Monday, October 1, 2007

It wasn't easy, but it was easier than I thought

Well, the kitchen floor is pretty much done.
I have about 4 tiles left to set today. They were in an awkward place behind the door, so we left them until today.

The man friend was a HUGE help in doing this.

There is no way I would have attempted to tile the kitchen on my own.

Not to mention the fact that he had all the tools, including a wet saw.

We started the day with a trip to Home Depot to exchange the mortar I had bought the night before since the guy sold me stuff that didn't sound like the best option for large porcelain tiles like the ones I had.

Go figure.

Anyway, we got back around 10:30 and started looking at where we wanted to start and how tiles would fall if we started from certain points.

We thought about how to stagger the tiles. I was thinking at first about a diagonal run since I knew I didn't want it just in straight rows all the way down. It was like that before and it was just too straight.

I had been thinking about an offset pattern, which I thought would tie in well with the subway tile style I want for the backsplash. Not to mention it would mean a lot fewer cuts to the tile. That would not only save tile, but it would save time.

Since it worked for the timing, the budget and the style... An offset pattern was perfect.

Once we had that established, we started cutting tiles.

I was a bit fearful about using the tile saw at first and I had the man friend do all the first cuts, especially the angled cuts.

But once we got into straight cuts, I decided to try it. Then I realized, "Hey, this is kinda fun."

So I did a lot of the cutting after that while he measured and dry fit pieces.

Then we started setting them in the mortar. That is what I am doing in the second photo. Don't I look fabulous?

We had dry fit tiles starting at the entrance from the living room, going back about four rows.

Then we started setting tiles moving back from there toward the back of the kitchen.

Late in the afternoon, after working back almost to the end (we had three rows unset), we decided to move to the front of the kitchen.

We wanted to finish off the spots for the dishwasher and the fridge so that the workers could come in this week and install those.

I hope.

Then we went back and finished those three back rows, minus the tiles behind the door.

I will finish those today and then grout the whole thing.

Fun for me.

Basically we worked (not including the HD trip) from 10:30 a.m. to about 7:30 or 8 p.m. with a very short lunch break.

After we were done, we scraped the biggest chunks of mortar off our arms and hands and went for a dip in the hot tub at a condo complex where his dad owns a place.

It felt so good to just soak and float and relax.

It was a long, ache-inducing day. But we accomplished our goal of getting the whole floor set. OK, so we left a few tiles out. But I still feel so great about the progress we made.

And my aches are not as bad as I thought they would be.

My guess is that will all set in tomorrow. When I have to go back to work.


Sona said...

Well I like it! Good for you for doing it yourself!

Jill said...

It is gratifying to look at it and know that I did that.
With a little help... OK. A lot of help.
But I did pull my own weight with the work and didn't rely on him to just do the whole thing.

Jill said...

Oh, and it looks even better now with the grout.

Jennifer said...

Ooo, I love the pattern! Nice job.

Susan said...

I have kitchen envy.

My kitchen is old. My tile is the color of flesh tone bandaids. Each of the burners of my cooktop is built into the tile. So, you'd have to tear out the entire counter to replace the cooktop. Hence, I have a 47 year old cooktop.

sigh. By the time I get around to doing something with it, I'll be too old to cook, or my teeth will have fallen out and I"ll be eating instant cream of wheat, and won't need a stove.