Floor tiles and falls

Today we have been working on the bathroom and laundry floors. In the evenings we have been dry laying tiles since there is little noise made and during the day using the Aldi workzone electric tile cutter. The electric tile cutter has been a handy machine. It took us a bit to work out it was actually a wet saw too (lack of sleep to blame), but when we did it was kind of a life saver as we were breaking more of our porcelain tiles on the manual cutter. 

We purchased a new diamond blade and have found less chipping occurring to the porcelain tiles, diagonal cuts have been a lot easier on us as well with the electric cutter.

The manual tile cutter has been put to work more so today and now that Anthony has figured out how to use it, we have sped through the dry laying of the floor tiles in the bathroom and laundry.

We will likely be adding tile adhesive and laying the tiles properly this afternoon and rest over the 24hr curing process. Then by tomorrow afternoon add the grout. Next week we will possibly have better chances of completing these rooms.


Am getting used to set backs happening in our flow of work. We were ready to start the official lay of the tiles and put the adhesive down and tested out 1 tile. The result wasn’t what we wanted. Because we have only 10mm of depth to play with and a fall to the drains to create, we thought we could use the tile adhesive to give us the height. Unfortunately due to the weight of the tile on a thick layer of adhesive, the tile would sink down too far. We have now resorted to creating a 7mm screed, so now another day needed before we even start laying the tiles…hmmmpph!


Tiling begins

Christmas has come and gone and the break was quickly welcomed. We spent Christmas and celebrated with the rest of the family down at my in-laws farm 5hrs drive from Sydney. My husbands presents all seemed to be themed around home renovations (poor thing) and with the impending tiling to start on our return from the farm, Anthony received some self-leveling tile alignment systems (Thanks Santa!)

Before we started on cutting the tiles and dry laying them, I got onto the computer and with a handful of room measurements layed out what our floor tile pattern would look like. In doing so we found that we required a lot more tiles than initially ordered. So the start hadn’t been a good one. As we have put a deadline on ourselves to get tiling complete by Jan 10 (shower screen guys are coming over to do a measure), we now have decided to just focus around the shower areas. It has been frustrating working like this as we seem to be working piecemeal, leaving a lot unfinished. But I guess due to the nature of this build it’s all to be expected.

We then made the decision to invest in a tile cutter as the electric tile cutter wasn’t giving us nice straight cuts. A trip to Bunnings and $218 later we bought a tile cutter. First few cuts seemed ok. Anthony was right into it, measuring and cutting and worked out how he would cut the falls to the drain. Then we started to run into problems and with not enough tiles in the first place, it felt like every tile was precious. Tile after tile we were breaking more and more. You can imagine that this was really getting to us and a few items were thrown around in the room. Eventually we decided we weren’t going to waste anymore time on the tile cutter we bought and headed back to Bunnings to exchange it. It wasn’t acceptable that the cutter wasn’t doing its job after a few cuts and in the process wasting money for us.

Another trip to Bunnings, a demonstration on how useless the thing was, and we got back with a better tile cutter (different brand).

This time round things are looking much better. We are currently still dry laying the tiles in the ensuite hoping to finish this off and then make a start on the bathroom tomorrow.


Let’s go shopping…for Tiles!

Although there’s been a lot happening in our personal lives outside of the renovations, we have had to start shopping for tiles, especially since we want to be taking advantage of our Christmas break to finish off the tiling. I imagined choosing tiles would have taken us a lot longer, but the guys at Beaumont Tiles were really helpful in helping me choose. I have been thinking about tiles and designs for a while now, making the most of Pinterest and Houzz. Since the overall colour palette of the house is based around greys, whites and timber, I naturally was drawn to these colours and textures. 

For the bathroom I decided to go with a satin finish large white tile. I felt the finish would give a softer feel than the gloss and would work well with the timber  vanity and shaving cabinet. The window wall where the bath tub is up against and the niche has been dubbed the feature wall. Here we will add a herringbone pattern in smokey grey and a misty grey coloured grout. The niche will have a matt white penny round at the back. We were careful not to choose a thick mosaic tile as the niche itself is not very deep. The same penny round will sit in the shower niche too. 

