Chris vs. Beveled Subway Tile, Day 1

It's time, time to tile the walls. Hooray! I say hooray because I didn't do ONE BIT OF TILING on Day 1, so that made me a happy camper :) Chris tiled away while I painted trim, patched holes in Cashew's room, bought more grout for the shower floor and completed other little tasks here and there. After tiling the walls in the main bathroom, I was really not looking forward to tiling this room (despite deciding to tile further up on the walls - 5ft this time instead of 3), so when Chris suggested I do something else while he tiled (probably because he didn't want me throwing anything), I was quite pleased. I got to come in and marvel at his handiwork from time to time which was very exciting :)

Tiling this beveled subway tile went quicker than tiling the glass subway tile in the main bathroom because the glass is manufactured and cut as completely flat so if a corner sticks out a teeny, tiny bit you can feel and see the difference and it looks like shit. The beveled tile allows for a small difference without being noticeable, so you don't have to spend 10 minutes per tile making sure it's flush and flat with all the others around it. As a result, Chris moved up the wall fairly quickly

It wasn't all fun and games however because shortly after this picture was taken, things took a turn for the not so pretty (and you can see in Chris' face that he wasn't super thrilled already). The shower floor had a small dip in it in the center (the two corners were just slightly higher), and that resulted in a dip in the center of the beveled subway tiles as Chris moved his way up the wall. He tried to make up the difference bit by bit over each row, but it just wasn't working out. So there was some cussing, some frustration and some tiles (well, all the tiles) removed from the wall. And then Chris started over

And he used white thinset the second time just because it's less noticeable if it squishes just slightly in between each tile.

Once Chris got the dip figured out, he motored up the wall

After getting a little ways up the first wall, he moved over to the second

He got pretty far up that second wall, but when the thinset ran out, instead of mixing up another batch (it was about 4:30 or so) we decided to finish up the shower floor grout

Now the shower floor is officially done. And it's beautiful

And the shower walls?

Not too bad for day 1! Especially considering the first 2 hours were trial and error and then redo.

I love the beveled tile. It adds just a little bit of emphasis and personality without being too noticeable. It gives the perfect hint. And the great thing is that once Chris got the hang of it, it went up pretty quickly, so hopefully we can get it up faster than anticipated (I anticipated A LONG time). Because after that, it's really just the finishing touches (glass enclosure, toilet installed, sink installed, etc.) We can't quite see the finish line, but I think I can smell it.


Alex said...

I'm still really enjoying following your project. It reminds me of when we did our Kerdi shower in our guest bath. Very similar to our setup. We did a subway tile on the walls and marble basket weave on the floor. However, for some reason, we ended up doing the walls first then the floor. This was a horrible decision as it made the gap between the walls and the floor a bit inconsistent. The next one we do we'll definitely do the floors first.

Anyhow, you're shower is really looking great. What are your plans for the shower glass? Frameless, DIY, hire out, floor to ceiling? I'd love to know.

Louie said...

Great to see a post about this because I am looking forward to change the tiles in the bathroom. It is really expensive to have it done by another person and so I am doing research so I can do it instead.

meryl rose said...

Floors first and then walls is a really easy way to be able to keep the gaps at a minimum and make it took more polished.

We're not sure about the enclosure yet. We know we'll be going with glass, but it remains to be seen exactly how. One company says we don't need a header (though I'm skeptical) and I don't like the floor to ceiling ones because all the steam makes me feel claustrophobic (yup, weirdo). We will definitely go with a company to do it though instead of hiring out. It would definitely be cheaper to do it ourselves, but in the long run I think it's best to leave it up to the professionals to ensure it functions properly and has no leaks. It looks like we're coming close to being able to call them in!

Alex said...

I'm just going to throw this out there, so call it food for thought.

We did our shower glass ourselves and it is almost the same size as yours, and similar setup. At first I was dead set on doing it ourselves. I once worked in a window/glass shop and had heard and seen the horrors of bumping a piece of tempered glass and having it explode instantly into thousands of little pieces. As I started making calls around I ran into two things.
1. The prices shocked me
2. Every guy insisted on drilling through the curb to place the glass, penetrating the Kerdi.

Now I knew the prices would be high, but I didn't like the insistence to drill through the curb. They kept saying that "it would be sealed, so don't worry." Well, I worry, a lot!

As I looked into it more the dread of dealing with a contractor that might screw up my shower install in the final step far outweighed my fear of tempered glass explosions. I ended up finding a place online that would help me configure the shower (Wwilsonglass.com) and would then have a glass company local to us manufacture the components. It took about 3 weeks before it was ready, and we rented a pickup truck and drove out and picked up the glass from the glass shop. When we got home, we installed it, realized one of the pieces was badly warped (noticed at pickup too but didn't speak up) and had them make another piece. Drove back out and picked it up and installed it. Today, we have a beautiful shower that we love and spent about 50% of what we would have had we hired it out.

Ok, enough of my rambling message that sounds as if it is ultimately trying to convince you to do the glass yourself. I'm more just saying that I wouldn't dismiss it. The seals and everything are all pretty straight forward. You guys seem to have the same comfort level as us when it comes to DIY, so it's definitely something you can handle. (famous last words)

meryl rose said...

It is true, the price is a bit ridiculous. And Chris is a worrier too :) I'll have to let him ruminate on the idea :)