The Long Weekend Project

This past weekend we put in the new flooring in the sunroom and kitchen.  This is the final piece of the two year project to have a cohesive decorating scheme between the sunroom, kitchen and dining room.

This phase started with picking out the flooring – deciding between the tiles or the laminate.  We have put in both types before.  There has been laminate in the hall and kitchen for the last ten years – I have mixed emotions about it – it has endured a fair amount of damage over that time.  The tiles we have in the front and rear entrances – they’ve been there for about three years and show no signs of wear.  I decided to use the tiles.

First, I should explain that these are just peel and stick tiles not ceramic or stone tiles that would require a skill set greater than mine. These are thick tiles that can be installed with or without grout.  I did not use grout in my entranceway installations but this time I wanted to use grout because I felt it would make in easier to clean the cracks between the tiles.  As we stood in the grout aisle with our cart full of tiles contemplating which color grout to use the sales associate came by and redirected us to the type of grout needed for out particular tiles.  This changed my plan since I didn’t like any of the color options available here so I decided to go with the ‘no grout’ option.

Back at home, the work begins.  First step, clear the room and put down the new sub floor.

My husband accused me of ‘staging’ this picture because I had the tree in the corner – really I just put it there to get it out of our way when we were working on the other side of the room.

Putting in the sub floor gave me the opportunity to use the new ‘multi tool’ we recently bought.  Cool, add this one to the list of power tools I like.

There is a long list of power tools that scare me – table saw, circular saw etc – I will not use these tools.  There are some power tools like the chop saw and the drill that I will use on some occasions.  Then there are tools that I think are cool – like the air nailer/stapler and now the multi tool.  I briefly got distracted from the project because I wandered away looking for other things I could use the multi tool on.  My husband insisted I stop playing and get back to work.

End of day one and we had the new sub floor in and primed – by 2:00 am.

Day two began at 7:00 am with me arranging the tiles in various ways to plan the best layout.  It took a little longer than I expected but I finally decided on the herringbone pattern. Installation began and I started sticking down the tiles as tightly together as possible.  My husband doesn’t enjoy the tedious parts of the projects so he leaves them to me – just like I let him use the scary tools.

It wasn’t long before I noticed that there were some spaces between the tiles because tile edges were uneven and impossible to keep completely flush together.  I began to think the installation directions should have read ‘must’ be grouted instead if ‘may’ be grouted. Some of the gaps were nearly 1/8 inch but even the smaller ones were noticeable.

As I sat there contemplating how to fix this issue my husband walked by and began to flip out.  This is one of the differences in our work habits that sometimes makes these projects difficult.  Faced with a problem I like to step back, take some time and think through all the options.  My husband on the other hand rants — loudly. He demanded I fix it now!  Sigh, I know, the bright white primer visible between the brown tiles is very noticeable but I’m going to wait until all the tiles are all in before I address that issue.  He stomps off muttering something about needing to close the daycare for a week while I decide what to do.

My husband felt the work was progressing too slowly so he began installing tiles too. There were so many intricate cuts.  We finally finished installing all the tiles by 10:30 pm. I like them – except for the white spaces.  The sunroom looks huge without anything in it and I got to paint the walls that were hidden before – and will be again.

Day three and my plan is to paint all the white spots between the tiles.  I may decide to grout the tiles in the future if the gaps become a problem but for now this will work.  Tiny little paint brush and two colors of paint and I’m set for a couple hours. I actually really enjoyed this intricate job.  Every once in a while I took a break to talk to the fairy that was flying around the room.  No, I wasn’t hallucinating – I think it may have actually been some kind of a moth but it reminded me of a fairy so that is what I called it.

I took a brief break when I noticed that the fairy had landed in the paint can and got stuck. Luckily it didn’t die. I managed to get it out of the paint, took it outside and released it safely where it belonged.  As it fluttered away I waved good-bye and tried not to think about any of the other dangers my little friend might face.

A few more touch-ups and the room was finally ready for all the ‘stuff’ to move back in.  Malta seems to like the new floor – maybe she thinks I chose it because it matches her.  Hmmm could be a lesson about camouflage…

What do you think?

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