I began my career as a DIY-er, and absolutely appreciate a project done with my own hands. However, in the last few years I have experienced and appreciated the skill, convenience and value that comes with hiring people who are expert and good at what they do. They do it 100 times faster than I would, and have way more joy doing it.
For my #canningreno, I left 75% of the project to pros. Demo, framing, HVAC, plumbing, electrical I entrusted to the very capable hands of my General Contractor Black General Contracting. But as a cost saving measure, I decided to take on flooring, tiling, painting, wallpaper, myself. I will definitely talk about the pros and cons of this in another post.
But for today- let’s talk tile!
I decided I would give it a shot. Put the Y in DIY. With the help of my extremely generous brother in law, I attempted my family bathroom.
Here she is, a beautiful random marble mosaic at the Home Depot.
So… I basically picked the most difficult tile to learn on. I always wondered why installers’ quotes were so much higher for mosaic installation… And now I know.
Do not be misled by my eager smile. My brother in law did most of it / all the hard parts. And this was hard! Mosaic marble is #1) heavy. #2) the random design means lots more cuts, and lots more precise cuts to get things to line up. #3) super heavy. Lots of time was spent massaging the tile pieces into the right position, only to notice the tiles would start to sag a bit due their heavy weight if spacers were not placed immediately.
I also did not anticipate how incredibly messy tiling is. The adhesive gets everywhere, and again, being precise I am convinced only comes with years and years of experience perfecting the skill.
I have never ever touched a tile saw before this..I literally held my breath with every. single. cut. Again, I understand why trade quotes for mosaic tiling are so much higher than a regular subway or other standard tile. Due to the random design of this tile there were lots of tiny precise cuts. Which equals LOTS of time and patience.
So in short- am I happy I attempted this? Yes. Am I beyond grateful for my brother in law who came after his regular work day to help me on this? OH YES. Would I recommend someone take this particular tile on as a first time project if you have never cut a tile before / installed a tile before / even knew what tile adhesive looked like / where to find it in the Home Depot? No.
BUT- I do think if you have time and a ton of patience tiling is a skill that can be learned with some guidance. Did I say I am grateful to my brother in law? Cause wowza I am. This took a ton of time. But truthfully, after being instructed how to not cut my fingers off (so scary), and the steps involved in sticking tile to a properly waterproof prepared wall, I feel empowered to take on more. It was a really intimidating project (especially with an incredibly fast rotating blade) and so daunting (I wrapped this tile all the way around the tub surround) but it was worth the effort. I actually can’t wait to get my hands dirty again and take on more. #letsdothis!
Work lights are so sculptural!
Here we are without grout- can you guess what I am doing this weekend?
Thanks to the Home Depot Canada for working with me on my bathroom!