The ensuite is a smaller bathroom, so we decided we would do this whole room in the same satin white 300×600 tile. The niche however will have a charcoal hexagon mosaic tile with white grout. All floors will be tiled with a charcoal rectangular floor tile. The laundry we have decided on a regular subway gloss white tile.

We have also purchased 2 diamond frameless shower screens from Beaumont Tiles while we were at it. This can’t be installed until the tiles are in, so they screen installer is expecting that we will finish by early January. The next deadline is to get the bathrooms completed by end of January so we can get the plumber to officially turn off the water to the old bathroom and laundry. This will then mean a few things…

…we finally get to use new facilities

…we can get a new shed installed and remove the old asbestos one

…we can start knocking down the walls and opening up the space


Proof of the waterproof

Our hired waterproofer started the job in the afternoon and did about an hour a day over the next 4 days. George not only did a great job, but he’s a top bloke and dealing him was easy, so we were really happy with his service and his quote was reasonable.

The waterproofing process itself included painting a thick membrane over all surfaces that would have water and over any areas where piping came out from the wall, so the floors, around the shower, vanity and toilet. There were about 3 coats in total. Angles were also needed to be placed around the shower and at the doorway.

In Australia it is now a requirement by the Building Code of Australia that you need to have a licensed waterproofer to do the waterproofing. Now that we have the waterproofing done we have got our PCA (Principal Certifying Authority) checking the work, because this stage requires certification and we will also receive certification from George.

The next stage will be challenging again but a very exciting one as it means we can tile the wet areas and install the bathroomware.

Next on my shopping list is to purchase some floor and wall tiles and other tiling products, shower screens, laundry cabinetry and 3in1 heat fan lights. I also need to get some door pulls and handles.

This weekend my father in law is over to help Anthony again and finish off the ceiling and also install more boards into the patio ceiling. 


Plastering the master bedroom

We have tackled another weekend of plastering. As we have large 4.2m sheets of gyprock lying on the floor of our family room and a waterproofer booked in for Monday, we didn’t want to increase the risk of having him damage the gyprock, so the aim of this weekend was to not only get more plaster up, but also have a clear path for the waterproofer. We realised from past experiences, that there are some tradies that can be messy on site. They can do a great job but also leave a lot of rubbish behind.

On Saturday we spent the first part of the morning scraping back the top coat on our niches. This was kind of a boo boo on our part as we were told by builder friends that tile won’t adhere to top coat, we quickly realised how right they were when we wet the top coat and saw how easily it melted away. This job didn’t take too long thankfully.

We then did the usual: measure, score, snap and hang the gyprock. This time we focused on the master bedroom and completed 3 walls.

Sunday: There were about 6 sheets left that we needed to get through, so we started on the ceiling. Having the lifter has been a great help, but it hasn’t been without its struggles. The hardest part has been lifting long, awkward and wobbly sheets of gyprock onto the lifter. After a long day we installed 2 1/2 sheets on the ceiling and finished off front of the bathroom and laundry, we then decided to just cut the other sheets to size and store them in the bedroom. 



So the plaster work continues in the wet areas this week. We have also booked in the waterproofer to start on Monday, so a set date has meant we are working most nights to get the wet areas prepped. 

Anthony has really pushed himself hard for a couple of weeks now, cycling back and forth to work 24kms a day, working his full time job and then in the evenings resting for a quick dinner and then working on the house for a couple of hours. It is taking its toll and he’s exhausted – not to mention our 16 month old wakes in the middle of the night. Like this time last year, we are again on a very busy and tiresome schedule.

Despite how hard everyone has been working there is definitely progress! After a bit of puzzle solving, we finally figured out how to cornices in a mitre box. It took a few watches of some YouTube videos and some practice cuts, but we got there in the end. We used a mitre box to cut the 45 degree angles and it was just a case of measuring the lengths, cutting to size and sticking them up. A lot harder than I’ve explained it, but the pain points were figuring out how to cut the cornices; getting longer lengths in as they are awkward to handle; and getting the adhesive quickly as we only had 2-5 minutes to apply and stick it up over the joins. To handle the longer lengths of cornices, Anthony hammered in nails to provide support and we used a scaffold to be able to move along.

We now have our bathrooms cornice complete! For now we have left the laundry as we will be adding cupboards that will hit the ceiling.