07 June 2010

renovation hijinks

We are getting a little loopy with all the renovation dust in the air, and we're doing some crazy stuff.

Just one of many piles of renovation materials laying around our not-super-spacious condo

Mark draws a... special picture... for future buyers (he looks so pleased with himself)

Somehow Chelsea ended up in the new, uninstalled (and clean) toilet (she does NOT look pleased with herself)

 (Not to worry. She escaped unharmed and was thrilled to get a little treat for her stunt acting.)

We have just wrapped weekend two of our hopefully three weekend master bath renovation. And we made some progress despite another somewhat major setback, this time more of an equipment inadequacy issue than a technical one, like our first one (you can read about that here).

We're laying gorgeous off-white 12" porcelain floor tile in the master, just as we did in the guest bath. The edges are very crisp with no tapering, so the look is very modern. And they look fab with just a skinny little grout line. (Also, at about $4 a square foot, they are super reasonable to boot. Hooray for wholesale direct.)

Love them in the guest bath (see the before and after here), alongside the reglazed tub and powerful little Toto

Though we love the look of the tiles from the other bathroom, we did not want to repeat the experience of laying the floor, specifically everything to do with the tile saw. A tile saw itself is not such a bad thing (and it's a pretty badass power tool), but renting this big, dusty, wet piece of equipment (and I do mean BIG, and HEAVY) from the hardware store, breaking it apart and cramming it all awkwardly into the car, schlepping it up two flights of stairs and through our condo to the balcony off the bedroom... well, you can understand why we would not want to do that again. Plus, you're on the clock the whole time, so you have to do all of this, set up the saw, do all of your cuts, clean up what is by this time a huge mess, take it apart, get it back into the car, and get back to the store by six o'clock sharp. No thank you!

We had already determined that, thanks to the room's dimensions of just over 5 feet by 6 feet (not counting the shower), we could do virtually all of the room without any cuts whatsoever. The only cuts required would be around the toilet rough-in, that big hole in the floor.

Given that our cuts would be minimal anyway, we grew even more resolved not to rent the tile saw. We bought this handy little tile cutter from Home Depot (just score and snap!) for $28, much less than the $65 day rate on the tile saw. And at first, it worked great, making quick work of cuts in our test tiles.

But, evidently not all tiles are created equal. The test tiles are the thin 4" shower wall or backsplash tiles, while our floor tiles are burly porcelain... significantly thicker. So when we tried the score and snap, we got...

(See that faint white line running horizontally across the two tile pieces? That's the score line, where it SHOULD have broken. But don't dismiss the tile cutter entirely... it would be great for thin subway tile or thinner ceramic tiles.)

Not ready to accept defeat yet, we decided to figure out some MacGyver-like solutions, or at least to break a bunch of tiles trying. Stay tuned for the conclusion to this tale.

Eventually it should all look really nice...

Mock-up of the paint, tile and trim together

Update: You can read about how this tile story ends here.


  1. seriously impressed. whenever you want to come decorate my place, you're welcome !!


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