Basketweave is Still a Bitch

You may remember that we have basketweave in our main bathroom

And you may remember that we hated every second of laying it and swore that we wouldn't do it again. I was especially violent and angry while I was working cutting each individual tile around the curve in the tub

But of course, we're ridiculous and decided that despite all the anger, cussing and throwing of objects that occurred while laying the basketweave in the main bathroom that we would install basketweave in the back bathroom. Of course what made this project even more fun was the tile was a disaster to work with. Mosaic is already more difficult to work with than field tiles because they need to be set down very carefully with a lot of attention paid to proper spacing of each piece (they're all attached on a mesh sheet, but there is a wiggle room for individual tiles getting all wonky). But this tile was the biggest fucking headache. NORMALLY mosaic sheets come interlocking, which means that not all 4 sides are the same so that they slide into each other easily. But no, not these sheets. Every side was the same

Two sides should have not had those tiny little green pieces to make the sheets be able to interlock together. But of course, to make things fun, they didn't. So I spent hours on my hands and knees cutting off the stupid green pieces off of two of the sides of every fucking sheet of tile

That sucked. But you know what was even more fun, sometimes they still didn't interlock together properly? What the fuck? I just decided two sides next to each other that would have their green squares cut off, and then I'd cut them off. Then Chris would take the sheet and try to lay it down with a sheet that was already down and it didn't weave together properly. Fucking damnit! So I would have to only cut one or two sheets ahead of him so that I could look at how the tiles were laying out, grab a sheet that hadn't been cut, hold it against the tiles already down and figure out what sides I needed to cut from. It made the process go really fucking annoyingly slow. We thought we'd be able to knock out the floor in a day. But no. Those stupid fucking cuts just made it more fun. And if the cuts weren't annoying enough, the glue they used to fix the tile to the mesh sheet was like fucking gorilla glue and if I hit a big glob of it (which happened frequently) it required me to spend about 3 times as long to saw through it. Grrrrr.

Oh, and 1/2 the boxes had paper between the sheets

And half had nothing

Which resulted in chipped tiles because there was nothing protecting them. It was fine when the green dots got chipped because god knows we had plenty of leftover pieces I was cutting off, but when we had to replace a white piece it was pretty annoying. Grrrr again.

It was a good thing the tile looked so gorgeous as it was going down. The headache only resulted in me chucking a sheet of tiles and the utility knife once

That was where we got after day 1. It's preferred to get it all done in one day because then all the little tiny chunks of thinset you didn't clean up have to be cut out with a utility knife after they're hard and dry so that they don't fuck up the tile laying flat

Yep, more fun.

Day 2 was more of the same: Meryl cutting off the green pieces, trying to figure out how the sheets locked together with Chris prepping, laying out the thinset and putting the sheets down

When we got around the shower the cuts weren't too difficult (Chris just marked the sheets with a tile pencil and I took them outside to cut them down)

Day 2 went much quicker (we were well versed in the annoyances of the tile) and within a couple hours we were reaching the end of the room

Ahhhh, beyootiful

But you know what's not?

The fucking wasteful pile of individual tiles I cut piece by piece from each sheet. Grrrr a third time. The tile may look amazingly wonderful, but I would NOT use this tile. The picture on the site now has 1 side that's interlocking, so maybe they modified from when we bought it 2 years ago. But either way, with only 1 side made to be interlocking that still leaves another side that you get to spend fun with cutting each individual green square off of.

Let me just look at the floor again to calm myself

Ahhh, much better.


Anonymous said...

Looks lovely! What's the blue tape for?

Heather said...

It looks SO pretty.

meryl rose said...


The blue tape is where we finished on the first day so that when we were setting tile on the second day we were careful not to put any weight down or mess with those sheets as the tile and thinset were still curing and fixing in place.

Bunny @ 86n It said...

Wow! That waste pile is insane!
Looks beautiful!

meryl rose said...

I know, isn't that pile RIDICULOUS?! It was so infuriating.

Cheryl said...

It might be a bitch to install but it looks gorgeous when finished! The fact that you take such care during the installation probably helps a bit (with both the bitchyness AND the gorgeousness).

I need new floors all through the house - this would look great in both my tiny bathrooms - want to come install for me?!

Jessica said...

It looks great! Is that a grout float? Are you using that to press down the sheets of tile?

meryl rose said...

Cheryl - it is true, being careful the whole time definitely increases the bitchiness factor :) But it does turn out beautiful in the end!

Jessica - Yup, Chris uses the groat float so that he can get even pressure down on all the tiles to make sure all the sheets are pressed down the same amount.

ricky bond said...

Just searching for ideas for my mom's birthday this weekend and so glad I came across this.
I have a ton of tiles in the garage that would make for an excellent project.
I'm thinking a bit of a twist though and making a mosaic jewelery box. Thanks for the great idea!

meryl rose said...

Glad to inspire!