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Monday, 10 September 2012

En-Suite Bathroom Reveal... Part 1

Finally our bathroom is complete... well nearly. There are still a few bits and pieces we need to do but for now its done. We can shower in our own shower... 

After all the hard, messy work and plastering and waterproofing was done, we focussed our attention on the fun stuff. 

First off we started by removing that yucky light in the centre of the room.. We decided to replace this light with four downlights. We bought two 3-packs of downlights from Builders' Warehouse for about R140 per pack. We used a 65mm circle saw that fits onto the drill to make the holes. We made one in each corner of the room. 
It wasn't as easy as just drilling the four holes... After trying to drill the first hole, we hit a wood beam. Luckily it wasn't a structural beam, it was just a thin plywood beam used to strengthen the ceiling boards. After discovering this, we moved all our holes slightly inwards and that seemed to work... 
Until we hit another beam after trying to drill the second hole!!! But because we had already moved them slightly so we wouldn't hit the beams, we just decided to carry on and then go back and deal with the beams afterwards. Eventually we got the beams out of the way and had four lovely holes in our ceiling.
We used one of the circles that came out of the holes to plug the hole from the previous light fitting and then filled in the rest of the gap with crack filler. After this had dried, we gave it a nice sanding and then painted the ceiling with two or three coats of white Dulux Bathroom+ and installed the lights once the paint was dry.
While the ceiling was drying we painted our walls. The paint we used was Plascon's Kitchen and Bathroom Paint and the colour we used was called Ivory Snow. The reason we had the Dulux on the ceiling and the Plascon on the walls was because they couldn't mix the colour we wanted in the Dulux Bathroom+ paint (and the Dulux was almost half the price of the Plascon because it was on special). The Plascon colour we chose was as close as we could get to the lighter colour we used in the stripes on our bedroom wall. (you can read more on our bedroom here).
 After the walls and ceilings had dried completely we put up our cornicing. We used the same cornicing as we used in our bedroom. Before we put it up I gave it a coat of the white Dulux Bathroom+ paint.

Next we started tiling the walls. This was to be our first time tiling. We did some research and then just jumped right in to it. 

The first thing we did was find the centre of the section of wall we were tiling. Because we were only tiling halfway up the wall, we just marked that off and then found the centre of that section both vertically and horizontally. We also made sure the lines we drew were level.
Once we had all two lines measured out, we mixed our tile adhesive. The adhesive we used was called ProGrip Superbond Porcelain from CTM. 
Then came the scary part, the actual laying of the tiles. We started from the top down because we knew our flooring wasn't completely level (and I hadn't researched it completely properly). 
This worked reasonably well but in hindsight we should have maybe nailed in a level piece of wood just up from the floor and started from the bottom up. We used 3mm tile spacers between the tiles and just did small sections at a time.
After we laid each section, I went back with a kebab stick and cleaned the excess adhesive out of the tile spaces. We only discovered how much easier it was to tile from the bottom up when we had done a section of the shower area. This section had to have the tiles go higher than our halfway line.
When we got to the taps we wanted to try and cut a circle out around the taps. We didn't want to break the tile down the middle. So we bought a round diamond blade which worked very well (after a few practice attempts) and we ended up with perfect circles cut out of our two tiles.
Once the majority of the tiling was finished, we went back and cut all the smaller, thinner tiles that had to be done for the corners and the edges. This process seemed to take way longer than laying the full tiles. Once this was finally done we started on the floor which we thought would be slightly easier than the walls because the tiles couldn't slide downwards.
It was also a lot easier because we didn't need to use the tile cutter to cut the tiles. They were in square sheets on a backing so we just used scissors to cut them. The only place we really needed to cut half mosaics was in the shower around the drain hole and some of the edges.
We just used the same tile adhesive that we had used for the walls and only later found out that you get a mosaic adhesive which acts kind of like grout so you don't need to go back and grout afterwards. This would have made the process a lot quicker and easier but hey, you live and learn. (I won't miss all those evenings sitting tiling and cleaning out adhesive from 2,5cm square tiles, especially fun after a long day at work)
We used a square aliminuim edging on the shower and on the window sill to finish it off.

Once the floor and walls were tiled, we waited for a week or two for it to dry completely before we sealed the mosaic tiles. We used a sealer specifically for natural stone tiles. It was very easy to apply. We just did one very good/thick coat with an old paintbrush and left it to dry and air for a week. It had a really strong smell that left us both very light headed after applying it. 
They say the sealer lasts for about a year to a year and a half and protects the natural stone tiles from staining and dirt. 

Once the sealer was completely dry it came time for the part I had been waiting for... the grouting. I loved this part (although after a while I was wishing for it to end).

We used Pro Grip Waterproof Grout in white for the walls and we used the light grey for the floors.When I started the grouting I couldn't find the grout squeegee that you use to apply the grout, so I found an old bank card and used that and it worked really well. 

After all the grouting was done it was time to put everything back in... Check back in a few days for the final en-suite bathroom update to see the final pics. 

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