Now that our cabinets are installed, it's time to lay the ceramic flooring. We've never laid tile before, so this has been quite the adventure.
That's us, living on the edge.
First, we needed to have a plan. Because our cabinets are a knotty hickory, and our walls are Sienna Red, we decided to go with a lighter floor color. In fact, we wanted our floor to match the ceiling since the ceilings are a standard height of 8 feet. It gives the illusion of a taller room, without making it seem like a cave.
Besides the tile, we also needed spacers, grout, mud, hardibacker board, screws, a trowel, and a lot of hours picking the Home Depot guys' brain.
To get a general idea of how the tile would look, we laid out several rows to decide the direction we wanted to go. I thought angled would be nice, but there would have been a lot of waste.
Trust me, at the end of a remodel, you can't afford to waste anything!
(The hardibacker board had already been screwed down to the sub-floor.)
With the pattern decided, my Mister needed to cut the non-conforming tiles.
The little rebels.
He needed a tile saw to do this project. This is only one of the many tools that he "needed".
I agreed. Cutting the tiles without the saw would've been a bad idea. The tile saw has water in the base that keeps the tile and blade from getting too hot.
You also need one of these to lift the 80 pound sacks of mud mix.
But not this one.
After the tiles were cut, it was time to mud them into place. This requires the perfect ratio of water to mix. It requires someone with a little know-how on mixing things.
It requires a steady hand that can hold both the hose and the drill at the same time.
"Just a little more water, honey...not too much...now you've gone and done it...this doesn't look like peanut butter...there's too much water...need to add more mix...oh, that's enough...awww, you didn't stop in time...gotta add more water...are you listening to me?"
I should have shut my big dumb mouth.
My Mister promoted me to Chief Mix Master.
The Home Depot expert told us that the mix needed to be of "peanut butter consistency". Well, that leaves the door wide open to interpretation. Depending on your peanut butter preference, it could be more of an Adam's-after-it-has-been-stirred consistency, or more like a partially-hydrogenated-starts-with-an-S-ends-with-an-ippy texture.
I opted for the Adam's.
Speaking of peanut butter...have you ever noticed the warning label on the back of the peanut butter jar? It says, "This product was made in facility that processes peanuts".
I wonder where soy is processed?
After you've pondered all of the important things in life, it's time to lay the mud. My Mister says it's like frosting a cake, but without the finger licking, I cannot agree with this one.
It's just not right.
The mud is globbed onto the floor, spread out with the flat side of the trowel, then gone over with the toothed side. And if you're a perfectionist, you'll make sure every single one of those teeth marks are perfectly straight.
Here's why it's important for the mix to be of the right consistency; too little water and the mud dries too quickly, popping up the tiles in the process. If it's too wet, the mud oozes out from underneath and the tiles won't be level.
Or so I've heard.
As the tiles were being set into the mud, spacers were used to keep them evenly spaced.
Isn't that thoughtful of my Mister to be thinking of my back and knees?
I took it as a dare.
As soon as my beloved left the room, I grabbed the trowel.
This is my tile.
I think it may just be the nicest one of the bunch.
But we'll just keep that our little secret, shall we?