We put together a pile of the elements we were considering for our new master bathroom surfaces.
A couple different grey tiles (we choose the 12″ slate squares), turquoise tiles (we choose the 2″ unglazed ceramic), mink granite (left-over from our kitchen remodel that we thought we might use for the sink top), a brushed nickel switch plate (all the metal fixtures will be brushed nickel), and the wood floor in the connecting bedroom.
I’m not saying that we’re using all of these things….but this is where our inspiration is.
Grey pea-pebbles were picked first for the shower floor. Somehow, all our Caribbean hotel showers always have pebble floors…and a “modern, vacation feel” is what we want in this bathroom. Jamie installed them while I was out of town last month. (So there is just a finished picture, sorry)
Looks good….but that grout is just a little lighter than I would have prefered.
Now, to tackle the rest of the floor with the slate we showed you in the last post.
Using the corner of the shower as my starting point, I lay all the whole tiles in place.
Most professionals will tell you to logically start laying tiles off of a wall first, like a corner, but we want to make sure we see clean whole tiles in the middle of the room. So trust me……this is where we want to start.
(A good piece of advice we were given was to mix up the tiles from several different boxes. Natural stones will have slightly different shades….and we want those different shades dispersed evenly around the room.)
I then cut all the outer tiles to fit in our big floor puzzle.
Here’s another great piece of advice from my dear friend Chuck: “If you’re buying a tile saw, buy a cheap one and then buy the most expensive tile blade that you can afford.”
That’s what I did. $80 saw – $45 blade. Genius
We dry-fit all of our slate pieces before I mortared them down to the floor.
Laying the tiles is actually pretty easy…..
….the tough part: Slate is a natural stone. So naturally, it arrives in a varying degree of thicknesses. Something that no one told us. Like a tile salesman, perhaps.
Here’s 2 pieces from the same box. (shakes head in frustration)
If y’all have been paying attention all this time…..we picked 2 of the hardest tiles to work with: 2 inch ceramic squares and natural slate. We now know why “flippers” use LARGE cheap ceramic tiles in bathrooms.
This just means that to compensate for the different thicknesses, I had to apply varying amounts of mortar. And use the HELL out of a level. Which I did.
We didn’t really want much of a grout line, but apparently we’re required to have one, so we used the smallest spacers we could…just 1/16 of an inch. OOOhhh and these are designed to sit down inside the grout. That’s a plus.
Speaking of grout, remember how I didn’t like the “pearl grey” grout on the shower floor? When I started using it on our newly laid slate floor, not only was it just too light of a color……it was also sanded, and the sand scratched the slate. It didn’t say “sanded” on the label (or more specifically “nonsanded”) but it does have some kind of “grit”and was not recommended for natural stone. That’s strike 2 against the slate.
So we ran to Home Depot and bought a need-to-mix-yourself, unsanded grout in what we thought would be a better color match…..”charcoal”.
HHHmmmm, not particularly diggin’ this one either….
So we traipsed back to the Home Depot…and this trip returned with a different need-to-mix-yourself, unsanded grout…in “pewter”.
DING! DING! DING! We have a winner folks.
It may not look it in my photos, but it’s the best match to the slate.
Grouting is a really messy process….especially with such skinny little grout lines…..you simply smear as much as you possibly can in between the tiles and then whipe away the extra before it sets.
It takes buckets of fresh water and clean sponges….. and plenty of time to get to this point.
You’ll notice that I also tiled the shower “bump-up”, but at the time of this posting the mortar hadn’t dried enough for me to grout. But we were so excited to share the progress, so that’ll have to wait until next weekend.
After that, I simply have to attach baseboards and repaint the white walls, they aren’t the bright white they were a year ago, and then we call a plumber to install the toilet and shower.
There’s light, ladies and gentleman, at the end of this 2 year-long tunnel…..
Do any of y’all even remember our master bathroom remodel?
Just about 2 years ago….that’s right, TWO FRIGGIN’ YEARS AGO….we started our biggest DIY to date. AND…we’re still working on it.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled remodel.
We knew we wanted some sort of slate flooring like this inspiration bathroom.
Slate seems so cool…and masculine. Also dark floors don’t show dirt that easily. Not that we’re dirty. But, you know…bathroom.
So what kind of slate?
These tiles were……OK. We just want something a little more consistent in color….and maybe more grey.
These were better…….
But the different sizes seem kinda busy for such a small room.
This was an interesting option. Reminds us of the kitchen back-splash we installed a few years ago.
Not too sure if it would work for us on a floor.
These are similar to the last tiles…but much wider.
Here’s the one we went with. Not just because it’s the cheapest option.
($6.99 a square foot)
OK, it happens to be the cheapest, but the squares made the most sense to us.
Wait ’till y’all see the results.
So, last summer I got an email from a super nice guy on the other side of the globe in Seoul, South Korea.
Cho Kyungkyu. This is him.
I get a lot of emails from readers, usually praising my talents -you’re welcome, but Cho was looking for permission to use a few pictures from our Texas State Fair day for a graphic novel he was writing.
His book series, Omurice Jamjam (Korean for “I Love Food”), is a graphic depiction of food from around the world. It’s pretty popular, just Google. He was drawing/writing the 7th issue and currently working on a section about the cult following of corny dogs. Which led him to us. Naturally.
After reading about how much he loves Texas BBQ and the films of Robert Rodriguez, how could I say no? I love being a part of pop culture, and would much rather share pictures with actual people and not just greedy magazines looking for free content.
Of course I said,”yes“.
Then I just kinda forgot about it. People are always contacting me for the use of my pictures – most recently for a textbook on haunted objects – and I rarely ever hear anything from them again.
But just this past week…… a box from South Korea arrived.
With a signed Omurice Jamjam #7 book for each of us.
Check out the awesome double-paged spread we got…
You can tell we’re eating in the United States because;
- Everything is deep fried
- Everything is brown (except for the unnaturally fluorescent green “Smokey Bacon Margarita”)
- There isn’t a fresh veggie in sight (except for the celery garnish on the “B-B-Q Brisket Eggrolls….which we skipped over)
Now people all over South Korea will be saying, “Look how much garbage those fat Americans ate!”….That’s the first thing I thought. HA!
And as an added thank you, Cho also threw in a handful of pretty tasty South Korean food treats. Somehow, he got the idea that we aren’t afraid of sugar/sodium. Hmmmm
Cho even took the time to label each snack with a post-it.
He was just way too sweet. We were honestly flattered just to be a part of his wonderful book series.
And no, Cho
January 8th is a pretty magical day for birthdays.
I do this every year,
Cram a few hundred vintage glass ornaments onto a 4foot wreath frame.
This year Jamie set a camera up at the end of the living room and set the timer to get a shot every 60 seconds. Motivation like that really set my ass on fire, and what usually takes me all day (I guess I get distracted a lot) only took a couple of hours……condensed to 10 seconds of video….