Hey there! It’s been a while. I’ve really missed being here.

So where were we?

Seriously? It was AUGUST the last time I wrote a post. Marching Band was all consuming this year (but fantastic) and time has flown. I had a birthday since writing the last post (40!), and it feels like it’s been ages since we’ve had a good chunk of time to work on the bathroom. But this past week, we did! Let’s get to it.

While there were some holes in the wall, we filled them up with insulation!

Doug put down the water barrier, and started working on the drain. The room is being set up as a wet room, so if any shower water gets outside the clawfoot, it can drain. Also, this means that in the future, if accessing the clawfoot tub becomes an issue with age, we can remove it, and we still have an intact walk-in and accessible shower. Since we plan to be in this house forever, little things like this make the long-term plan happier!

The drain is a linear drain – it will have an insert that is tiled, so it’s really well hidden!

After the drain was in, we started the floor tile by setting the border tile!

We used a level and measured it a lot to make sure that we were square, and it REALLY went well.

In the middle of this (and marching season), Miss Marina went blind. Like, in less than 48 hours, she couldn’t see. It was an aggressive case of glaucoma, involving many ER vet appointments and lots of medicines and lots of bumping into things. She’s starting to adjust, but it was a rough, heart-breaking month. She is so freaking sweet.

But she still is doing quality control. If, by quality control, you mean she likes to run into things and wants to still be in the middle of everything. And somehow managed to fall off the porch while she was being supervised by humans. Twice.

Doug doesn’t like to pay people for things we can do ourselves (valid philosophy). I think that sometimes, it’s worth saving time and headaches to take one project out of the mix. All I wanted was to have someone else do the drywall. I got Doug on board with my plan, and ON MY BIRTHDAY the drywaller called and said he was free and could come over.

Best. Birthday. EVER.

It looks like a REAL ROOM and not a staging room for “Criminal Minds”!

“Guys, if I could see this, I’d be telling you how awesome it looks.”

If you’ve ever done a tiling project, you have tubs and boxes that look like this – cast-offs and cut-offs from previous projects that you have zero idea what you’re going to do with it, but you just CAN’T throw it away because it’s good stuff! This is the tub of leftover marble from the kitchen floor.

These leftovers were PERFECT to act as the fill outside of the border. Most of them, we didn’t even need to cut. I LOVE being able to recycle like this!

And then, it was time for the pattern. If you forget about the journey to this point, you can check it out here. Long ago, we sat on the front porch and figured out how to build the pattern I designed.

After I built the design in another room, I took it apart, and boxed up the segments, using scrapbook paper to keep the together. I started to prep in for the installation on the dining room table, as you do.

We started in the center at the sink side of the bathroom, and worked our way to the edges. I was giddy the WHOLE TIME!

Day one progress! I just kept staring at it. It’s been SO long – almost a year, since I made the design and colored it in on paper. To see it go into mortar was so amazing.

Day Two!!!! Almost done!

Our friends Stephen and Jordan came down this weekend to help! Jordan helped over the summer to figure out the puzzle pieces for each segment, and he really wanted to help with the geometry of it all. He was phenomenal at cutting tiles so they fit perfectly! Stephen helped me get all of the pieces in place, and he was also in charge of morale. They told a friend they were coming to help, and they were explaining what we’re doing to the house, and the friend said, “They’re doing this…. on purpose?”

Yup. We sure are.

So the three of us finished the floor, which freed up Doug and our friend Rod to build a small deck / step off the back door to help Marina (and humans) get in and out easier. It was a bit “rustic” back there before. We are immensely grateful for all of their help getting back on track!

Here’s the other end of the floor! Stephen and I are rocking it out.

At one point, I asked Jordan, “Can you go ask Doug hypothetically how we get a hex tile out of the floor drain? Just in case one hypothetically went in there.”

Pro tip: Put tape over the drain before you tile. NOT THAT I HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE WITH THAT YOU GUYS.

Note the tape over the drain.

WE ARE SO DANG CLOSE!

We had Jordan take a picture of the last tile going in, but something went amiss and the picture was so washed out. This is seriously the best that I could do with editing the picture, but I COULD NOT leave it out. There was so much joy.

This is actually for realsies the last tile going in!!!!!

