TAKING ON THE CHALLENGE OF TILING MY BATHROOMS – AM I CRAZY?
I am a do-it-yourselfer and I love to remodel, as well as bake. I never had the money to hire someone to do everything I wanted so I would do it myself. I had a home where all the bathrooms were cultured marble, top to bottom – YUCK! What made it worse was that after a while, the sun actually turned it a light yellow color – DOUBLE YUCK! The cost to remodel my bathrooms was just something I couldn’t afford so I tackled it myself. I had designed stain glass when I was young, I build things on a regular basis so I thought that tiling was along those lines so I bought a book and dove right in. I retiled three bathrooms, from the floors, to the tub surround, to the showers, to the counters and even designed my own borders.
One advantage for a do-it-yourselfer: I got in shape and lost weight because I had to rip everything out and my tile saw was in constant motion, in my garage, so I would have to walk up and down stairs all the time. Cutting tile is messy and wet so I thought it was best to keep in the garage because my house was already messed up enough and I didn’t need tile dust and water everywhere too.
Look in your area for great deals on tile. I picked up counter granite and stone borders at Floor & Décor in Atlanta, I found close-out tile at Home Depot and Lowes and special ordered all my travertine through Home Depot at an amazing price. It was crazy how cheap it was to remodel my bathrooms. I will admit though that putting the backer board on the walls and floor was not my thing so luckily my then hubby put that in for me.
So, as a first time tiler, you would think I would put up the easiest square tile first but oh no, I love a challenge so the first thing I did was a subway pattern tile in my son’s tub surround which isn’t the easiest thing to line up but I did it well so everything else after that would be a piece of cake, or so I thought…..
And then came my bathroom, top to bottom in stone and that included the shower ceiling. Yikes! Try lining up stone tile overhead and mudding it and getting it in place. Here’s a tip: It’s not fun. Get your children to hold the tile overhead for you. Why didn’t I think of that at the time? Well, live and learn. I also tiled over a cultured marble Jacuzzi tub surround when they said it couldn’t be done and it looks great, to this day. I did three bathroom counters in granite tiles and butted them next to each other so you don’t even see the seams and it cost me next to nothing and looks so much better than yellowed cultured marble. I designed my own borders instead of paying more for pre-made borders and even installed stone moldings. I know I did great when a repairman came to the home and said he never saw even an expert tiler do as good of a job! SUCCESS! Can’t say I would want to tile for a living (I have a new found respect for those people) but I would do it again, if I wanted to increase the value of my home and save a ton of money.