I think it’s pretty obvious from my blog that I like DIY. I like the money-saving aspect, the instant gratification and the satisfaction of doing something on my own. When it comes to tile, though…that freaks me out a little. I think I feel confident enough to tackle mosaic tiles in a small bathroom or a kitchen back splash, but when it came down to laying this 18 x 18″ Carrera tile by Daltile in my kitchen. There was a small part of me that thought, I can tackle this all by myself, but then there was a huge part of me that knew if I messed up, it wouldn’t be easy to fix. I decided to call in a professional and we happen to have a friend who has been laying tile since he was a teenager.
Bringing a professional in for a job doesn’t mean it’s a painless process, though. I may have avoided the knee and back pain, but there was still upheaval in the house for a couple of days and there’s work we had to do before and after the tile was installed to finished the project. And you know that projects don’t ever go as planned…
…which usually means more time and more money. In this case, we were pleasantly surprised with the news that this project would be easier, cheaper and faster than we originally thought. The reason was the linoleum could be easily removed to expose the backer board underneath it. Originally, we thought we needed to add a new layer of backer board over the linoleum, but the linoleum was only glued around the edges and the backer board underneath was in great shape. This meant one less day of labor and about $300 less in materials. Woohoo for things not going as planned!
So, the guys pulled up the old linoleum, which I will not miss a bit, and then made sure the floor was completely clean and smooth.
We decided it would look best (and would be a bit more forgiving of imperfections in the tiles) to lay the joints staggered.
The guys mixed the thin set and started to apply it with a notched trowel in small sections. The kind of tile we were installing didn’t require a wet saw, but could simply be scored with a tile cutter. It was amazing how fast this floor went down.
Once it was installed, we had to barricade the kitchen and spend the night at my parent’s house. Our kitchen connects the 1940’s part of the house with the modern addition, so it was pretty impractical to try to stay there.
The guys came back the next morning to spread the grout. I ended up buying the premixed acrylic grout from Home Depot in Delorian Gray. I was going to use bright white grout, but my readers talked me out of it and I’m so glad you did! I love the look of the gray and I know it’s going to be much better with spills and dirt. If you are doing some DIY tile and use the acrylic grout, just be sure to work in very small sections and wipe the excess grout immediately and thoroughly. The grout expert told me it was very tricky to work with, so just be aware of that. The upside is it’s very durable and stain resistant.
And the result? Well, you’ll just have to wait a bit more to see…
The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in its Daltile program. As part of the program, I received compensation from The Home Depot in the form of a gift card to participate in this campaign promoting the new Atmospheres Tile Collection by Daltile. They did not tell me what to say about the products used for the Daltile Program. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.