And this may be a dramatic reenactment of the bad photo the next morning.

My heart is singing.

And the drain is tiled and in!

Supervisor Approved!

We also got some wall tile up, but this post is long enough, so I’ll show you that later.

So, how long did it take to do the floor (and a bit of wall tile)?

Here’s the time-lapse! The time-lapse is amazing in several ways, but when Doug and I are both laying floor tile, it’s an interesting exercise in how our minds work differently. I laid each pattern by creating the perimeter first, and then filling in the segments. Doug built them like pixels – top to bottom. Fascinating. You can see it happening!

Another way to judge the time, is playing my favorite time-consuming game where we listen to a Broadway show, and then find some connection – the more random, the better – to get us to the next show. Here’s how long the floor took.

  • Pippin 
  • Wicked 
  • Legally Blonde the Musical 
  • Once 
  • Once on This Island 
  • Book of Mormon
  • The King and I
  • Bridges of Madison County
  • The Music Man 
  • Assassins
  • Chicago 
  • Avenue Q 
  • West Side Story 
  • In The Heights 
  • Hamilton

And that’s how long it took! I’ll put the connections below, in case you want to know how we got to each show. It really is the best game, because you can sing along, and talk the whole musical about how many show options you can go to next!

Oh, and we DID decorate for Halloween, too, in the last week. Seven skeletons this year!

Whew! See you soon!

  • Pippin to Wicked (Stephen Schwartz, composer)
  • Wicked to Legally Blonde the Musical (Musicals where characters go to a new college)
  • Legally Blonde the Musical to Once (Musicals that began as non-musical movies)
  • Once to Once on This Island (Use of the word “Once”)
  • Once on This Island to Book of Mormon (Use of the word “Frog” in lyrics)
  • Book of Mormon to The King and I (the homage story-telling scene – Joseph Smith and Uncle Tom’s Cabin)
  • The King and I to Bridges of Madison County (Starring the wonderful Kelly O’Hara)
  • Bridges of Madison County to The Music Man (Both set in the state of Iowa)
  • The Music Man to Assassins (Features a barbershop quartet)
  • Assassins to Chicago (Characters speaking in Eastern European Languages)
  • Chicago to Avenue Q (Both feature puppets)
  • Avenue Q to West Side Story (Include the lyric “Something’s coming, something good”)
  • West Side Story to In the Heights (Set on the streets of New York)
  • In The Heights to Hamilton (Both written by Lin-Manuel Miranda)

25 comments

  1. How exciting! The floor looks great! So sorry about Marina. I’m glad you were able to find out what the problem was. Dogs do great adjusting to changes. I have two dogs in wheelchairs and they don’t think they are handicapped at all. Neither do I actually.

  2. Golly.

    I was worried that you crazy kids had been kidnapped by aliens!

    Welcome back!

    Floor look fabulous (of course). Love the washed-out image!

    Also, I once had a cat go blind. It seemed to upset me more then him! He just…adjusted.

    Oh…and BOO!

  3. Wow! What an incredible house! LOVE your posts! LOVE THEM!!! I too share your love affair with the Victorian Era, and sometimes wonder if I was born in the wrong time….You both have a flair for History and I am so happy to see such a beautiful house being restored to its former glory. I’m sure you would give anything to walk through the house when it was in its prime….I’ve immensely enjoyed touring your house & your posts! Enjoy! & Happy Halloween!!!

  4. That is a seriously gorgeous floor. Kudos for the design and execution. Your sweet dog. I’m glad you’re making adjustments for her. Not that you wouldn’t, but still. I’m glad that she’s so well loved.

  5. Wow. Great job. That video really put it into perspective on a real level. Two people. Tiny Space. One big ass the geometrical puzzle. Hours and Hours and Hours. I am surprised you two are not in straight jackets and still friends after all that. Doug is now certifiable as you are. Doug is a keeper. To find a friend to do all that and your game you played is amazing. great job guys. Well done.

  6. Wow… it is gorgeous!!! I absolutely love the greys and the yellow! It’s such a time consuming project but there’s something about projects that take time.. there’s so much soul and personality put into it, and not just ready-made sheets. Not that there would have been any issue with that, I fully understand why home owners make the choices they do, but this floor is just so so so gorgeous.. a huge round of applause!!

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