Tiling The Shower


It took nearly a year due to other work, and my marginal employment.  Still have that job thank God and still don't know if it's full time.  If you don't get paid for any time off, not even July 4th, X-Mass or New Years, then you aren't going to be working 40 hrs a week.  Are you part time then?  Really, anyone know?  None of us do, just happy to have any job.


Tiliing - FINALLY - at least mom's shower.  Lack of $$$ will keep me from tiliing the tub surround - I'll put up shower curtains on all sides. 


What did I learn?  

MOSAIC RULES when it comes to tiles. 

Yeah, even easier than 4 x 4.

Rember that when you need to cut 10G from someones house you're doing some day.  Simple forms, mosaic tile, over a couple three bathrooms, you easily save 10G. 


Image Counts

and COSTS - A lot of time.


What did I learn?  Lots of cool corners, shelves, setbacks, etc. really make this shower a fun shower, brighter, more usable, more decorative.  All those futsy angles made it REALLY hard to tile.  I'm no pro, but it took probably 3 x as much time to do the "interesting" areas vs. the big wide areas of mosaic tile.   I won't even describe drilling holes for the grab bars through tile, with DIY tools - vs. popping out a few mosaics where the screws go, but again, probably 4 times easier with mosaic tiles.  Even a pro would find the mosaic much faster to work with. 


Salvaging Plumbing


Added a day of work.  If I had a real job, would have been lots happier working a Saturday and buying a new shower valve.   Instead,  I had to cut out the old (and still very functional Delta temp / pressure compensating and very expensive for me) valve from the old tub and soldering it into the new.  Got to it by cutting through the old fiberglass tub surround - lots eaiser than ripping out the wall behind it - though it ruins the salvagability of the surround - who knows, might be forced by economics to re-use it some day, hmmm, maybe some epoxy.


Cheaping out on Equipment

Well it was a theory................


What did I learn?


Tried using a Dremel, had to get their diamond blade.  Wait a minute, you say, you are using a DREMEL to cut tile.  Well yeah.  I'm partially employed, and happy to be employed at all so every dollar counts.  So I thought $20 of Dremel blades and a few days of my time vs. $200 for a wet saw and blade and a day of my time.  No, renting is not an option when it's a 2 hr round trip to the rental place, $10 of gas, and wear and tear on a car I'll never be able to afford to replace.


This actually worked the first couple of tiles.  Score a dozen times with Dremel.  Then lay over a steel rod to get a sharp edge under the tile, laid a 2 x 4 as long as the score line, take another similar piece of wood lay down on other side of score, tight to it.  Wacked it with a hammer.  Voila, a clean snap.  Yes, really, for a while.


Tried a 45 degree angle, DISASTER.


I learned a wet saw is a necessity.