Chris and I just keep looking at each other in disbelief. The floors are done and it is unbelievable!! It has been an incredibly long 6 weeks. While we are so happy we were able to save the thousands of dollars on installation doing it ourselves (we were originally quoted 17K, but since we decided against the heated flooring, it would actually be closer to 11K to install the tile), Chris said he wouldn’t want to do it again if someone offered him eleven thousand dollars. But, going back, we’d still save the money and do it ourselves. It’s a weird thing DIY, huh?
So the good news is the floors are done! The bad news is they were done being grouted late last night so I don’t have any photos for you today. Womp womp. Monday! For sure. Today, I wanted to share with you a few of the things that helped make tiling a lot more comfortable, in case there is a tiling job in your future. There are a lot of great lists of all the tools you need to tile (a wet saw, chalk line, trowel, spacers, square, etc. The Tile Shop has a great comprehensive list here), but besides all that, these 4 things were a life-saver for us.
First, knee pads. Specifically these ones. Chris tried out a few different brands and types throughout the process but these were his favorite. The two velcro straps are placed perfectly on the pads ensuring there’s no material or strap bunching behind your knees . Also, these stayed in place the best all of the options he was on his knees while he crawled on the floor for hours.
2. This was actually my mom’s idea and it worked like a charm! Having one of these cheap-o rolling office chairs at our disposal was priceless. I used it a lot while I rolled back and forth handing Chris tiles. When we were screwing in the Hardibacker board. When dry-laying large sections or measuring for cuts. When you just need a place to sit and all of your furniture is downstairs (ha!)–this little black chair was our best friend. It sunk close to the ground and we used it every. day.
3. When it comes to gloves, go for something lightweight that fits well and isn’t too loose. We got these from Home Depot and they fit perfectly and allowed for lots of movement and breathability. Heavy-duty gloves didn’t lend well to handling the tile. After awhile, once he got into a rhythm, Chris opted to wear just one glove on the hand he troweled with the prevent blisters and his bare hand to lift the tile. And at the end of the day–O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Cream provided really fast healing for his dry, cracked hands. The stuff is amazing and just as important as the gloves were.
4. Lastly, a tool pouch. Where were we before we got this tool pouch!? It has four little pockets (often loaded throughout this project with a chisel, screwdriver, utility knife and pencil) and a clip for a measuring tape. Chris kept it fastened onto an old belt for easy on and off. It’s not bulky or heavy. Just really, really handy. Must have.
We are feeling so grateful and happy and relieved–all the good emotions right now. We can’t wait to show you the floors on Monday and get back to life as normal. Happiest of weekends to you!