You will note the peeling linoleum floor, the choice of awkward aqua (hereafter known as "awkwa") for the wall tile, bathtub, and commode, and the fact that the *uncurtained* bathtub is RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE WINDOW. Don't forget to check out the creeptastic shower-cave shoved under the sloping edge of the roof. Yes, the Husband and I bought this house, looked at the bathroom, clasped hands, and said with all the pseudo-intense romantic glory of a 1980s-movie couple, "we can do this... if we just work together."
Well, the Husband got out a crowbar, and we started romantically destroying things. After a few weeks of hard (HARD) labor, we ripped out the tile, the tub, the walls, the floor, the ceiling, and the 3000 pounds of concrete UNDER the floor, and our contractor transformed the bathroom into this:
Magic, right? Well, after
THE GREAT TILING ADVENTURE!
I started with the bathtub, since it seemed less intimidating (as in, if you are being actively mauled by a Liger cub and a Mama Grizzly, you deal with the Liger cub first. Baby steps). I studied a seriously helpful, snark-free, pretty much all-around adorable website called younghouselove.com to learn how to Do It Myself, and got to It one night after we got home from work, with a notched trowel and some mortar.
8:45pm: As I spread the first patch of tub surround with mortar and set a few tiles into place, I feel very capable and independent.
9:02pm: I want to light the bathtub on fire.
9:05pm: The Husband (who is priming the walls and ceiling) successfully reassures me that this is not the worst task in the history of humanity, and that I am not going to collapse and expire in the bathtub. I return to work. I inexplicably have the song "Golden Ticket" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory stuck in my head for the duration. I resist the urge to bang my head into the wall because I will get mortar in my hair.
12:35am: We stop to take pictures.
1:24am: We remember that we have work in the morning. We seal up the mortar and hit the hay. Around 6:30, I get up, stumble around like a six-legged unicorn who drank too much moonlight, and figure out how to cover the tile with plastic sheeting so I can shower before I have to stagger off to work.
We finished laying the tub tile the following night, and grouted it a few nights after that. Grouting basically consisted of smearing a toothpaste-cement hybrid all over our neatly-laid tiles and shoving it into the cracks until they were reasonably filled. The next morning, I felt like I had filled about sixteen knee-socks with wet sand, handed the socks to a passel of Twilight fans, and told them that I found both Edward and Jacob utterly unappealing.
This was about ten days ago; having had time to recover, we began on the floor yesterday. The only difference was that, instead of using ceramic tiles like we had for the tub, we were using beautiful rosy marble tiles. We quickly discovered that the marble was a little more high-maintenance than the ceramic. Basically, it cracked easily.
However, we eventually got a basic handle on laying the tile in a way that did not encourage it to crumble under our fingers, and it looks pretty good so far!
Overall, it's starting to come together quite nicely. However, I'm beginning to fear that my sanity may be the price. I've become increasingly unable to take a normal picture.
Concerns about my sanity notwithstanding, spending an inordinate amount of time on the bathroom floor has made me think of a rather humorous story from my childhood that lends itself well to pictorial storytelling. Please stay tuned for that post, which will be freely given to you as soon as I dig myself out enough (from work and grout) to finish the illustrations. :)