Tag Archives: home improvement

The Before and After

Last month for several weekends, I could be found at my parents’ house helping with a major home improvement project – installing a new tile floor in their downstairs living room! If you want to see the progression, check out these posts, here and here.

And after spending the day there yesterday, we can say for all intents and purposes, that the room is complete!

During the last month, since laying the last tile, there have been more mundane and unexciting steps  – like grouting and sealing, and mop mop mopping!
Yesterday we re-installed the base molding, puttied, and touched up paint. Mopped again, and then began to bring the furniture back into the room.

Check out the before’s and after’s:

The embarrassingly cluttered and disorganized Before pic! haha

living room before

And the organized, cleared-of-clutter After shot!

living room after


Here’s another view:

corner, before

And then after:

corner, after

I think that the lightness and subtle variations in the tile color are such an improvement from the flat painted concrete. The whole room feels airier and more polished – like a finished room, instead of a strictly utilitarian basement.

And of course, the process of clearing EVERYTHING out of a space really helps to clear out clutter that has been hiding in plain sight for ages.

There are still some improvements to be made to this space, in my opinion – especially in regard to lay-out and flow (a challenge in a room this big, 685 square feet!). But that will be for another day…



Filed under home improvement, projects

Tile Floor Update

It was a very physically demanding weekend (and we’re only about half way done with this project)! The floor is going in nicely, and it will look fantastic when it’s complete. Such a step up from the painted concrete that has been in there since the folks decided to rip out the brown shag 6 or 7 years ago.

The floor downstairs needs to be a hard surface (aka, not carpet) because of the tendency for flooding. And, fittingly, we actually had a bit of a flood after the 2nd day of laying tile; the washing machine had a drainage backup and went right out into the living room! We were flying around for a minute there, trying to sop it all up with towels before it did major damage to the drying thinset. I think we managed it in time. 🙂

So here are some in-progress pics for you to enjoy! We still have a way to go; this coming weekend will be phase II.

downstairs livingroom ready for tile!

This is a BIG room – 685 square feet! So we are using really big tiles – they are 24″x24″, and heavy. The painted concrete has served its purpose, but now it’s time to class up the joint.

mixing thinset in the wheelbarrow

Because we are tiling such a large area, we needed a lot of thinset, usually 100 lbs at a time. Mixing it in the wheelbarrow gave us mobility, and it was much easier to mix – as opposed to the bucket we used when tiling this room (such a pain!)

first quadrant

Each quadrant of the room essentially took a whole day to do. It was slow going, despite the fact we were working non-stop, and there were at least 3 of us on the job each day.

second quadrant

After the second full day of tiling – we finished the second quadrant. Notice that we haven’t tiled up to the room edges; this is due to needing cut tiles. We decided to keep all the cuts to the end of the project, when we’ll rent a heavy-duty tile saw and do the cuts all in one day.

third quadrant

Here’s Dad surveying our progress after day-three of tiling. Looking pretty good! Next weekend we’ll finish that last quadrant, tile into the hallway (out of shot, to the right), and install all the cut pieces around the perimeter. Oh, and of course we’ll also have to grout and seal (that may need to be a third weekend in itself!).

Phew! It’s hard work and slow progress, but it’ll be so worth it when it’s all done. (Yes, that was our mantra all weekend) 🙂


Filed under home improvement, projects

Happy Friday

This weekend (and after?) I’ll be down at my parents’ house doing a major home improvement project. We’ll be installing a porcelain tile floor in the downstairs living room, which is a whopping 685 square foot area!

We’ve already cleared the room of furniture, popped off the base molding, cleaned the exisiting painted concrete floor, and decided our layout for the tile.

Today we start laying the tile – big 24″x24″ beauties. I’ll be taking pictures through the whole project, but I won’t be able to post them until I’m back at my own computer. So until then, have a great weekend!

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Filed under DIY, home improvement, projects