The Ceramic Tile is Done!
From 30-year old vinyl composite floor tile to modern ceramic tile in a flash! That's what I thought would happen. Oops.
At Incoming Bytes, all DIY'ers are advised that when you choose to do a renovation project, seven other essential projects immediately line up and get in the way first. Par for the course. To be expected. *sigh
Loyal readers will recall the ceramic wall protection we installed to keep our wannabe escapee team --Tilly the Tall (T.T.T) and Ebony the Short (E.T.S.) from shredding the drywall and trim around the door (and the door itself!) for the third (or was it the fourth? ) time.
We did it. Turns out it was a fantastic idea! Uh-huh...
Don't you think it's amazing how something shiny and new makes everything else look worn and tired? You got it.
So--we tackled the floor. That was a fantastic idea too, it really was looking kind of dull. A couple of pieces of the flooring were showing cracks and signs of loosening, -- and the old self-stick tiles had even shrunk just a tiniest bit, allowing water staining of the sub floor plywood.
Onward we went.
The floor managed to go from this;
It only took seven days.
( to just after grout sealing, tile complete, but before all of the baseboards were reinstalled.)
|Tile's Done! (before baseboard install)|
Tile took a while.It seems in any do-it-yourself project there is a lot of digression, putzing around, and injected in-between stuff that can be both necessary and a genuine challenge.
This is "all"we had to do to complete this simple DIY'er tile project!
- Measure the area carefully and best-guess extra required for tile cuts.
- Go shopping, choose tile, haul it home.
- Clear the area of all boots, shelves and closet stuff
- Remove all of the baseboards
- Remove all of the brittle old composite vinyl tile bit by bit
- Cut off bottom of all door jambs, door trim, etc. to allow for tile installation,
- Scrape off hardened glue lines left by the old self-stick tiles
- Test the sub-floor plywood to make sure it is solid. (It was stained but perfect).
- Sand the floor and joints,
- Remove loose nails, set raised nails, add screws where necessary.
- Procrastination and Delays and Preemptive Strikes: Executive Decision to upgrade insulation in crawl space below floor which required:
- Accessing crawl space by cutting hole in floor (Remove a section of sub-plywood and plywood)
- Removing old, inefficient, damaged fibreglas insulation from crawl space
- Power vacuuming out all dust, bits and pieces, spiders* and cobwebs. The garage shop vac worked perfectly.
- Disposing of all old tile, old insulation and other bits of wood and trash;
- Re-insulating under the floor and walls
- Closing up the access hole in floor
After the minor delay and annoyance created by executive decisions, we had to:
- Reinstall plywood on access hole: plywood and sub-floor plywood with screws.
- Prepare floor, screwing down all areas tightly where required, final inspection for squeaks, movement, clean, and vacuum
- Loosen and lift stairs and prop up temporarily
- Contemplate the dry layout of tiles; decisions, decisions.....
- Plan and pre cut to fit tiles
- Forge a mixer blade for the electric drill on the anvil by heating steel rod red hot. What!?
About that time I wanted to hammer on something nonchalantly for a while anyway, practice smacking moving targets with BIG hammers, mop the brow, etc.
Bottom line, 'a change was as good as a rest ' to 'distract the troops with R&R' , to 'use built-in ingenuity', 'create something' --and all that.
We digress....back to tile for a while eh? We also had to:
- Mix up a half bag of thin set (acrylic-modified dry cement, looks like gray, gucky pudding)
- Lay tiles using spacers and straight lines.
- Keep the T.T.T. and E.T.S. C.P.B. (curious puppy brigade) and all curious comers off of the tiles for about 4 hours.
- Clean grout lines of all excess thin set before it becomes set like a rock and was too hard to remove;
- Mix coloured grout (This cool stuff looks like chocolate pudding!)
- Fill grout lines, both floor and wall. (We pointed (finished) the grout using my favourite custom tool made from 1/2" copper pipe.)
- Clean floor tiles using the two-bucket system which works beautifully, for the record.
- Admire floor for 24 hrs as everything sets hard as a rock
- Seal grout lines (including wall tiles, remember those?) with special grout sealant
- Set stairs back in position and re-trim
- Reinstall baseboards, including replacement of broken, ugly, or scratched sections.
um..........I know. Any excuse in a pinch.
We apparently work diligently and do good work...or something, I bet!
Hmm....now the next floor looks kind of worn too. *sigh. Imagine that.
Is that incoming I hear?
*Worth noting: A DIY'er and Homeowners Caution
During the insulation upgrade portion of this project, I chance-encountered a *Brown Recluse spider in the crawl space. They are not supposed to be in this geographical area, but in the last few years, clearly do NOT follow the rules.
All DIY'ers and homeowners must be aware this is a dangerous North American species of spider.
Necrosis of human flesh can occur if a bite from this species of spider is not treated in a timely manner.
The range of this spider has clearly expanded northward into Canada.
Also known as the 'violin spider' or 'fiddle back' spider for the violin-shaped marking on it's back, the Brown Recluse spider is typically found in undisturbed, enclosed spaces but can be encountered in woodpiles, closets or undisturbed, unused clothing such as gloves or boots.
Caution is warranted. If bitten by a Brown Recluse spider, seek medical advice.