Tile! Or: Small Projects Make Me Feel Like I Can Actually Finish Things!

I'm sure you are all looking forward to a "finished refrigerator shelf system," or a "finished siding" montage. But no! Instead, it's a brand NEW project!
A few weeks ago, I was discussing my plans for a corned of the kitchen - the laundry area, to be precise. I've always thought the area under a washer/dryer should be tiled; tile is hardy, sturdy, and washable. It doesn't scratch, and it doesn't bubble and warp when it gets wet. It's also a lot better looking than fake wood floors or linoleum. Anyway, I was discussing how I'd like to build a lovely tiled area back there. It made sense, because the eventual plan is to tile the kitchen with pennies, but there will be shelves across that wall, which means either we lay pennies on both sides, or we keep the fake wood. Or, we make it its own space, and tile it!
The best part of the whole plan is that it really isn't a lot of work. Friday, we removed the old flooring, down to the ancient tile I didn't realize was there.

Hidden for over 70 years
Thank God for power tools
Saturday, I removed said tile, which was placed directly on the underflooring. Ugh. I also installed the step, which is the first part of the shelves/secret door/bookcase, and divider between "laundry room" and "kitchen." Originally (back before we decided to tile that area), the secret door was going to be flush with the ground, but after rather a lot of research, I decided this would be the best way. There would be no track from the door rubbing on the floor, and since this shelf would go all the way across, it would limit dust or water leakage from the washer/dryer into the kitchen itself. I also filled the many, many gaps around the floor with expanding foam. I should buy stock in the company that manufactures that stuff, I use it so frequently. Especially in this house.

Cement boards in place
"Fills one inch gaps", ha! That's a 2 x 8 inch gap!
Sunday, I installed the cement subfloor, which ended up being almost level; not such a bad job, if I say so myself. I also laid the first row-and-a-half of tile. It was a... learning experience. I purposely started on the dryer side of the room, because I knew the first few rows would be weaker than the last. I also cut the five tiles that needed cut, which was a muddy, cold experience. Finally, at the end of the evening, I accidentally broke a tile - oops. At least it wasn't mortared in.
Monday, I went to bed early, because I hadn't gotten enough sleep over the weekend.

Finished with the floor - now for the walls!
Tuesday, I finished laying the tile, and laid a foundation for the wall tiles using leftover mortar. I will still need to cut two more tiles - one being the broken piece, to go at the 'front' of the little room, and the other being a 6x6 tile that will go on the wall under the dryer vent. Now that I have the hang of the tile cutter, it won't spray me in the face again... I hope.
Wednesday, I played with the kids. I couldn't work on anything, really, since it needed to cure for 24 hours before I could walk on it. However, in the next week, I plan on placing the wall tiles, grouting everything, putting the washer and dryer back in, and building the shelves and secret door. The only difficulty with the wall tile is trimming my leftover pieces of cement board to fit along the walls, and installing it; the tile itself is only going to be one row high, all the way around. The shelves will take some precision, especially since they will be supporting a heavy door, but at least it won't take long. I really hope to have it all done by the end of next week - or at least before Christmas!

It's a tiny space, to be sure, but I think this will be one of the most important projects in the house. The tile and shelves will insulate the room, the shelves will muffle the washer/dryer, and overall, it really does look nice - but the most important part is that this is the first longer-than-a-day project that will actually be completed... which does wonders for moral! 

As always, thanks for reading - and I hope we can update this with more pictures soon!

1 comment:

  1. Just to add a comment - I did, in fact, get it finished before Christmas. Well, not the shelves - but the tile is done, sealed, etc. I still need to build the shelves and add wood trim around the top, but that's not difficult, just time consuming. Perhaps next weekend?
    My initial assessment of its heat retention seems to have borne out; the kitchen is just a tad bit less drafty, now, which helps during this terrible January cold (right now, it's 70 degrees... sigh).


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.