Day 17: The Tiling Begins...Kinda

Steve the tile guy (as opposed to Steve the Bearded, who I believe works directly for Jack rather than as a subcontractor) came today. I consulted him and Jack about the advisability of placing the floor tile diagonally, after Al agreed to consider it if I'd be willing to Freecycle the black four-drawer filing cabinet that he loathes. (This was a no-brainer for me; most of the files that are still in that cabinet could go into storage boxes without me really missing them, since they're not files I need to access more than once a year, if that.) Steve had an opinion as to the feasibility (no problem), but he was agnostic about the advisability.

This is where having one person who does the design & build & install is really key. We talk about Jack as "our contractor," but he's really much more than that. He came up with the design for the bathroom (based on the things we told him we hated about the current one and what we'd like to see in a remodeled version), he's doing the cabinetry work, and he's obviously on-site at least a couple times a week to do some of the work. He's always offered good design advice when we didn't have a clue which way to go, and he's willing to explain the pros and cons of various options.

Jack opined that based on the size of our bathroom (small) and the size of our tile (rather large, at 13"), he'd recommend diagonal. He was able to articulate exactly my concern: namely, that in such a small space, lots of straight, square lines could actually make the room look crooked—even if they were dead on. We even got Steve off the "I can do it any way you want" fence for a brief moment, long enough for him to opine that it's best to tile the floor diagonally, "especially when the wall uses the same tile laid straight." Exactly. Rather than keep things hypothetical, however, Jack whipped out a few tiles and checked the measurements. We quickly determined that laying the tile diagonally would also work better technically, since there'd be more whole tiles on the main axes.

After all that, though, Steve announced that I still had until tomorrow to decide, since he was going to start with the tub tile. And he did... but about an hour after getting all his equipment wedged into the bathroom and his radio set up right outside, he discovered that the blade on his tile saw needed to be replaced. Instead of cutting out nice little openings for the shower bits, it just snapped the tile in two. Consequently, we have some tile adhesive on the wall, but only four tiles. The rest will go in tomorrow... and maybe some of the floor will, too? I'm not sure.

Steve takes some measurements
Steve takes some measurements.
(Click to see all 6 photos from day 17.)

Posted by Lori in master bath remodel at 10:32 PM on April 11, 2007