Thursday, 24 November 2011

Kitchen Floors Revealed

Alright!  So after a little sneaky peaky yesterday I'm back to show you how the kitchen floors turned out.  With yesterday's disclaimer in mind, are these our dream floors?  No.  Do we love them anyways?  Absolutely!  Should we get a return on our investment?  We sure hope so!

We left off at the point where we were trying to decide on which way to lay the tiles...

We decided on the brick pattern for a couple of reasons...

1.  We just plain like it!
2.  It adds a little more (free) visual interest, rather than just laying them side by side (like the bottom 3 tiles in the first picture)
3.  We hoped that this pattern would trick the eye into seeing a slightly wider kitchen once the cabinets were installed (I'll explain further once I get the cabinet post up)
4.  Having straight grid-like grout lines makes it a lot easier for the eye to pick up on imperfections, as opposed to the brick pattern that breaks it up

Here we are laying the very first tile and being oh-so-happy about it!

Once Darryl had done a few rows (while my job was again to mix up the thinset so that he had an ongoing supply), we got into a nice rhythm.  Darryl would prepare the thinset on the floor and I would back-butter a bunch of tiles and lay them out for him so that he wouldn't be slowed down by having to do that as well. 

(we left the trickier cuts - the parts around the perimeter - until the end)

This has been, by far, the most back breaking work of this entire main floor project.  We were both dying by the end - our backs from bending over all day, our knees from kneeling, our necks from looking down for hours on end and Darryl's wrists from all the thinset spreading.  The pain!  We have definitely gained an exorbitant amount of respect for people who earn their livelihood from laying tile.  Whew!  

Once the tile was all set over the course of two 12 hour days and one 6 hour day, all that was left was to grout the tile.  I found that the grout we chose, turned out nothing like the sample and I was extremely frustrated.  Now I'm okay with it.  It's just grout, right?  It's not the main focus. 

(I realized I never took "after" shots!  So I took these pics this morning which is why you can only see part of the floor but once the kitchen is revealed next week you'll be able to see it all)

So this upgrade cost us all of $230!  It's crazy how much you can save when you're not paying for anyone else's labour.  We bought the tiles while they were on sale and they came to $181 (with a few boxes left over) and the rest of the cost was for the mesh, mortar, thinset, grout and sealer.  Woot!

ps.  Check out the updates, cover plates have been put on all the plugs and light switches!

Have you laid tile before?  If so, would you do it again?  Or is it a job you'd rather leave to the pros?


  1. I haven't laid tile before, but we're planning to tile our entryway (which currently has the oh-so-lovely look of no flooring). It's a really small area, so I'm hoping it will be manageable!

  2. Love that you guys went with the brick pattern! That stuff can definitely make a huge difference! We laid the tile in our laundry room, and our basement bathroom (along with tiling the entire shower enclosure). We did a diamond pattern in the laundry room, and are glad we did. Like you said, it gives more visual interest to a pretty basic tile. The laundry room wasn't too bad. I was in charge of cutting the tile, while B and my Dad did the other stuff. The mosaic tile in our basement bathroom was the hardest!

    We have some 12 x 24 tile for the upstairs bathroom... we'll see how that goes!

  3. Good luck Amelia, it'll be so worth it! Despite my complaints of the physical pain, we'd do it all over again! We'll have to tackle our upstairs bathroom sometime too.

    Kerry, you guys are no strangers to tiling, your basement shower is amazing! Can't wait to see what you do with the upstairs bathroom!