Subway tile, the toilet is back, and the best. tile. saw. ever.

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It’s week FOUR, people, and things are hoppin’ in this bathroom.

Did I already mention that the toilet got re-installed?  Woo hoo! No more potty trips to the gas station for us. :-)

Besides that, we the last week putting up subway tile – and some coordinating white trim tile – from the tub all the way up to the ceiling.  It was my choice to run it all the way up.  It was a little extra work, but I don’t regret it one bit.

Getting the first, bottom row of tile straight was probably the most stressful part.  Shims – those little wood sticks – are crucial.  They kept the tiles from sliding down while the mortar was setting.  We used chalk lines and levels and our eyeballs to make sure nothing got out of line in that first row.

I chose subway tile for this bathroom for several reasons.  It is a great price performer.  Looks polished, fresh, and classic. It is the Little White Dress of kitchens and bathrooms as far as I am concerned.  I’ve used it before in two of my houses, and I’d use it again in a heartbeat.  White subway tile can do no wrong in my book.  When in doubt, use white subway tile.

These tiles were self-spacing, which just means they had slight ridges on the edges that save you from having to use spacers.  Just put your mortar on the back, and press it on the wall.  Slick it and stick it, as I like to say.  (Make sure it’s level, of course.)

Now it’s time for me to introduce you to my new bestie.  RIDGID’s 8 inch wet tile and paver saw and stand, which you can find at the Home Depot.

This thing rocks.  The tiles that needed to be cut for this bathroom were probably a couple hundred, including floor and walls.  Using an inferior machine to do that, or trying to rush because we had rented  one would not have been fun.

 The folks at RIDGID and the Home Depot supplied us with this saw, and I’m not sure I can adequately express how grateful we were to have it.  We wanted to do something good to help out our friend (she needed a new bathroom, badly in case you missed it.)  And RIDGID and the Home Depot decided to do something to help us (we needed a tile saw, badly.)  This is a win-win.

So…We marked where the tile needed to be cut.

Before turning the saw on, we lined the piece up with the blade to make sure it would be correct, and then we turned it on, lowered the blade, and smooth as silk, this thing took care of it.

Effortless, really.  I feel completely comfortable using this by myself, and am thrilled with the results.  And my Dad?   Let’s just say he petted the box when it arrived. LOL… what a fantastic tool to have in our “tool box” to pull off this job!  Thank you RIDGID and Home Depot!

It truly is one tile at a time, but it does move along pretty quickly – especially if you have several people – who can be measuring each space where a cut tile needs to go, making the cuts, putting mortar on the tiles, setting them into place, and making sure they stay where they need to be without any slipping.

The accent tile comes in a pre-cut set of four pieces, and we added a plain 4 inch white square to the center.  The rope trim is sold a single piece at a time.  All the tile came from the Home Depot.

Tiling this standard size tub all the way to the ceiling took us five solid days.  That’s two or three people working 5-7 hours per day.  It’s work.  But it is so do-able.   And the payoff is big. You know that advice that you should hang your window treatments as high up as possible to make a room feel larger?  I believe it worked here with tile, too.

A clean, white, unbroken space. I’m thrilled!

SO here’s my take-away.  If you have the ability to take accurate measurements, the patience to mix mortar and grout to the consistencies necessary for spreading, the attention to detail to make sure your pieces are level and straight, and the willingness to learn how to operate a good piece of machinery safely, then I say taking on a tile project is a MUST-DO.  It adds value to your home, and it will make you smile every time you walk into the room!

Next post, grout and beadboard!

XO,
Anne (and Ken and Keith)

4 Comments, RSS

  1. Sarah Finks September 17, 2013 @ 1:28 am

    OMG! you are my hero!!!

  2. ath13 September 17, 2013 @ 12:49 pm

    THANKS! I love this. :-)

  3. Linda September 20, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

    Wow, this bathroom is really coming out beautifully!!!
    Linda in NH

    • ath13 September 20, 2013 @ 10:36 pm

      Well thank you Linda in NH! What a lovely thing to say!
      How did you find this little blog, may I ask? Please drop by again!

      Anne

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