Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring Flowers on the Way to Tiling the Step

On Sunday morning, as Brandon and I were loading the day's gear into the the truck for a marathon work day of laying tile, I paused by our front gate to admire the crocus.  I pointed them out to Brandon, who was bustling about, but I could tell he wasn't giving them their proper attention.  Later, at a stop light on our drive to the farm house, I showed him the photo above, on my phone, and he seemed surprised by these flowers and asked where I took the photo.  Doh!  

I don't seem to have any trouble taking time to smell the proverbial rose, and daily I'm reminded of the promise of the season's flowers by the cheerful nod of the daffodils that are popping up in my flower bed and in lawns everywhere right now.  

There are no daffodils at the farm house, which is probably just as well, since I am trying to stay focused on work inside, and I'm already distracted by so many things outside.  I managed to limit myself to a single exploratory lap around the ten acres with Puck, checking that all the fruit trees that were alive last fall are still alive, knocking the tall weeds down from last years garden, and searching the lumber piles for potential garden fence posts.  See, I can focus.  Oh yeah, the tile... 

So, remember when we created the step into the bathroom by cutting away part of the kitchen floor?  Then we filled the hole we made with concrete, to make a solid step, as shown above.  Well, we finally tackled the job of finishing the tile in the bathroom, which includes the step and the little walls around the shower stall.  

First we framed in the step so the sides were nice and flat so we would have a solid base to attach the tile.  

We mixed up the mortar, and I laid as many of the tiles as I could, while Brandon measured and cut tile to finish the bottom and for the walls of the step.  

I realize that a step may not be the most exciting aspect of a home renovation, but we have been looking at or jumping over either an ugly dirt bottomed hole or a poured concrete pad for so long, it seems amazing to me that it looks so seamless and tidy now that it has tile.  What a pretty step!

This is the first time I've ever attached tile to a vertical surface, so I really hope they stick well.  I can imagine that the walls of the step will get kicked, and it will be very disappointing if I spent all that time crawling on my knees lining up tile if they just fall off.  

Did you notice poor Puck tied to the column in the house?  I insisted that he come in the house once we were finished using the nail gun.  I had to drag him in by his leash!  He's starting to give me a complex about the house since he would rather cower under the truck then come inside.  We've been working so hard on this place, and the dog doesn't even like it!  I tied him to the post and then went about my work, and before long he relaxed in a pile of wood chips and stopped whining to go back outside.  By the end of the day he would come in and out without force, which makes me feel so much better. 

Once we finished with the step and the floor, we still had two boxes of tile, so we decided to tile around the shower stall too.  This meant that each tile had to be cut to the right size, which was a lot of work.  

We were very happy with the tile job by the end of the day, and also very tired.  I'm glad it looks good, because it's hard to believe my hands will ever recover.  Even though I tried to keep my gloves on, I managed to get mortar on my hands often enough that I ended up having to just cut my fingernails extra short and steel myself to having hands so rough that it sounds like sandpaper when I rub my fingers together.  I don't want to know what's in that stuff that it can turn skin into scales, but I'm sure it's not good.  And, I still have to do the grout!


MA said...

A dog that doesnt want to come in the house would be perfect. You've ruined him.

rain said...

Ha! I can see your point!

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