I started off by scrubbing the floor *really* well. It was nice to have a contractor floating around to ask what he would do (he even offered up a tile saw or any other tools we needed). Because of the lovely paint on the floor, he recommended using an acid wash to clean it and to remove anything loose. I read a lot of conflicting things on the internet about paint on cement... I am hoping that because its fairly low traffic, it won't be an issue. But besides the paint, the floor was extremely dirty and covered with drywall goop and dust.
Then I did a basic dry fit to see where things would end up. The contractor helped me lay down a straight chalk line around the middle of the room to help keep things straight. I wanted to not have to cut too much... and everything ended up fitting really well.
We mixed up our mortar and I just went for it. I got from the far wall to the end of the cabinets in under two hours. I had to stop and clean up at that point because we had planned to spend some time with some friends.
The rest of the tiling the next day took much, much longer. Laying down full sheets went fast but under the washer and dryer area didn't fit full sheets, so I had to cut them apart and lay down individual tiles at points. Then there was also the matter of the drain. I had Bill snip tiles by hand and fit them around the drain. We still need to address the drain area, maybe at some sort of edging and even get a new drain cover that isn't so beat up and rusty.
BTW, that pipe sticking out of the ground will be cut down by the plumber when he's back to do the sink. It will have a "cap" that doesn't stick up too far, so that we'll be able to push the washing machine up to the wall.
You can kind of see how the floor dips a lot around that drain above. Going with these tiles seriously saved my sanity. If I had gone with larger tiles, I would have had to make a million cuts to make that work.
The next day I grouted. Bill helped following behind me to do the first wipe down. This was the first time I've ever worked with dark grout, so it was surprising to see how much more we had to clean the tiles of grout residue. We did the recommended second wipe down 2 hours later, which still left a lot of haze.
|During grouting. I grouted while Bill followed behind me for the first wipe about 20 minutes after I applied it.|
|Finished grouting with first full wipe down.|
|After the second wipe down more than 2 hours later.|
The next day I scrubbed the floor a couple more times before I finally sealed it.That's probably the easiest part. All you do is follow the directions on the bottle...
I believe that was technically before I sealed it. The contractor is going to put down quarter round molding to hide the gap between the tile and the baseboard. We need to figure something out for the drain… Suggestions definitely welcome. I was thinking some sort of something to go around the edge of the hole. Possibly a new cover, but everything is plastic now and this one is some sort of metal, so it's nice and heavy. But really, suggestions on that drain would be great!!!