Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tile Tales!

I've been asked for an update on our home remodeling.

As you may remember, just before my decision to take early retirement last July, Ken and I had purchased the materials to update our second floor, including ceramic tiles, hardwood flooring, new bathroom cabinets and granite countertops. The idea had been to hire the work done since Ken's health no longer allowed him to work full time at remodeling.

Ok, Ken is now doing the work himself as his health allows. It's going really slow but there is some progress that I can show off.

My talented better-half has spent a lot of time in one corner of our house, namely the master bath, and has made considerable progress in the shower area.

Although Ken has quite a bit of experience doing tile, he's never before done a tiled shower base. This meant a lot of networking and study for him to be sure he was getting everything just right insuring no problems with leaks or cracks.

He tore out our 20 year old figerglass shower surround with sliding doors, stripped out the old drywall and then extended the shower size a bit. He added a seat and a shelf cove next to the shower head for holding shampoos, etc., He moved the drain from the front to the center and created a curb to hold in the water.

He then added the 2x8 blocking for the liner and stapled in the metal lathe.

The first pour was of waterproof concrete to shape the shower pan.

He relined the shower walls with Hardibacker cement board. It was then time for a second pour of the base with a sand mix to bring it up to drain level and to finish shaping the pan and curb.

Then the fun part started, actually cutting and laying in the small tiles to make up the base.

It's now beginning to look like a shower.

Although things have slowed down a bit for the artistic work Ken is doing to add some designs.

Once the tile is all laid in properly it will be time for grout. I'm really anxious to see it once we are able to clean it up, removing the cement film and dust with the grout all in place.
We are still 'negotiating' the shower door since I want all glass and no metal and we are finding this usually means something from a custom glass shop that specializes in this work.

The next phase will be to continue the tile out in to the main master bath area where Ken has already started laying out the design. I guess we'll always be able to remember form these pictures that Ken was doing the work during winter since you can see the snow on the 2nd floor deck outside!

Ken loves doing this kind of work and its really too bad his health has gotten to the point where he is limited to the number of hours he can put in. But, that's what makes it nice about working on your own house. Sometimes he doesn't feel up to working at it all day and sometimes he'll start in at it after supper and work late in to the night.

My job description in this project would read as follows: beast-of-burden for carrying items up and down from the second floor; garbageman to gather and dispose of scrap materials; janitor to attempt (and partially fail) to keep the huge amount of dust contained and in the shop vac versus in the rest of my house; delivery boy running to Lowe's, Home Depot, etc., ; accountant (we do now have to stay within a budget for remaining costs - not something we paid a lot of attention to when I worked); coffee and lunchtime caterer; medic (thank goodness not much more than split finger at this point)...and other tasks as assigned by Ken, the project leader! I have on rare occassion been elevated to mud dobber, tile corner sander and even tile cutter although I am hesitant to get too much between an artist and his work!!

The project was on hold during football season and the holidays and will now go back on hold whenever we do our roadtrips. We have no deadline at present and its nice to be able to watch the upgrades evolve at a comfortable pace. (Of course, I'm sure I wouldn't feel that way if we didn't have 3 other bathrooms!!)

I'm very lucky to have such a remodeling wiz kid!!

Hugs, C


Anonymous said...

Beautiful job! Isn't it great to have a talented guy? Wes is the same way. He built a tiled shower and cabinets etc. in our basement bathroom and it was wonderful. It was touch and go for a while, since we were expecting 25 guests for Christmas. He finished up the last day and no one could take a shower in there for 24 hours, but it was well used after that:)

Glad you are enjoying your retirement. Hopefully we can meet up somewhere in the future.

Jan and Wes

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Hi Ken, I expect you know that it is easier to clean the newly installed tile with sawdust than a sponge. It all crumbs up and can be swept or vacuumed away.
We try to stay away from tile here on the Gulf Coast, it is too humid and molds easily.
Great job. Happy Trails, Penny, TX

Cindy said...

Wow! Thanks, Penny. Will give that a try! Love to learn!

The Happy Wanderers said...

Hi you guys,
Great to read your blog. Nice job! We'll be in Hannibal for a couple of months beginning April 1st or so.
Hope to see you. Drop over to Mark Twain Cave Campground when you get a chance.
Perhaps we'll see you on the road one of these days, too.
Ed & Marilyn

Cindy said...

Hi Ed and Marilyn,

We would love to me you two as well. Since we will soon be off on an extended adventure, I've put a reminder in my phone the week after Mother's Day to contact you all and see if we can get together!

Hugs, C

Anonymous said...

good job. But if you are planning to sell your place, why spend all the extra money for glass only shower? Even if you do get it back. To each there own I guess!!!!!

Frerx Adventures said...

You are absolutely right, Anonymous!!
We haven't fully decided that we will sell so when I look at the upgrades I am still looking at what I'd like long term AND would be saleable, the combination seems to be higher cost!! That also means if we sell, the buyer is probably getting a better deal than if we'd know now for sure if we were keeping the house but this is certainly not a decision we are willing to rush at this point when we still aren't sure.
But, on the shower doors, we have, in the meantime, found a really good value door that's 'almost' all glass but at a fraction of the cost of the custom, thank goodness.
Thanks for the comments, keep em' coming!!

Hugs, C