Oh, my dad. Sweet sweet dad who doesn't want to disappoint his daughter. He didn't have the heart to put the kabosh on my "Hey dad? Have you ever laid tile in herringbone pattern? No? that's ok! It's going to look BEAUTIFUL!"
Seriously, dad did an amazing job. Not only did I have my heart set on a rather tricky pattern, but I had selected split-face natural slate tile, which means there's a natural variation in the thickness of each tile. You see, normally when you install tile, you smear thinset onto your substrate (floor, wall, etc), then use a notched trowel to drag lines back through it, leaving an even layer of thinset so all the tiles are all level with each other. Sounds simple enough, eh?
With my Slatey McSlaterson (it's late, I'm tired from renovating, ok?) dad had to backbutter (real term, stop giggling) EVERY TILE to make them level with each other. Otherwise, every time you ran to the loo you might jab your toe on a high tile...ouch.
Not one to back down from a challenge, he did an awesome job! Look at this gorgeousness:
I gave dad the greenlight to change up the pattern in the shower pan to make it simpler to tile (in case this is your first rodeo, shower pans are gradually sloped to help water flow towards the drain. The slope adds another layer of challenge to tiling and can dictate tile size, pattern, etc.)
But look at him go! It came out even prettier than I imagined.
They flew through those last few rows and were even able to get the wall tile started for me before leaving on Thursday. This weekend we were on our own again with a new list of tasks ahead of us:
- finish laying all the wall tile
- grout the floor
- grout the walls
- demo the rest of the kitchen cabinets
- sand/prime ceiling and new walls