Monday, March 21, 2011

Are we there yet?

Almost. We're almost done with the shower. We might call Guinness Book to see if we can get in there for longest DIY project :) I'm kidding - trying to fit house projects around work and Matt's school is sometimes tough, but we make it work. We're just a little slow. We finished up the shower grout this weekend (tutorial below).

But first, we had to put our game faces on for our big end-of-season dodgeball tournament.

I'm the girl on the right that looks like she's doing a bad dance move, not playing dodgeball. My teammates are much more intimidating.

We didn't take home the big trophy but we've got our sights on next season. After our early exit from dodgeball I enjoyed a bridal shower for a long time friend, which left Sunday for grouting.

After finishing up the tiling over the last two (or was it three?) weekends, we were ready to grout. 

Here's the shower before grout.

Again, not sure why I'm obsessed with this blue tape.

After grout. Its starting to look like a real shower!

I don't know what the spot is in the center. Something is on our camera lens. Maybe taking pictures with mortar- and grout-covered hands is a bad idea?

We still need to seal the grout and caulk the joints, but we're very close to being finished. Grouting was a straight forward process.

You need:
three buckets (one for grout, two for water)
putty knife
rubber float
rag (to keep your hands clean if you're messy like me)
grout (look at the box to see how much you'll need)

We used white sanded grout between the big tiles and white non sanded grout between the little tiles (the sand would scratch the little glass tiles). I was worried it would look funny but the two different types of grout blend together well.

I love those little tiles!

We started with the sanded grout on the big tiles, and then did the little tiles with the non sanded grout. We just mixed it according to the package directions using the putty knife and a bucket (very clear instructions). Matt used the rubber float to push the grout into the joints.

All the tips we read said to go at a diagonal (compared to the tile) with the rubber float. This is true, it helps fill the space between the tiles better. Matt also found that using the short end was easier - he had more control and it actually helped save time. As Matt filled the joints with grout, I followed him with a sponge to clean up the lines and tiles.

Wait about 10 minutes after grouting to start with the sponge. Sponge off the tiles in a circular motion; this will prevent you from taking too much grout out of the joints. I'm very impatient and wanted to "shape" the lines of grout with the sponge, but it was much better to lightly sponge in a circular motion and let the grout even out naturally.

Rinse your sponge out a lot! We had two buckets of water. One for the first rinse to get the grout off the sponge, and the second for a clean rinse.

Because we were working together, we were able to tackle the whole shower at once. If you're working alone, I highly recommend grouting in sections. After about 25 minutes the grout really started to set which would make it difficult to sponge off.

About 2 hours later you'll see a haze drying on your tiles. You can buff this off with a dry cheesecloth to make your tiles shiny again.

Wear a mask when you do this (and all tile work I think). There is lots of dust during this step and the silica in the grout is bad for your lungs.

That's it! We still need to caulk the joints and seal the grout. We'll caulk the joints tomorrow, to clean up the corners and seal the tile to the tub and plumbing.

This space will disappear with the caulk.
Caulk is used in the corner joints and around the plumbing (rather than having the tiles touch the plumbing) to create a good seal. The last step is to seal the grout. We need to wait at least three days to allow the grout to cure and at least two coats are recommended in the shower.

Once we've completed these steps and replaced the plumbing fixtures, I'll be so happy to show you the before and after of our first attempt at tiling! Then its on to the rest of the bathroom...

I hope everyone had a great, jam-packed weekend like us, but with more sleep!

PS. If anyone has tips for cleaning a camera lens please let me know! Its just a point and shoot, not a big lens.

Update: To see the last step in our shower redo, click here.

This post is linked up at The DIY Show Off and Tatertots and Jello. Pin It

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