Tag Archives: tile

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

Floor – Almost DONE

Another grueling weekend has since past. Again I was down at my parents’ house for the second leg of tile floor installation. It was tough, but we made good progress! (Check out this post for pictures of where we started)

Take a look:

End of the first working day on Friday. We got the last quadrant of the floor filled in. We still have all the tiles around the perimeter of the room to cut still.

End of the second day, we got a good chunk of the edging tiles cut and placed (and we also finished the hallway, off camera).

End of the last day, when we were all at the end of our rope! Phew! The floor has been tiled!!
We still need to grout this sucker, but that will have to wait till next weekend. (Do these projects never end??)

Lookin’ good! Can’t wait till the grout is in, and we can put all the furniture back in place. I’ll be sure to post a picture then, so you can get the full effect.


Filed under DIY, 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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New Tile Floor – a weekend project

What a weekend! It was very productive, to be sure, but man am I tired! Mainly I can’t believe how sore my knees and quads are from all the kneeling I had to do to put down this new tile floor. But the result is so great, it’s worth it. Here’s a little picture recap of the work my mom and I did in just over one day.

First off, we cleared out the room, here’s a shot just before the bed and area rug came out.
P1010849Don’t you just love that wallpaper mural?? ^_^

And here’s the room, all emptied and ready to go! We made sure to wash the concrete really well to get up any grime or residue that could compromise the adherence of the thin-set.
P1010852(Yes, this is the floor when it’s clean – you can see why it needed to be refinished)

Next, we measured the room into quadrants by finding the center of each wall and stringing two guidelines that bisected the middle. From there we measured out how much of a cut we would need around the perimeter of the room. With our portable wet tile saw, we cut out the edging pieces so we’d be all ready to lay them out with the rest of the full-sized tiles.
Then, with the lines as our guides, we started in the far quadrant, using 1/8″ spacers between the tiles.
And here we are further along:
And, finished!
We still need to grout the floor – but that will have to wait for another day…I just may have to miss that party.
But once the grout is in, and the base molding is installed (a white painted wood trim), this room is going to feel brand new! No more icky concrete! That’ll be a nice improvement.

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Filed under Day to Day, DIY

I’m Floored

This weekend I’ll be down at the Parents’ house helping out with a little home improvement. Do-it-yourself has been the motto in my family from the beginning, and this hasn’t changed with my folks, even now that the kids are all (for the most part) grown up and out of the house. This just means we come back to visit and help on more projects.

The job we’re tackling this time is the downstairs bedroom (my younger brother’s room). It’s technically a basement room, and it has a painted concrete floor with an area rug. Not the coziest set up, but it has sufficed.

bedroom to the beach

After a mini make-over last summer where we put up a panoramic tropical wallpaper (no really, it’s fun) on the main wall, the next step would be putting in a real floor.

Due to the fact that the basement has flooded on occasion (which is why the original carpet got ripped out in the first place), the decision was made to install porcelain tile. We’re hoping to get the job done in just 2 full days. I’ll make sure to take lots of pictures to share when I get back on Monday. Until then, have a great weekend!

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Filed under Day to Day, DIY