Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bathroom Floor - Part 3: Done !

Finally, I'm getting to this last part (Part 1 and Part 2) of the bathroom floor.  So sorry to keep you waiting!  So the last thing that I needed to do to finish my tiling project was to put new quarter rounds on the bottom of the baseboard.  I measured the perimeter of the bathroom (I can use this as a real-life example in my class this year !) and went to Lowe's and picked up three, white, eight foot long quarter rounds.  I made sure they were already white so that I didn't have to prime them.

My neighbor came over with her trusty manual miter saw and we got to work.

She helped me to figure out which way to cut each quarter round so that the corners matched.  Each end needed a 45 degree angle cut so it fit in the corner.  She actually did the measuring while I watched and held the wood so it didn't slip.  I'm a bad DIY blogger since I can't quite explain how to cut the quarter rounds for the corners.

We did have one measuring mishap…I always seem to measure wrong!  We cut off about an inch too much.  We just cut another piece and fit it in, using some wood glue to make sure it stayed in place.  Then I just added wood filler to make it smooth and flush.

After the all quarter rounds were cut and placed by the baseboard, we used  finishing nails to attach them to the base.  We nailed them in, then used a nail punch tool to tap the nails in deeper.  Once the nails were in deeper, I used wood filler to fill in the holes.  I just put the filler on my finger and shoved it in the hole, then wiped away the excess.  

After all the nail holes were filled with the filler, I took some caulking and put it on the top of the quarter round.  The caulk came with it's own smoother piece and it worked wonderfully!

Once the caulk was dry, I took some white paint we had lying around the house and gave the quarter rounds and baseboard a quick paint job.  Let dry and done !

The pictures don't do it justice.  It is amazing what a difference the tile makes in the bathroom floor.  It looks so much cozier and relaxing now.  

Ok - we aren't completely done.  We still need to replace the toilet, vanity top, and paint the cabinet before it's finished, but it's looking good !

Tile anything lately?

Now you can Do It Yourself Too !


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Liner Please

School and traveling back to Pennsylvania for tailgates and baby showers has been keeping us pretty busy.  However, I had some time to squeeze in a quick update last week while Kerry was out of the country. 

I hadn't planned on changing the shelf liner in the linen closet in the hallway...until I saw this cheap liner at Marshalls:

It was only $5.99 (who doesn't love a good deal?!) and such a cute and simple pattern that I couldn't pass it up.  I couldn't resist so I purchased two sets of the liner.

Our old liner was actually pretty cute - little pink flowers - and there was nothing wrong with it.  But it was a little bland, so like I said, when I saw the new liner, I got it since I thought it could definitely update the closet.

The old liner came off easily.  I just found a corner and pulled it up a bit.  Once I got a good hold, I pulled at an angle and off it came.

I measured the shelf and then cut the pieces of the new liner (measure twice, cut once!).  I kept the liner backing on except at a corner because I've tried pulling of all the backing and it ends up sticking to itself and then gets ruined.  I placed the corner of the liner into a back corner of the shelf and lined it up. Then I pulled off the liner backing as I smoothed it out onto the shelf.  

After I got the liner on, I just tucked the excess under the shelf.  I felt like that would just reinforce it and help it to stick better to the shelf.  No point in wasting it.  That was easy !

Not too much of a difference, but a simple update to the closet makes me smile.

What have you lined lately?  Drawers? Shelves?

Now you can Do It Yourself Too !


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bathroom Floor - Part 2: After Grout

Earlier this week I posted about the first part of our new bathroom floor.  It's been a bit crazy with school starting and all, but I'm trying to get all the posts done before it gets real crazy. Now on with the bathroom floor expedition !  Once all the mortar dried (we let it dry over a weekend) it was time to grout.  My college friend Mal was visiting and helped me out during this process. 

I mixed the grout up with water according to the directions, and we started.  We used a putty knife to spread the grout into all the cracks.  

Make sure to get the grout into all the cracks.  You might have to keep spreading the grout over the cracks until they are filled, especially if you see little air bubbles. We worked on sections of the floor, as to make sure that the grout didn't dry before we had a chance to wipe it off.

Once a section was grouted, we waited about five minutes for it to set a bit and then began to wipe it off.  Make sure to have a bucket filled with water nearby.  You will be rinsing your sponge off frequently.  Also, the water will get a bit sandy from the grout, so you'll want to dump it out somewhere where it won't clog a drain.

Mal was a wiping champ !  She helped do most of the floor. She wiped at an angle to make sure the grout didn't come out when she wiped.

It was looking so good !!

We just continued this process until the whole floor was grouted.  This was the real fun part.  It was pretty easy and it really made the floor look finished.  It just needed to dry.

Now all that is left to do is put down the quarter rounds on the baseboard !  It's amazing how nice it looks already !

What was your favorite DIY project that you have completed ?

