plus side, rather than 25F on the negative.

'Til next time...