Why Can't I Just Needlepoint or Something? (Tile Update)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Here's the moment where I say ah, yes, now I know why I hadn't gotten around to redoing the first floor bathroom.  Or to have started then stopped but not started again.  Ah, why I've been avoiding this project.  Ah.  Ah.  Ah yes.

Mortar is my mortal enemy I've resolved.  Yes.  Hands down, abhor.  It despises me, I despise it.  Never the twain shall meet to be bff's ever ever.

So when I'm knee deep in mortar, my evil nemesis, and quite literally knee deep, I'm thinking to myself, why can't I be a needlepointer or a basket weaver or be a master sock darner or something where I'm quietly, stilly sitting on the couch and not getting myself all DIY neck deep in cuckoo large projects where I destroy then try to rebuild our house?!


Not to belittle needlepointing or basket weaving or sock darning.

status of main floor bathroom
We are gathered here to say our final goodbyes.
Sigh.  I guess because I'm a glutton for punishment.  A crazy person.  A....shake and hang my head, I dunno.  Nuts.

Ok, to backtrack, where the torment began its slow seep in:

Weary I became from pacing back and forth and back and forth past the toilet, eyeing it, muttering to myself about how its presence was holding me back.  Sick of waiting for help, I did what I always do:  decided that I can do it.  I can get that toilet out by myself.  And oh, I will.

And oh, I did.

Found this on the internet and within five minutes, bam, the toilet was out.  Easy peasy.  Why'd I think even for a half a millisecond that it'd be difficult?!  Silly me.

I think I assumed it was heavy.  It is not.  Especially if you take the tank off.

So all right people, clap clap, it is on!  Let's get that horrible tile out of the house, gone for good, buh-bye, don't let the door hit ya on the way out!

trying to remove floor tile
Out came trusty hammer then pry bar and then out came the entire floor, poof, no more ugly tile.  Seriously, it was markedly anticlimactic how quick it all happened, how quickly it was erased.

floor tile removed
Ugly tile gone!   Hallelujah, ugly tile is gone!!
I did save two small chunks of the swirly pattern to frame and hang in the bathroom when it's all said and done though.  A lil' reminder.  Heh.

Zipped out all the drywall screws after popping up all that cement board.  They were rusted a good three-eighths of an inch down because wow, buying a box of cement board screws* reaaaallllyyy woulda busted the budget....


Standing there I had a decision to make.  I had picked up three sheets of 3' x 5' environmentally friendly Green E-Board which surprisingly was less expensive than cement board.  Now, do I mortar it down like the directions on the sticker say, onto the OSB subfloor or do I not put water on the OSB and just screw these puppies down?

I, like the flipper's freakshows, opted not to mortar them down, not get water on the OSB.  My decision was based on damage avoidance.  Theirs was based on profit margin, time constraints, and because they revel in doing crappy work.

Was it the right decision?  Can't say for sure but I feel comfortable with it.  Especially since I went through darn near an entire box of two hundred cement board screws.

laying cement board on floor
Bad measuring of course.  But hey, new green and clean underlayment is in!  Progress!
Yeah I botched measurements.  No surprise there.  Regardless, this stuff is simple to cut for things like the toilet hole and the floor vent with a jigsaw, and by hand with a knife.

And then....

So later that evening Mike and I, we're sitting eating dinner at the dining room table which is typically a rarity but policy has changed.  I casually mention it took quite an exorbitant while to cut tiles.

See, I prattled, I did a dry run of the tiles which one is supposed to do so thank goodness for me not stubbornly skipping that step.  But I discovered with the late addition spiffy border, I had two options:  cut 1x1 itty bitty lil' wee tiles or cut octagons.

dry fitting mosaic floor tiles
Dry running that there tile.  The 3x6 border was a snap decision while buying the remaining needed octagon dots.
In an effort to avoid cutting little 1x1 tiles and sawing my fingers off, I opted to cut the octagons in half.  Either way, the resultant time investment was quite substantial.  Like an entire afternoon.  Yes, I was soaked.

more layout of tiles
More dry running.
Please enjoy our subsequent dinner conversation:

Smarty Pants:  That's crazy since it's going to look stupid.

