Took off work Friday to finish spackling/sanding (lather, rinse, repeat) the walls to baby-hiney perfection. Finished masking and priming, applied two coats of Rainwashed Mmmmm… creamy marine! (Compare to destructo image. Note, this bathroom is very difficult to photograph — hard to get a decent angle or lighting. Looks much better IRL!)
Dad arrived Saturday with tile saw, trowels, sponges. Intended to lay tile Saturday and grout Sunday, but took all day to measure and cut. Nooks and crannies are killers. Hex tile comes in 12″ x 18″ sheets, tiles bound lightly together with small rubber dots. Big areas easy, but spaces around tub, corners, heating register, etc. tedious. Tile saw too small for our sheet size, lots of jimmying to make things work. Once layed in, marked hexes for removal where accent tiles would go, then moved all to living room floor in exact layout. Removed marked hexes to make way for accent tiles.
Sunday started early arranging and cutting coving. Getting the corner cuts right super tricky (not mitered, just nicked corners off at 45 degrees, still very hard to get right, but think we nailed it). Started smearing mortar by early afternoon. One row at a time, replicating yesterday’s arrangement: smear even, comb, pound in with beater block, lay in accent tiles, last-minute adjustment cuts (no amount of planning accounts for the ragged reality of real life). Idea is to get angle of notched trowel just right so that no mortar oozes up between cracks but you still get 95% coverage on tile backs; took some practice. Dropped in the accents, dug extra mortar out with penny nail, sponged excess out to perfection. Finished up by 6:30, fried, back sore, knees cramped, but the results are gorgeous so far. In a couple of days, will be able to grout the gaps, install coving, and apply sealant. After weeks in stasis, it’s all starting to come together.
Closed my eyes on the couch and head filled with visions of oozing mortar, hex webs falling apart in my hands.