Friday, January 27, 2012

How to tile around a window - lez resolve the latest crisis

 At the end of the last video, your intrepid DIY tile setters were sweating and strained in the last moments of tiling around a tiny window ledge in our shower.

If you like dramatic tension, or tunes that remind you of Luscious Jackson, you'll want to watch the video AGAIN, because when it comes to laying tile, you just have to do it.

Here's how it went down:
The Tile Miracle
LezRenovator #1: "Have we measured to see how this is going to fit?"
LezRenovator #2: "yeah, it's fine. We'll figure something out when we get to the window."

As we got closer to  the window, we realized that we had not "mathed it out" quite right: we had about 1/2 inch of space to make up. We thought of putting a thin trim piece, but an hour in the tile store  & we found nothing to our liking that said "Peachland beach" without being too seashelly.

As tempers were getting hotter and a PDA (public display of aggravation) was imminent, Doug the Tile Guru at Lower Mainland Ceramic Tile had an Aha! moment and ducked into his secret second storeroom. After a few minutes of clanking about, he produced a Minor Tile Miracle: edging pieces, typically used on a counter edge. Hurray! Perfect to tile around our tiny window in the shower, hide the 1/2 and save us a huge headache.
Of course we had not measured, so we had no idea how many pieces we would need. Mr Tile Miracle let us take the whole box, counting how many we used and paying him on Monday. Have I mentioned how much I love local business owners who go the extra tile (ha ha) for their customer??

With only a few miscalculations we managed to get the edge pieces stuck around the window.  A fun fact:  eyeliner pencil works brilliantly to mark tiles for cutting if you don't have a grease pencil handy.   I wonder if grease pencil works as eyeliner? With only 1 more trip to the tile shop for more grout, we finally got'er done.

Total project cost: $438.82
This includes
  • about $200 in tools (diamond blade for the grinder & the tile cutter)
  • tiles & grout (including the extra tiles we kept in case we need to make repairs later - they will be of the same production lot and therefore seamless in color)
  • spacers
  • edging and wall-specific mortar

Total labour: at least 100-125 lezrenovator hours

Doug's quotable quotes:
"Well, my guy probably could have done it in 8 hours, for about $500 plus material. But good for you! You'll be a lot faster next time."
Yeah, next time, right LL? Tiling is messy, time-consuming, and in our case, was full of surprises.

Must say,  we did a good job and really appreciated getting to know the folks at Lower Mainland Ceramic Tile. The advice about techniques, and material was so helpful and kind. Which is good because we needed that relationship once we got to tiling the floor.... Sigh. See it all in the next episode.

How about you? Have you tiled a shower or kitchen counter or a floor? If you need a tile cutter you can borrow ours. If you need advice, you can borrow our expert, Doug!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lez Lay Some Tile - VIDEO

So we have been busy recovering from the holidays and now are just back into the swing of things. This week, we revisit last summer, when we first put up new tile in the bathroom. And, it was a pretty big job. But, we got it done. Take a look at the video:


And we have to thank Doug at Lower Mainland Ceramics for the saving the day, a few times. We went running to to him with crazy tile problems and he would fix them with a wave of his magic wand. More on him and his awesomeness in the next episode.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy New Year!

LL says:

It's a new year. A new year for renovations and a new year for videos about renovations. We are working on the latest installment and will have that posted soon. But in the meantime, lets talk about resolutions.

Did you make any resolutions? Like lose weight, call your mom more or start a band? Enough about me.

Maybe you made a resolution to pick up tools more or finally start that bathroom renovation that you have been putting off. Well, believe me - its easier than you think. First off, picking up a tool is a cinch. A saw? Easy. A screwdriver? Easy. A jackhammer? Well, not so easy but you will feel uber strong after that!! And once you get a hang of your tools, you'll start using them and before you know it, your bathroom will be demolished.

That is what happened to us! We were procrastinating about the bathroom renovation for so long and one weekend we just decided to wield a hammer and demo the whole thing. It's quite cathartic, I recommend it.

That's what the new year is all about. Getting rid things that are annoying and/or holding you back. And a dirty, gross, moldy, falling apart bathroom was definitely annoying! It felt good to rip it apart and throw it out. Cleansing. Like a good Wild Rose detox.

So, go to it! Rip up your old laminate floor and replace it with hard wood, paint your living room, build a bench to store all your sewing supplies, build a porch from scratch, repair the foundation in the corner of your house where it has been rotting since 1979 and build a new shelving/storage system for all your CD's and massive speaker system.

Oh, and call your mom more.