B:  Excuse m...whaa?  (fork drop)  Stupid?  Well thanks, so glad I'm putting forth all this time and effort into something you think is going to look stupid.  I thought you...

M:  What I mean is next to the kitchen tile, the new tile will look dumb.  You'd really need to extend the new tile all the way through the kitchen.

floor tile transition at door
Here's where the bath meets the kitchen, how I handled that scenario.
B:  (jaw falls slack) (food may have tumbled out, not sure)

M:  I mean, we can hire someone to do it instead.  That's a lot.  You know I'm right though.

B & M have an entire one minute long unspoken eye contact conversation parts of which vaguely resembled "I don't know if you're right but you sure seem sure."  Several "whatevers."  "You're crazy."  "No, you're crazy."  "What are you talking about?"  "You're killing me, smalls."  "I thought you loved me."  And of course lastly, "trust me, I'm a designer" followed by more "whatevers."

(Yeah, he could potentially be right, we'll see.  The octagon dot would look pretty awesome in the kitchen with the black cabinets and the wallpaper.  But, likely not with the backsplash tile being small.  That's too too many smalls in combination with the wallpaper pattern.  Besides, kitchen + white floor + dog + husband?  That's...that's inviting disaster of epic proportions.)

B:  You realize the existing tile goes under the appliances and the cabinets, right?  You know what that means, right?

M:  Oh. (pause as he processes that, thinks about getting up to double check me)  Oh. (fading from me now).......Well, someday we'll rework the kitchen and do it then so it's going to only be a temporary stupid.

B:  sigh

Mike, having lost interest in the conversation due to my parade rain deluge, says "maybe we should go back to eating in front of the television," I nod in agreement.  He sighs, "crap, now I just made it into your blog again didn't I?!"  I nod in agreement.

Stay tuned.......
Hailey as a puppy
My sweet pea at 2.

By the way, it's May again, time for Pet Cancer Awareness Month.  Sigh.  Please go to your search engine, type in "pet cancer awareness" for more information, share the info, donate, volunteer.

Jump to the finished tile floor here!

*The cement board screws are an Amazon affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. Thank you for getting rid of that awful tile. I'm surprised it wasn't outlawed along with spray paint, lol! If you knitted or did needle point, you'd probably have yarn everywhere and tons of pattern magazines everywhere. Trust me, I know. One thing to consider about running that tile through the kitchen is that the pattern seems too small for a kitchen and when you drop any glass item on it, the glass will shatter and spread everywhere. Not fun! I'm sure you'll come up with some awesomeness.

    1. Ha! You are soooooo welcome! You're totally right, I'd have yarn and stuff and stuff everywhere. And again, you're totally right -- the pattern is too small. Plus oh my gosh, yes, glass shards everywhere would be an utter nightmare. I veto octagon dot in the kitchen, it's final. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    2. Lol, anytime. Great minds think alike. I was thinking about your tile, because I am obsessive like that....and I realized why it stuck in my mind. We recently gutted our kitchen and replaced walls and cabinets, etc. The people before us had laid (or is it had lain?) New tile over the existing floor up to the cabinets. They did a really good job. If I remember correctly, they placed it slightly under toe kicks. So technically I think you can put tile down without moving the cabinets. Because who the heck wants to move cabinets that are not on fire or something! Ha ha here's a link to what might be a solution for you: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/replace-kitchen-tiles-removing-cabinets-22670.html

    3. Doing that two finger eye to eye we get each other gesture. I certainly don't want to move cabinets but burn them, yeah, that's tempting. No but really, thanks for that link! Hopefully Mike won't see it....Excellent tip though; I had wondered if that was possible. And, great excuse for a new power tool! Great question, laid or lain, I will look that up. But all that aside, I hope it was all sorts of crazy-get-out fun gutting and replacing!


Please no spam or links, thanks!