I ran a 16’ length of the triple track of that stuff not too long ago. I feel your pain.
I continue work on the wife’s new bathroom. I have moved walls, and run all kinds of plumbing and wiring. It is finally starting to come together. I finished the granite surround for the TV today. It keeps the water out, anyway. I was going to do something with a waterproof speaker, but ended up designing a system of baffles to let the sound out of the bottom, while excluding water. I am learning to grout
What tub did you go with? What kind of tile is the surround? I feel your grout angst. We are upgrading our house one room at a time & putting off the bathrooms…
It is a Kohler “tea for two” soaking tub. Deeper than a normal American tub, not quite the Japanese soaking tubs that we prefer. Around the tub is all natural slate, with a stripe of stainless steel tile running through. The TV frame is some kind of black granite. I used 18 x 18 inch ceramic on the floors, in a color sort of like the slate. I did cement board on all the walls and floors before the tile went on.
There is a separate little room for the toilet, which also aligns with our preferences. We do have full featured Japanese toilets, which is nice.
The original layout of the house had two bedrooms on the third floor, with a tiny bathroom in between. We use one of the bedrooms as a master, and expanded and rearranged the bathroom into some of the space that was the other bedroom, now an office.
But this is a big project, and I am doing it all myself. I have laid brick and stone, but I went into this with almost zero tiling experience. I hate grouting.
The idea is to make it as close to a modern Japanese bath as I can, but not so much that it would alienate any non-Japanese who might use it. I wish that I could put in a central control unit that can fill the tub remotely and control everything including the humidity of the room, but that is expensive and probably overkill. I did put in a big enough floor space so that we can wash before soaking, with drains and a hose and hand sprayer. I put in heated floor elements, but I have not tested the system yet.
I settled on hansgrohe for the faucets and shower fixtures, but I do not have a tub filler faucet yet. I have not done anything to the ceiling, and the light fixtures are just what I had on hand. I have no idea what to do with the ceiling.
I should also mention that the bathroom has been in use by my wife the whole time. That might be the biggest challenge. She can’t use the shower until I get the tile finished, but the tub has been used daily, and there has always been at least one sink usable.
I certainly appreciate anyone who has the courage to redo a bathroom. A lot of what I am doing is more or less improvised. My wife wanted the TV in there, and that whole system just sort of evolved. The TV can be swiveled out to the WC room, which is on the other side of that wall. I can’t imagine ever actually watching TV like that, but it seemed the thing to do for access to the equipment.
Is that a bar of soap holding up that frame?
Also, grout sucks. I really hated working with it every time I have had to.
That is some kind of pumice scrub stone. It was the right size. but the adhesive finally dried, so it and the 2x4s are gone. I have no idea how one is supposed to assemble pieces of granite like that. I used “3M high strength” adhesive, then sealed it with silicone. then grouted over the seams.
I polished the granite with diamond knife sharpening stones. Which worked well, oddly enough.
It sure can be frustrating. I have a feeling it’s the kind of thing if you did it every day you’d get a feel for it. Or not. A contractor watered it too much for a kitchen floor he was doing for me and it’s still kinda soft. But it made it easy for him to spread! God I hate contractors. They always leave me easter eggs I find long after they’re paid & gone.
Is the 18x18 floor tile honed or surfaced in some way? Sounds slippery otherwise. I always use old fashioned B&W pinwheel.
The floor tile is slightly textured. Smooth floor tile that size would be sort of sporting to traverse while wet. I will pretend that I carefully considered that issue, but I am actually just winging it.
My grouting process, which I developed carefully by watching a couple of YouTube videos, starts with sponging grout release onto everything that is not supposed to have grout stuck to it. Then I put the mixed grout into some kind of cake decorating cone, and squeeze it into the gaps. After the grout is in, I point it up with a trowel, and try to clean it up with sponges and damp rags for a couple of hours, then I come back and lightly rinse it off, then clean off the remaining grout release the next day.
This technique seems to be working, but I can only do a little at a time, or it starts drying and sticking to things.
If anyone knows how to actually do this, and you see obvious flaws in my method, feel free to let me know.
The time honored method is simply spreading the crap far and wide, then using the float to get off as much as you can off the surface of the tiles. Even when I do 12x12, I use a silicone float. Have you ever visited johnbridge.com? Its the place for all things tile, it’s amazing both for the articles and the forums. He has an ebook there for sale.
Seconding this method. Knee pads and the largest sponges help.
Thank you. I will spend some time there and try to educate myself. I just registered for the forum.
The natural slate is part of the issue. It cant be grouted the regular way. It is soft, and full of irregularities.
I think you need wide grout lines for that kind of stone, and then it takes care and experience to groom them properly. I’ve used porcelain with “natural” edges and found it tricky. I almost used the slate for a backspash, but ended up using slate colored porcelain. That’s also a 12x12 granite tile countertop, with very narrow grout lines.
Me next, when can I book you.
Looks very nice so far!
Very nice and neat. I think mine is going to turn out nice, but only because I am incredibly persistent.
Thank you. She puts up with quite a bit, so anything I can do to give her an oasis of calm and peace, I will do.
Thats like a good husband.
Hotter than balls outside, but managed to stay out long enough to do a couple quick pieces:
Spray paint on 11x14 canvas board.
That’s a really pretty protest sign!