Sunday, August 11, 2013

At Last

Next time (if ever there is a next time) I tile anything, I need to hire someone to do the part that was onerous and a time-suck.

My plan was a good one: use Friday to remove the gunk, lay tiles on Saturday, finish the last few tiles on Sunday before Spinners, then grout on Sunday evening, move the furniture back on Monday.

I didn't count on the gunk removal being so dreadful.

However, I did finally get to start the fun stuff, but I had to leave Spinners early.
First I started just putting it down to see where the cuts would be and how awful etc. One school of thought says that you start laying from the centre out so that every wall has the same cuts. Like a border perhaps. Another says that the wall you see when you enter a room shouldn't have any cuts. This room has two entries at opposite sides, but even so, the most public entry-way faces a wall with two bookshelves and a sofa so you would barely even see the cuts except in front of the door to the garage.

I decided that there shouldn't be cuts in front of the fireplace, or on the more public side either, so that's where I started.

After some futzing with chalk snap lines (a bit pathetic) and lots of measuring (the width of the room differs by a quarter of an inch at the two ends), I actually started with the tile, sticking it down and whatnot.
In a bit less than four hours I covered close to three-quarters of the room. If I hadn't spent two of my precious days scraping tar, you'd be looking at a picture of fresh grout instead of fresh tile.

Best-laid plans and all that.

Turns out I'm not the most excellent tiler. It took me a while to get halfway decent - and really, at this point, that's all I am: only halfway decent. If I lost my job this would probably not be a viable alternative in terms of making a living, but so far, in lieu of shelling out a few times my materials costs for someone else to do the job (albeit much better), I'm satisfied with my decision to try this myself.

Perhaps if I don't put any furniture on it ever, no tiles will ever crack.

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