Jan 082007

I spent most of the weekend laying tile in my basement. It amounts to Real Work. One 50 lb bag of thinset mix seems to stretch for about 16 of these 18″ tiles (give or take depending on how much I have to use to get a tile set level with respect to adjacent tiles). I went through two bags this weekend. I am perhaps 25% done with the job.

I am impressed with just how hard this tile is. At one point I lost control of a tile and it hit the floor right on the corner of the tile. It made a “bong” sound as the tile flexed in response to the impact where it took a chip out of the concrete slab floor. The tile? Nary a mark.

We’ve been remodeling our basement for a while now. When we moved into the house over two years ago, doing this was Part Of The Plan. The basement looked like it hadn’t been changed since the house was built in 1980. Sculpted brownish green carpet. Dark gray vinyl tile. Darkly stained wood paneling. And the best part? A large conglomeration of nailed-together lumber that seemed intended to be a bar. A disco dungeon of sorts.

But past the unfortunate decor, the basement is spacious and has a fireplace. It could become very comfortable living space. But salvaging it has not been an easy task. The bar was evicted. The wood paneling was replaced with drywall. A closet and built-in shelving were torn out. The sliding glass door to walk out to the back yard has been replaced. The carpet and vinyl tile were dispensed with. The walls and ceiling have been repainted. Even the fireplace doors have been upgraded.

And, of course, there were the unanticipated problems. A leak in the basement was sealed. (“So that’s why it smells like wet dog down here when we get a hard rain.”) The lopsided stairs were righted and their failing supports replaced.

So, at long last, I feel like we’ve reached the last leg of this project. But at this rate, I’ve got at least three more weekends of laying tile left to go. And I hurt.

 Posted by at 7:35 am