Friday, January 19, 2007

A Tile Smashing Good Time

I made another trip down to smash up more salvaged tile today. I only a had a few hours, but I hit a vein of easily obtainable tiles, so I made a good haul. I may go down tomorrow one last time. We’ll see how I feel. I’ve been running crazy for the last week and a half. If it wasn’t the tile then it was the plumbing. I got a lot done but my house and my life is a chaotic mess because of it.

I’ve been able to get 15 boxes that are the same size, and then another 4 boxes of different sizes. I took one of the 15 boxes and counted 206 tiles in it. They are 2-inch hex tiles so I figured 36 tiles per sq ft. That works out to roughly 5.5 sq ft per box, times 15 boxes, means I have roughly 85 sq ft of tile. Of course, there will be some waste when I go to clean it, but I’ll assume the other 4 boxes of varying sizes will account for the waste.

I have about 70 sq ft of floor space to do. With a normal installation I would order an extra 5% to 10% to account for waste during installation. Considering the tile, I think this will be a worst case scenario when it comes to waste, so lets say I need 80 sq ft. As I estimated, I have 85 sq ft.

This all assumes I don’t do a boarder. If I do a 6-inch boarder of some other tile, then it puts me in a better position. I’m leaning away from a boarder now because the salvaged hex tile is half inch thick and the new tiles, or at least the samples I got, are only 3/16 of an inch thick. I would have to shim all of the boarder area by 5/16 of an inch. If I’m off a little bit it could look crappy.

In other news, I posted a question about cleaning grout off tile over at Urban Revivals on thier Discussion Blog. It’s not really a blog and it’s not really a forum. You ask a question using a web form and a few days later, if they answer, they post your question and an answer to their “blog”. Anyway, someone else asked the same question I did only a day before I did, so they posted their question and answer. The question was, how do you remove old grout from salvaged tile. The answer was a dermel Tool. Specifically, here was the Q&A….

Aggie of Chicago writes: How do you remove adhesive from used ceramic tile?

Urban Revivals replies: We use a dremel tool with stone grinder bits. Set the variable speed so you can grind it off the tile, without going so fast that you nick the tiles.

I think Stucco House also came up with this response, so she gets a gold star by her name. Of course, the best part of this is, it means I get to have hours and hours of fun grinding grout off tiles. I’m fortunate this is good grout grinding weather. I’ve been thinking about though, I really don’t have to get it all off. In most places the grout was only an eight of an inch think or less. In some of repaired areas it was thicker, but those make up a small minority of the tiles. All I have to do is take it down below the surface of the tile and when I regrout you’ll never see it. Either way, it’s going to be a butt-load of work. I just have to keep reminding myself that I’m saving seven or eight hundred dollars. That is a motivating factor, if there ever was one.


Nick said...

Hey Greg - what's the latest with your plan to be sans-shower curtain? I remember you were planning a drain in the floor etc. FYI, there is an article in this month's (March 2007) Fine Homebuilding titled "A Sloping Floor for a Barrier-Free Bath" - meaning no thresholds around the shower area. Thought you might be interested.

Greg said...


I will definitely look for the Fine Homebuilding article because I'm still planning to do it. When Gary was helping me with the plumbing I didn't mention the ID to him because I had a feeling he wouldn't be overly thrilled with it. When I put the drain together for the tub I left the last section of ABS unglued so I can go back and add the floor drain.

StuccoHouse said...

::taking a bow::

My bathroom hex tile is set in what I believe is Portland cement. Short of a direct hit of a nuclear bomb I don't think there is much that could affect it - except maybe a dremel grinder.