I’m So Tiled Out

The tub surround tiling project is almost complete! Last weekend began with the tub surround looking like the picture below, due to the fact that I got the most work done after the little girls were in bed and couldn’t use the saw. I began the project by putting a thin layer of thinset on the wall with a wide spackle knife, then applying a thicker thinset layer with the v-notched trowel. When I of necessity had a more frantic pace, this changed into applying thinset with the v-notch trowel directly to the backs of the tiles and sticking them up on the wall. That seemed to work just as well, except on the ceiling where I had to tape a few up until they dried. Applying the thinset in a circular motion before sticking them to the ceiling worked pretty well too, as it created a bit of suction on the back of the tile.

The wet saw was lent to me by gracious friends (saving me the $44/day that Home Depot charges to rent a wet saw). However, they have their own emergency bathroom remodel and needed the saw back on Monday. I had a few precious days to cut all my tile. My solution was to put up as much tile as I could while the girls were sleeping, mark each tile to be cut with a sharpie at the “cut line”, then to individually number the spots and the backs of my tiles to be fit into the spots. That way I could cut as fast as I could.

I set the wet saw down in the tub where the mess could be contained somewhat. Even so, thinset and tile dust was everywhere. You can see some on the door in the picture above.

Thankfully my mom came to watch the kids for a few hours on Monday while I cut tile as fast as I could. Although that was 4 days ago, my fingers are still thrashed by shards of porcelain that worked their way into the thinset-worn skin, and my fingernails sport thinset around the edges (beneath the manicure my 2-year-old gave me today, that is). I finished tiling on Monday! I’ve been taking a break to get my house back in order and nurse my poor sick 2-year-old who has sorely felt the effect of Momma being too busy. We’ll see when I get to the grout. Tonight I finished scraping bits of thinset off the tiles with a razor blade, so it doesn’t peek through my nice dark grout.

So this is my first tiling attempt. My lines are uneven, some of the gaps gape, but hey, it’s my first time, and I have a 5-month-old baby who only wants Mama. So I’m pretty happy with my work!



  1. Lisa Chun
    Posted February 17, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink | Reply

    WOW Sarah!! I am so impressed! you are hired!! 🙂

  2. rachelferkovich
    Posted February 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It looks awesome Sarah!! Great job :))))))

    • Posted February 17, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Rachel! I need your help with my photography skills though, haha! My old Canon Powershot isn’t cutting it very well anymore – do you think my iPhone 4 would take better ones?

  3. Posted February 29, 2012 at 11:59 am | Permalink | Reply

    It looks beautiful Sarah! Uncle Greg is re-tiling our shower too. We are waiting for the edging tiles to come in, and to get the tiles going into the corners cut. But as far as he has gotten it looks great!

    • Posted February 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It’s so much work! But so rewarding!! What kind of tile are you using?

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