Sunday, June 26, 2011


We are about half way through grouting. We started in the kitchen and dining hall, and then went into the hallway. We used an epoxy grout, so we don't have to seal it every year. But that means that the grout needs to be cleaned from the tiles immediately after applying it, otherwise the tiles will be covered with a shiny haze. The epoxy grout we use is Laticrete Spectralock in the sand beige color. It matches some of the shades in the tiles, and I'm very pleased with our choice.
Here's what it looks like in the hallway:

The grout in the back of the hallway. Closer to you are non grouted tiles

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Since January we've been messing with the tiles. We already got the tiles we wanted before we started with the destruction, but we encountered a bunch of problems...
When we opened the tile packages we found out that the small tiles don't match in color with the bigger tiles. I guess the lighting at the store wasn't ideal, and we didn't think to look to hard into it, so we only found out later. That meant that we had to find small tiles that match the large tiles. We finally found some, after visiting a couple of Home Depots, and stared tiling. We knew that some of our larger tiles are also not of the same dye lot, but we thought they were close enough. Just in case, we thought we'd spread them around, so they'll blend in. Well, that didn't work so well... These tiles were too obvious. We tore them down. Destruction again. Ruining a couple of adjacent tiles while we were at it. Then we had to find 4 boxes to replace the different dye lot boxes. We found some that were of a different dye lot than what we were looking for, but thought they were close enough. We bought them, but still kept looking. We went to every single Home Depot in Tucson, and finally found 4 boxes of the exact dye lot at the farthest Home Depot in town. They were close to closing the store, and we couldn't take them right away, because we had to get a bigger car and return the old ones, but they agreed to keep them for us if we come early next morning. The next morning we had to bring the car to the body shop (to repair the damages of the accident Mark was involved in - at no fault of his own - in December). That meant that we had to take the van at night, put the tiles in it, drive it first thing the next morning to the other side of town, get the tiles, bring them home, return the minivan, and bring the car to the body shop by 8 am. BUT, finally we had all the tiles we needed!
So we continued tiling, a bit at a time, ripping some of the off when they weren't perfect, and about 3 weeks ago or so, we finally finished laying all of the tiles!

That's what the tiles in the hallway looked like before grouting.

As you can see in the picture, we used a nice pattern - hopscotch - that combines 18" tiles with 12" tiles. Well, the small tiles are a tiny bit thinner than the larger tiles. That means that leveling them is not always easy. That's why they weren't always perfect, and sometimes we had to rip them off and put new ones... That also means that there's a lot of tile cutting to be done!

Anyway, now we're in the process of grouting. It's very exciting to see the floor transform so much. first, it was nice to see how the concrete floor dresses itself up with tiles, then the cut tiles that filled in all the empty spaces by the wall came along, and made it look much nicer, and now, the grout just adds so much! Plus, it prevents little snakes from finding homes in the cracks in between the tiles (yes, we had a little threadsnake invade our home)!

[By the way, the tiles are porcelain Catalina Canyon by Daltile]