Now you can Do It Yourself Too !


Monday, September 3, 2012

Bathroom Floor - Part 1: Before Grout

Kerry and I finally decided to get new carpet downstairs in the basement.  The old carpet had stains from the previous owner...and from Stout, too.  We were going to wait another year or so, but I just couldn't stand the carpet anymore. So, along with the carpet came two changes to the basement as well.

The first is the bathroom floor.  80's linoleum. Ew.

It had to go.  If we were going to get nice, new carpet, the bathroom needed to get a nice, new floor.  We couldn't leave him out of all the fun.  

Our new neighbors tackled the job of tiling their bathroom as well.  They still had the exact same linoleum as us.  How lucky!  As I watched her tile, I figured I could too.  So I went and got the exact tile as they did (still matching floors !) and got to work.

First, I got a screw driver to pry off the quarter rounds at the bottom of the baseboard.  Once all those were off, I used a hammer to take out any nails that didn't come out with the quarter rounds.

Then, I pried off the metal transition piece between the rug and the bathroom floor.  After that, I used a box cutter to pry up a corner and just started to pull the linoleum up.

The linoleum was pretty easy to pull up.  Every so often I had to take a putty knife and scrape under it to help it a bit, but other than that, it came up fast.

Once all the linoleum was up, I called my trusty assistant to help remove the toilet.  We did some research and of course YHL came to the rescue and had a good tutorial.  Kerry did a great job !

After that, I continued to scrape away access linoleum adhesive/backing for a while until most of it was gone.  

Once I was finished scraping, I could start tiling.  The night before I started tiling, I laid out the tiles to see how I wanted them to look.  I am very glad that I did this, as it saved my butt from making some mistakes. I practically laid down tile on the whole floor, just to be sure it was how I wanted it to look.

Once it was time for me to start tiling, my neighbor came over to assist and oversee me since this was my first floor tiling job.  

I used Keraflor gray mortar and Roman Stone tiles.  All purchased from Lowe's.

I also bought a big plastic bucket to mix the mortar in.  It was helpful.

I often wondered how tiles were always put so perfectly into the floor, with straight, even lines.  Well, let me tell you about the coolest invention ever!  The people who thought of these are geniuses!  Tile Spacers!!

I borrowed these from my neighbor as well. 

Now, to the fun part.  I mixed the mortar with water as directed by the instructions.  It ended up being like a cake batter consistency - not too think, but not watery either.  The bag has you using a "mixer" type tool - I just used my neighbor's fancy serving spoon that she used to mix hers.  It got the job done.  Mixing does require some muscle though, so be prepared for a workout !

Once it was mixed, I plopped it down using the spoon that I mixed it with.  I used the spoon to spread it a little into the corners, then took the trowel to spread it more. Once it was spread over an area, I flipped the trowel to the grooved part and made the grooves in the mortar.  A spackle knife also came in handy for those hard to reach corners. 

Then it was read for the tile.  I just started from the back left corner and placed the tile.  Then I put one next to it and under it, placing a tile spacer in between them.  Then I used a level to make sure that one tile was not taller than the other.  This you will need to do often.

I tiled almost the whole bathroom floor except around the toilet hole, back right, and the bottom right before I actually had to use the tile cutter to fit pieces in.  How lucky was I ?!  

I used the same scorer from my neighbor that I used when I tiled my fireplace.  This time, she was here to help.  It was definitely a two person job for these tiles - only because of the way I had to cut the tile.  I only needed to cut about 1/2 a centimeter off the edge.  This was hard, because the scorer works best when cutting down the middle.  Not an edge. 

So I drew a line where I needed to score and then scored the very edge.  Then I used the tile snippers, with the help of my neighbor's foot, and snipped off the edges.   She would press down with her foot as I clamped and pulled up with the tile snippers.  Make sure to wear goggles or close your eyes.  Tile pieces will be flying !

We did break a few tiles in the wrong spots, so make sure you have extra to work with.  We edged off only five tiles to finish it off the front right.  After that, I took a break until Kerry came home to help with the back right.

Once Kerry came home, we pretty much repeated the same procedure.  Draw a line and score.  BTW, I found this video very helpful to guide me in this tiling expedition.

If we were lucky, we'd get a cut that looked like this:

If we weren't lucky, it looked like this: 

And we had to do the whole foot/snipper thing to get it to fit.  We cut tiles for the back right, in front of the doorway, and around the toilet.  For around the toilet, we just cut pieces in hopes that it would fit together like a puzzle.  It pretty much worked out OK.  We actually accidentally cut a few tiles that were curved when we scored, and they fit perfectly around the toilet hole. 

Then I slapped some more mortar down and finished the floor.  The hard part was finished !

It's amazing how different the floor looks already, and it's not even grouted yet !

What big DIY project have you taken up?

Now you can Do It Yourself Too!