Sustainable Upgrade – Part 3

su_3Do you believe in miracles? Three consecutive days on the same home improvement project without a mishap constitute a miracle in my world. Today is such a day because I installed the tile today.

This wasn’t easy and I’m tired. Here’s the work that made me so tired. I designed a tile cutout pattern using the cardboard that came with each tile sheet. I created the template so I’d know where to cut the tile for outlets and switches. I transferred the template to each tile panel, cut them to match and laid them out for installation. First I applied adhesive to the wall with a putty knife and scraped it with a trowel. My trowel was too large to fit in the space so the putty knife helped. Then, I positioned each panel, pressed spacers into gaps and pressed it against the wall. I pressed, moved, repositioned, smashed and whatever adjustment to make it fit well and plumb. I used too much adhesive on the first panel so I cut back on subsequent panels and installation was smoother and cleaner. It’s still tough work to piece around openings and work around obstacles (sink, faucets, radio).  I definitely picked the hardest room in our home. The instructions show my progress thus far.

Demolition + Surface Prep:

  • cut silicone line X – done
  • pull sills off wall X – done
  • cut and pull backsplash off wall X- done
  • X-done
  • clean wall X-done
  • cover counter to protect surfaces (tape perimter and 2″ overlaps) X-done
  • cover sink (tape plastic) X-done
  • patch wall X-done
  • prime wall X-done

Tile Installation:

  • layout tile X-done
  • position around outlets X-done
  • draw starter lines on wall and tile X-done
  • cut tile sheets (save scraps) X-done
  • pull plates/remove and number outlets X-done
  • cut power X-done
  • tape countertop to create clean line X-done
  • apply adhesive to wall and tile (use liquid nails for small areas) X-done
  • set spacers @ bottom and sides X-done
  • nstall tile edging X-done

Tile Finish:

  • clean tile before grouting
  • mix non-sanded grout in bucket
  • remove spacers
  • grout @ angle
  • clean with sponge and clean water (do not dump in sink)
  • polish the tile with a cloth when grout is dry

This was the hardest day (but I haven’t grouted yet) and I’ll take a break for a few days to let the adhesive cure and acquire the confidence to continue. But overall, it looks fantastic!