Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Time Grout Saved The Day

Let's get back to some DIY today, shall we?  When last we left off, our shower was finally done being tiled. The final step (to be done by us) in the bathroom makeover process was grouting.  I generally enjoy grouting.  That may seem a bit nuts, but it is not stressful like laying tile, and you can just turn your mind off and smoosh grout around.  It makes me think of icing a cake; basically, there is huge reward for very little work both mentally and physically.  In this instance, I was especially thrilled to get my grout on because, well, confession time.  I wasn't loving the look of our ungrouted subway tile.  It just seemed REALLY busy and made me almost dizzy to look at.  I was worried that I made a big mistake going with such small tiles. However, seeing as how I wasn't about to rip it all out and start again and asking Eric do it it may have been grounds for divorse, I was relying on grout to save the day.

As in the past, we chose to use Epoxy grout for this project.  This would prove to be an expensive decision ($300 in SpectraLOCK verses probably $60 in regular grout), but knowing that we were using white grout, the promise of no staining, mold resistance and no need to seal sold us once again.

So we got to work mixing up our SpectraLOCK per the instructions.  Note that we only mix up one batch at a time.  The work time with this product is short and you definitely do not want to have to waste any because it dried out.  The directions say you have a little over an hour on average, but we find 30 minutes is about the max time that it stays "workable".

We also found it best to save 10% of the Part C mix back rather than using it all.  It gets even harder to work with if you use all of Part C.  This is a fine line though because when grouting vertically, you do not want the grout so loose that it starts falling out of the joints.

 Then it was time to spread it on the wall creating this mess:

However, a quick scrub with the vinegar/water solution directed in the instructions and suddenly you have beautifully grouted tile.

The walls took us four 2.5 hour installments that we spread out over four days.  We did this because we wanted to make sure that we were never grouting on an area that could be wet from previously installed grout.  We wanted nice dry grout joints.

The final step was the floor, which was a bit more tedious.  It basically just required much more grout, which meant a lot more cleanup.  I think that the floor alone took me about 3.5 hours of work.  Three of those hours were just cleanup of excess grout.

Almost done.

Finally done!

We let the floor cure for 24 hours and then came back with our final touchup- caulking all corners and seams.  Inside the shower we used sanded caulk.

Outside the shower, we just used regular white silicon caulk for bathrooms.  Taping is time consuming, but key to a nice finished look.

With the caulking done, the shower was finished!!!!!  Now we just have to wait for the doors to be installed this Thursday.

I am happy to report that the grout saved the day.  I now love the shower- crisis averted!

The faucet is the Kohler Mistos from Home Depot.  I love it and it was very easy to install.  The only set back we experienced with it is that our shower required a longer tube for the shower head.  Nothing a quick trip to Home Depot didn't fix.

Next week I will be back with the final bathroom reveal and budget breakdown.  I may have gone a wee bit over budget, but I am thinking that it is totally worth it for our peace of mind and a professional looking job!

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