Karin & Jeff's Bathroom Reno: The Ultimate Tile-Cutting Workout

Karin & Jeff's Bathroom Reno: The Ultimate Tile-Cutting Workout

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Tess Wilson
Aug 14, 2015
Cutting tile and getting a great calf workout.

Name: Karin and Jeff
Type of Project: Main Bathroom Remodel
Type of Home: Single-family home built in 1967
Square Footage: 1,800
Years Lived In: 2.5

The Renovation Diaries are a collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

Karin and Jeff's bathroom is really coming together, thanks to tile-leveling clips, leftover paint and primer, and two very helpful puppies...

Sanded, mudded, and ready for paint and waterproofing.
The paint-on waterproofing membrane.

From Karin:

Week 4 was a week of accomplishments! I got the walls primed and painted, the cement board taped and waterproofed, the tile underlayment down, and the floor tile installed. It was a busy week!
Some of the paint and primer found in our stash. Yay for not needing to buy more!
I was able to do a lot of "shopping" in the basement from past projects and found a number of supplies - we had just enough leftover paint and primer to cover the small bathroom and closet, as well as floor tile and plenty of grout. I made a couple runs to the home improvement store to pick up a few supplemental items and was happy for the smaller checkout total than I was anticipating.
Tile underlayment going down.
"Are we helping?"
After the tile underlayment went down, I let my curious puppies in to check out the progress - they thought the orange floor was pretty fantastic. Sadly for them, it was only temporary.
I arrived at a tile layout that seemed logical (hiding the skinny tiles under the vanity) and got all the pieces cut. Now, let me take a moment to discuss my love-hate relationship with this tile. I really like the look of 12"x24" tile and when I found this gray tile in stock at a local store I knew it was the one. I first used it a couple projects ago and naively thought that the floor would go quickly with such large tiles. It most certainly does not!
Tile installation.
Thank you, tiling leveling clips!
I instantly learned tiles this large are very difficult to install perfectly flat with each other, especially if the tiles themselves aren't flat (which these are not). I did try using tile leveling clips for the first time and it made the project much easier - worth every penny!
Ready for grout.
The floor just needs grout and we can get going on finishing the tub surround and the rest of the room. I can't wait to be done!

Estimated time for project: 7 weeks

Time remaining: 3 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us tomorrow for installment #8 of Karin and Jeff's renovation.

(Images and diary text: Karin and Jeff)

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