Friday, September 5, 2014

bathroom tile job gone bad

Sometimes we ask ourselves why we do what we do - why do we spend so much time updating and working on our house when we could be relaxing or doing something a bit more fun. I mean, honestly, we really do enjoy designing and building and creating and improving our house to make it our own but once in a while, when things don't go so well, we ask ourselves, what the heck are we doing? Especially after a weekend like this one in which we found ourselves a bit discouraged with our bathroom remodel.

We spent last Friday night, Saturday and Monday, laying tile in our bathroom. We were almost finished. I'm talking maybe a half hour and we would be done. However, throughout the day, we were finding more and more pieces of the small hex tile we used, kept coming loose. And then, more, and more until the realization hit us that it's not just a few pieces, but a lot of pieces that started doing this. Not only were the tiles coming loose, but the mortar used to glue the tile down would crumble to a sand-like consistency when rubbed between your fingers. It was only a matter of time before the whole floor would be coming loose. Soon the uneasy feeling of a job gone bad loomed over us. That all that work we just did the last three days may have been for nothing.

tiles coming loose
We finally decided to call my cousin (thanks, Jason) who lays tile professionally, to get his input on what may have gone wrong. Dan explained the situation and what was happening and explained the consistency of the mortar used to glue down the tile and was told by my cousin that the mortar is the problem. The mortar should not crumble as it had been doing. Jason suggested that what would be best and what he would do would be to tear up all the tile we just spent three days laying; clean it off and start over.

We felt sick. We felt defeated. We felt discouraged. We felt like we had just wasted three days of our lives laying tile that needed to be ripped out.

What were we to do? Leave the bathroom torn apart? or get going and redo this thing? So we got to it.

We laid blankets out on Jada's bedroom floor and one by one peeled the tiles up off the bathroom floor and laid them in the same pattern on the blankets in Jada's room. Dan scraped the remaining mortar off the bathroom floor and vacuumed and scrubbed that up and we began to scrub mortar off tiles. For four and a half hours. And that was only half the tiles. I wanted to cry. My fingers were raw from scrubbing. My back hurt from leaning over the tote to scrub. It sucked.

scrubbing tiles

But finally, a couple days later, we were ready to relay the tile with new mortar, different from before. Right away Dan could tell a huge difference in the consistency of the mortar. This was the way it was supposed to be. After two nights of laying tile, we are just about finished and ready for the grout. I am SO READY for this bathroom to be done.