Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Official Second Bath!

Yay! The camera card just arrived in the mail! I joyfully skipped downstairs and unloaded it all, so we're back in business...

Okay, so here's some photos of the basement bath. And yes, I did it myself! Here's the ceiling, tiled my moi, with the can light covers installed. I still have to go back and clean it all again. I used square 6-inch white gloss finish tiles and white grout to keep it light and unobtrusive. I have to admit you don't even notice it when you first walk into the space. The walls are tiled in 3x6 white gloss subway tiles.

And then here's a view of B's tower with the shower with most of the hardware installed. Notice the lovely tiling around the window, the pebbles on the back of the built in shampoo and soap nooks! And the hand shower for ease of cleaning and for the dogs when it's bath time.

The grout dried a lot lighter than I thought it would. We used "delorean gray" grout (I think B agreed to the color just because of the cool name) that appeared on the sample to be a deep hue. When it dries it looks a lot lighter, more of a pale silver gray.

...and then there's the floor... maybe that's why visitors to the house don't notice the ceiling. The back story on this is that I saw this awesome pebble tile in the marble store in Northside, and decided I wanted it. They were mesh tiles, like any other mosaic mesh, but with pebbles attached. It looked so amazing, and I figured with the unevenness of the floor, it would work with the slope rather than against it. Great, I thought. One big decision made! And so unique! At least I kept thinking this until I found out it averaged about $18 a square foot, then there would still be a shipping fee. Eep! We had about 37 sf to cover, and a budget, of, well, not that much. Definitely not an option.

So, weeks go by and I can't let go of the idea. I keep coming back to it. So, after laying the rest of the tile and getting comfortable with my skill level, I decided I'd just do it myself. I bought a load of gravel for $12.50 from the stone yard, my dad gave me several five-gallon buckets of tumbled quartz stone from a landscaping job he did, and I got started laying them myself. The part that took the longest was sorting out all the broken, chipped and oblong ones. I'd sort a batch, then go down and attach them with thinset. You can see how it looked on the lower left corner of the photo. I also mixed in some glass discs I bought at Michaels from the floral department for $10. Then, after the whole floor was done, I grouted 'em. It took a LOT of grout, even with them laid so tightly together.

Here's a close up of the final product! For a HECK of a lot less!!! $22.50 in stone and glass, about $15 in thinset, and about $36 for three bags of sanded grout. Walking on it is fun: it feels like you're wearing a pair of those rubber shoes with nubs on the insides. It turned out relatively even! It did take a while, was incredibly repetitive and painstaking, but I must admit it was a lot of fun. But maybe that's just my OCD talking. I want to do another. Soon.

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