The Blue Disease Runs in the Family

I wanted to be different than my parents. I said I wouldn’t give my life over to keeping a perfect house like theirs. I said buying a small rowhouse with no land would accomplish this.

I said I was going to decorate differently than my mom. Maybe I will. But the most deep rooted, primal aspect of her decorating taste is a preference for one particular color. That color is on the first two things that are truly getting finished in my house.

Yes, I’m back to installing that blue bathroom tile. And it looks great! But before it could go in, I had to waterproof the backer board. I used HardieBacker and did not install tar paper or plastic sheeting behind it. From what I read, it’s better to waterproof on the front instead. I used HydroBan, a rubbery waterproofing material that goes on like paint. Anything better would have required skill that I don’t have. To put this in, I had to fill in any gaps around my tile backer board with thinset. But lucky me, I didn’t have to use any mesh tape. The HydroBan is flexible and will hold out against cracking.

Here’s what it looked like going up.


I ended up painting over all these walls, two coats. This meant one went on really late last night, and then I woke up and got back to getting ready to set tile. And during the night, I had a dream that I did the tile badly. So getting it all set up was suspenseful. Plus, I lost one box of tile. Then it was out in the open in the room I sleep in when I’m there. But when I finally got set up, I thought, “Here goes nothing.” Of course, nothing is the budget I maxed after I found out I got swindled on Craigslist and ended up having to buy more tile to supplement what I already had. Here we  are ready to go this morning. Deep breath.


And then I got started and guess what? They didn’t fit the way they were supposed to! I did calculations in Microsoft Execel and everything! So I pulled the first row back off and did it over. After that things picked up. I got used to exactly what consistency the thinset should have and all. But… the tiles aren’t close to the same size, shape, thickness, or color. Trying to line them up is an OCD person’s worst nightmare. Luckily, that’s not me. I used wedge shaped tile spacers and found that going across the row and getting them even required 0-3.


But we got a lot done today! And I think I’m pretty happy with my eccentric looking non-bargain tiles. I loathed the flipped houses, and thought a guiding principle could be making my house as different from them as possible. Mission accomplished?


So, tomorrow’s work requires something that we escaped today: cuts. You see that crooked ceiling? Plus, every tile against the corners on the sides of the tub alcove will need to be cut down to fit. Wish me luck, but suffice it to say, I’m finally getting closer to that elusive goal of (real) habitability!


5 thoughts on “The Blue Disease Runs in the Family

  1. Jo

    You are working with such determination! Good job so far. The thought of taking something down after I’ve put it up scares me. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music


  2. CindyH

    It looks FANSTASTIC! I love love love the imperfect tiles and can’t believe how you were able to make them line up – incredible!



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