Friday, April 25, 2014
Marvelous Marble and Grout
Although I generally let my wife get the final say when it comes to coordinating things due to my partial color blindness, which believe it or not, can be a handicap in coordinating things, when we saw the tile above at the big box home improvement store, we both immediately agreed. She agreed because she like the veined marble and has always wanted a floor like that in the bathroom. I agreed because it was most likely an over order from someone else's tiling job and there was just enough left for us to do this job and it was about half the price of going with ceramic. I grabbed all the boxes remaining and for about $100, we now have a very posh bathroom floor. I have also come to find out it hides dirt really well which is also a plus in my book.
The installation went fairly smooth. I broke the first tile I attempted to cut along one of those veins. Fortunately I was able to salvage most of the tile for around the heating vent area. After that however, I was careful when I cut trying to avoid a cut line near a vein and also pushing it a lot slower through my saw. That wasn't too hard since my little tiny saw could barely cut through these 1/2" thick tiles. I ended up having nine tiles left over which after some discussion, I think I am going to make into the vanity top. I have to wrap my head around it a bit and figure out how to work that it but I think if we get a drop in sink bowl it can work.
I ended up skim coating the mortar down over the heating mat wires on the floor and then over the rest of the floor without the wires by checking to make sure I was the same depth. I then back buttered the individual tiles with my notched trowel and set them in place. My whole goal was to avoid nicking any wires and thus making the heated floor non-functioning before I could get it functioning. I plan to install the thermostat here in another day after it has had several days to cure and see if it works. I can't wait.
Here is kind of an overall shot showing after I finished up grouting the shower pan. I had already grouted the bathroom floor and the shower walls. I think it turned out great. We used white grout on the shower walls which really hid any of the imperfections that probably only I will ever notice. Now it will be hard for me to even notice. Although it is just out of the frame, you may recall that I had a half inch gap between the uppermost row of tiles and the ceiling due to my wife opting to go with a wider row of accent tiles. I ended up just grouting it and with the white ceiling and white tiles along with white grout, it has all but disappeared. It will stay that way. We, and by we I mean my wife, chose a brown grout for the marble floor. It looked pretty sharp after I was done but when it dried out it turned a chalky gray color. Whenever I wet it again, it turns brown. I'm planning on sealing all the tiles and I hope when I apply the sealer that the grout will remain brown color but even gray it doesn't look too bad.
I just got done acid washing all the grout residue off the tiles in preparation for the sealing. I hope to seal it next so that I can start putting things in place. First thing is the crapper which I really miss. I am tired of lugging that thing from one side of the bathroom to another and back again and it would be just nice to have use of again. I replaced all the internals which I've been adjusting almost continuously since we moved in here and it just made sense while I had it all dried up and apart. I accidentally dropped some purple pvc cleaner on it while doing plumbing early on and it landed on the toilet lid and stained it purple. Fortunately it was just the lid. I tried to acid wash it off but even that didn't work so I'm out the cost of a new seat.
I still need to figure out what I'm doing for the shower door and get that on order soon along with the vanity sink bowl. I also need to start building the vanity now that it is warm enough to work out in the garage again. It will be nice to work in a nice big garage on my feet instead of kneeling on my knees in our postage stamp sized bathroom. It makes me so claustrophobic.