A Dark and Stormy Night...for Tile?

{Psst...if you missed earlier posts, find them here, here, and here.}

Before I pick up where I left off in the bathroom, let me let you in on a little behind the scenes action. One evening after work (I think it was a Tuesday. Not that that matters.), I was admiring the tile progress in the shower as Jon and The Engineer were hard at work. It was storming, which was making it difficult for the guys to safely get outside to use the tile saw. As I was walking away from the bathroom (no exaggeration here), the biggest, loudest, closest crack of lightning I have ever seen, heard, or experienced, hit. There was screaming and barking (barking from the dogs, not the humans). It was dark, and now we had lost power. To sum it up, the house (or something really close by? We still never pinpointed the exact location of impact) got hit by lightning. 

In my head, this is what happened... 


(That's not actually our house, but it felt like that's what happened!!)

This ridiculous lightning strike took out the air conditioning (the ac people, and Jon continued to work sans ac), the stove, the cable box, the router, the irrigation control, electrical circuits, and some lights. Let's just say I'm pretty cautious these days when it's storming. I don't want lighting to hurt me as badly as it hurt my house! A lot of phone calls, a bazillion technicians at the house, and a lovely home owners insurance claim later, we are back in one piece as far as that damage goes. I bring all that up to say...a large portion of this {windowless} bathroom work was done without ac, in the summer, in Florida. Props to Jon and The Engineer for that. 

Meanwhile, back on the ranch...

The guys were hard at work tiling the shower. I was consulted for most, if not all of the aesthetic design decisions. Unfortunately for the guys, that usually meant more work for them. That's what they get for asking! One of these decisions was about the spacing of the tiles. Jon taught me that subway tile is beveled in such a way that if you place tiles directly against each other, this bevel creates a small depression between the tiles that could then be grouted. This would produce a thin grout line. Alternatively, you could use small spacers for a thicker grout line (this is how I thought it was always done). 

I knew I wanted the thicker grout line, even though it required more work. As the guys grumbled (not too bad, they took it in stride and agreed that it would look great), I made the point to The Engineer that we picked dark charcoal grout to make a statement, and a thin line of grout doesn't make much of a statement. I did feel bad though because on top of making them use spacers, we had also picked subway tile which is 3" x 6" instead of a more traditional 12" x 12" meaning...more tiles per square foot. So I really couldn't have done much more to make this task any harder (oh, wait, I did....I demanded niches too!). 


On that stormy Tuesday I came home to this:

How exciting is that?? Tile!!!

They were moving pretty quickly...the main wall had the least amount of cuts and the most whole tiles. And I do believe, that this may have been the picture I was taking just before the lightning hit...

They continued on with Jon working on the tile full time and The Engineer helping when he wasn't at work. It really did take some time because of the smaller tiles, large grout lines...and those niches someone just had to have (guilty). 

Really though, those niches took more time to tile than the rest of the shower it seems! There were so so many tiny cuts (and by that I mean every tile) and it was pretty cumbersome. Spoiler alert...the shower is in use now and I love, love, love having the niches for shampoo, soap and the likes. So it was worth all the effort. 

There's a lot of work that went into this shower and I just want to overload you with pictures of the progress...so here we go!

These guys. What a great team they make!

The floor tile also started to go in. 

Durock went down on the main floor in preparation for that tile as well. 

And finally, the shower was prepped for grout. As everyone knows, tile looks great when it goes up, but the grout it what finishes it off. But really, I think the grout just about finished us off this time. 

It all started fine, the grout was prepped and Jon started to apply it to the tile in the shower while The Engineer worked behind him wiping off the excess. 

This was the last picture I took of the grouting operation. It was about this time we were all realizing that the grout was setting alarmingly fast (not normal). I got this direct quote from Jon:

"Ummm...Daina...you might want to pick up a sponge and start scrubbing."

So that's what I did. For 45 minutes we were in the shower, all three of us together, vigorously scrubbing walls. With no air conditioning. It was an emergency operation. We even had to take rotating breaks outside because even though it was the middle of a summer day, outside felt like air conditioning compared to the bathroom that had we had turned into a sauna with the three of us working so hard to get the grout off of the tiles. Needless to say, we're not sure what happened with the grout, but we got enough off and I came through after the fact with a razor blade and cleaned up the areas that needed some fine tuning. 

Sorry I didn't take any selfies of the three of us in the shower. 

Despite the hour of panic, we survived and the grout still came out great! 

We also grouted the floor. Originally we planned on using the same dark grout but made a last minute change and opted for a light grey instead. Even though it was an extra trip to the store, I'm glad we did it because I love the light grey on the floor and I think the dark grey may have been too intense.

That sums up the majority of the shower!!! A huge thanks to Jon with Defaria Home Contracting for the help with this one!

I'll be back with the details on our custom vanity build. 

{Related Bathroom Posts: We Won't Miss This, He Destroyed My Bathroom!, That Shower Better Drain, Dexter Much?}