the bathroom saga continues

Ok. Yes. I’ve been absent. I realise that. I have a good reason: bathroom renovations are very hard on your psyche.

I think I left you last somewhere before this stage: one wall done and the second wall started.


Next came the bit above the shower and onto the window wall. That wall includes a black ‘feature’ stripe. We made a feature stripe of that bit cause it was just easier to put in the black tiles than try to chop up the white ones and keep the brick layout going AND matching up with the next corner. At this stage I’m all for easier and quicker. I’m beginning to feel like we’ve adopted the plumber.


You may have noticed the weird little red spaceships on the tiles. They’re a kind of tile spacing and leveling system. Click on image to see details on how it works.


Great, wonderful invention. You place these blue plastic spacers in the corner, line up the tiles, then use the little red screw on widgets to clamp the tiles in and line them up. Genius. Except that they’re made to be used with much thicker tiles than the ones I chose. See below? That little blue bit sticking out where the grout is meant to be?


Uhuh. Now, I noticed this earlier on in the process but didn’t say anything cause, you know, I’m no expert. I expected that if there was something amiss about this, the plumber would notice. Right? But obviously not. He continued to blithely tile using the same system leaving more blue bits sticking out. But again, who am I to question the professional?

Let me clarify, at this point, that he’s a plumber. Not a tiler. Yes. My mistake. However, when the plumber that you like and trust says “I can tile” and “I can put up cornice” and “I can put in the window and door trims” you don’t think “No, I think I’ll look around for another trades person who can come in at the right time so the job gets done in a timely fashion, without any wasted time waiting for someone to turn up or finish a job.”

No. What you do is you say “Fantastic! You can do the lot? Wonderful. Forge ahead!”

One tradesperson to organise. One bill. Great.

Ok. Maybe not so great.

These little blue things are one example. The time it took for a plumber to tile and the mess he made doing it, also not so great. By the end of this I’ll have a new bathroom and have to redo the floor in the hallway, repaint the door frame and touch up some walls…

But we grin and bare it. I did choose small tiles. I did ask for a brick pattern. I believed him when he said that cleaning off the tiles of the glue after it set would be easy peasy.


Ok, it wasn’t so hard getting the glue off and out from between the tiles. It just took ages. Both my time and the plumber’s time. Not ideal. But too late to do anything else. After all, I was the one who said it was a brilliant idea after all…

So, back to the little blue things.

I had planned to use a medium grey grout. I decided to go with dark grey. Almost black. Why? So that I could use a Sharpie (the crafter’s answer to everything) to colour in the visible blue bits.


After all, I loved the look of the dark gaps which looked sort of like dark grout, and a black Sharpie should work…

Anyhow… when the plumber came in the following day he’d had an inspiration: he was going to use a fine cutting wheel on his grinder and grind out the little blue bastards.

Um… No. I don’t think so. Not a grinder. Its big and heavy and so easy to slip up. So I offered him my Dremel – the one I use on dog nails. It has teeny weeny cutting disks and it has a flexible hand held bit, so much easier to use. A much better choice.


The better choice would have been to not use the blue things, but hey, what was done was done. Let’s make this thing work.

Now we have a multitude of scratched tiles and one chipped one which he wants to replace… How hard is it replace tiles? “Easy Peasy!”. I’m not sure I want to replace them. I think I can live with the scratches… I want the bloody bathroom finished in this lifetime. Tomorrow would be nice!!!


Oh, and remember the deep scratch on the shower wall? I spoke to the guys in the store. They said “No problem. Bring it in and we’ll replace it”. Yeah right. Its ON THE WALL NOW. I wasn’t waiting another week for a working shower! Can we fix it? Nope.

Did I mention that some of the stuff on the floor tiles won’t come off? Its meant to all be the same stuff but some of it isn’t, I swear. I’m so over this. I want to start on the fun prettying up work!

Speaking of which, here’s a preview of the vanity. The colour looks awful cause of the lighting in the casita, but in the end I went with a greeny grey blue I loved – the colour of a Kmart throw I use on the couch all the time. I had a colour which was similar, I added a bit of grey which I already had on hand and viola! Happy Zefi. Only took 4 different colours to land on this one.


I gave the inside a coat of waterproofing paint and then painted it white. Hopefully it’ll be easy to keep clean.


One of the reasons I fell in love with this little cabinet was the hinges and the shape. Its not the ideal vanity unit, having only one door. It makes accessing things inside difficult. But I’ll make it work.


So this is where we’re at today. All tiling done. Grouting touch-ups still to come. Tile replacements a threat hanging over my head. Tons more cleaning to do.


The power points need putting back in place (and I need to get new cover plates for them). The wall you can’t see needs patching with plaster to smooth it, the door trim needs to go back on, then I need to patch and paint both the door and window trims and the wall itself.

And of course the vanity will go in tomorrow. And the cornice. Then the plumber will be finished.

I hope.

I’m not holding my breath.


Meanwhile I found these towel rail holders with hooks. I love them. They were in my house in Melbourne and I kept them to use if I ever renovated another bathroom. I plan to use them in this one. On the long wall, a long towel rail… very industrial aren’t they?


But I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s still so much to be done before I can begin the fun parts.

I sure hope this is over soon. But at least we can shower now!


2 thoughts on “the bathroom saga continues

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