THE OFFICIAL BLOG
Then you obviously have never followed us when we are working on one of our projects before. Just so you know what to expect from now on, I shall provide a sort of flowchart of steps that we go through whenever we are working on anything.
We have laid tile before so we were pretty confident going into this last weekend. We were both slow to realize that something was wrong, however. I guess both of us were thinking that it had been a while and we were rusty at the mechanics of mortar and tile. I admit that I complained a lot more than Dave. Mostly I wanted to know why the pre-mixed mortar we were using had the consistency of hot toothpaste. I was not polite about it at all. It was sticky, messy, and impossible to spread with the trowel. It was on my shoes and in my hair... It made me cranky. But we used it anyway. A whole bucket of it... and then a little more.
We pressed on though I had no memory of ever spreading mortar six inches at a time and struggling to keep it from sticking to the trowel before I was finished. Yes, we pressed on! And we shouldn't have. The tiles were not sticking... hours later and they even shifted on their own on the mortar bed. More hours later and several tiles popped right up. We put down fresh toothpaste and stuck them back down. More popped up. This is the stuff of nightmares.
When we started measuring and cutting the tiles for the perimeter, Dave did not seem to remember ever having so much trouble with the tile saw before. More nightmares. At one point he asked if we should just hire someone to lay our floor. Which made me even more determined.
Pro-tip: Carefully read all the fine print on the pre-mixed tile mortar bucket. There is a lot of text on those things. I understand the temptation to just read the stuff in bold, but please for the love of all that is good in this world: read it all.
There were two mistakes made regarding that pre-mixed mortar. The first involved only reading the bold print on the front of the bucket which read: For up to 12" x 12" tiles. Upon closer inspection and after we had already used far too much of the stuff on our floor, we discovered the fine print on the back of the bucket specified that it could be used for 12" x 12" wall tiles but only up to 6" x 6" tiles on the floor. Not so good for floor installation, you see. The second mistake was mine entirely as I had forgotten that we were laying plank tile (spending too long in Lowe's on a really hot day will make you forget such things) which was decidedly longer than 12 inches and the mortar would have been wrong even if the bold print on the front of the bucket had been telling the whole truth.
We purchased the proper mortar.... and a new blade for the tile saw - which would have been a great idea from the start, thank you. And NOW we are on our way again.
We are waiting for the mortar to set (and confident that this mortar WILL actually set this time) before I grout the bedroom and the little transition into the hallway tomorrow afternoon. We are not terribly thrilled with tiling and grouting in sections, but we need to get furniture back into that area in order to move all the furniture to finish the rest of the floor. Not having much floor space and a normal amount of furniture makes it something like those little finger puzzles with the numbered blocks you had to shift around to get in the right order. I was never very good at those little puzzles.
After that we move on to cutting tile for the incredibly awkward hallway with the funhouse walls. We are optimistic people and keep telling ourselves that once we get past the little hallway it will be smooth sailing -- especially with the right mortar and a tile saw that can actually cut tile.
Stay tuned for updates. Hopefully, there will be more progress to report from here on out.
Posted by Anita
Usually has better reading comprehension skills. Will have a finished floor someday. Loves grout.
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