Thursday, March 29, 2007

De-Picking a Wall

I pulled the picks out of the sink wall today and they did not come willingly. I ended up needing to use a pair of pliers to get them out and it took nearly an hour to do the one wall. A half dozen or so broke off and I had to dig the remainder of those out with a utility knife. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it was more work than I thought it would be.

If I had to do it over I would not have spaced the base tiles by eye. Instead I would have used the toothpicks for those as well. The spacers for the tile pull double-duty. They space the tile evenly, of course, but they also support the tile from sliding down on to the tile below it while the mortar is setting up. The base tiles were resting on the floor, so there was no real need for spacing, but now the spaces are not quite as uniform as the wall tile. It is a very minor detail that know one will notice but me.

A wall de-picked

I now firmly believe that in those Girls Gone Wild videos they must be showing those girls pictures of Victorian bathrooms with flat, square edged subway tile. That’s the only thing I can think that explains their behavior. Hmmmm, I’m going to need to get a woman in here and test that theory.

I also finished the edge of the marble sill and got it installed. That was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I must have honed marble and not polished marble because I only had to take it down to 320 grit to get the newly milled edges to look like the factory milled top. It was so easy I kick myself for not finishing the kitchen island marble. That is getting bumped to the top of the mile-long post-bathroom list of things to do.

After the tile is installed around the window I’m going to finish the back with a piece of half-inch quarter-round trim. There is a small scrap of it in the picture that was left over from another project. I’ll need to make more for the window.

You can also see that dent in the window sash. When I stripped the paint off of it I found that the window sash had been burned there. The odd thing was, it still had a lot of loose charcoal there. They didn’t even bother to sand it down or anything. It must have been a renter who caught the thing on fire with a candle or something. They just blew out the flame and then slapped some paint over it. I thought about filling it, but in such a wet environment, I was concerned that the filler would fail sooner, rather than later, so I decided to leave it. We’ll call it “character”.

Finally, in case anyone’s wondering, gypsum plaster tastes much better than thin-set mortar. Maybe it’s the Portland cement in the mortar that gives it its bitter taste. For pairing, if you get a dollop of plaster in your mouth, wash it down with a nice merlot. For thin-set, a chilled Pinot Grigio goes well.


Kathy said...

The marble is beautiful. I'm glad you left the dent in the window, it's all part of the house history. I'm sure you can make up a better story than the candle to explain it. I sincerely hope you never replace the bullet riddled red window in the front. That, too, makes a wonderful story and really does not detract from the house.

Lillian said...

That wall is gorgeous! I love how you can see the tinted window glowing on the tile wall and the lines of tile reflected on the window wall. I'm very impressed by your courage and your results.

Georgetown House said...

I dunno, I've always preferred a slightly chilled Zinfandel with my plaster.

And I'm mourning the loss of your punk bathroom. I'm sure there's a whole 'nuther breed of "girls gone wild" you could have attracted there had you continued with that direction. But it sounds like the look of this tile is making you feel ready to be featured in one of the "guys gone wild" videos...?!?

Angus said...

... well, now that Greg's had experience with YouTube, I'm sure ...

John said...

After power (or maybe before?), subway tile has to be one of the great aphrodisiacs. Love the subway tile. I'm going to have my wife look at your job and see if I can talk her into using those in our next house.

Love the wine pairings too. I haven't had the pleasure of mixing wine and plaster or thin set, but a nice pinot noir really refreshes the palette after a good mouth full of paint chips and dust.

Anonymous said...

Sorry that the 'picks gave you a fight. Why didn't you use regular 1/16 inch plastic spacers?

Anonymous said...

i'm loving the way the purple light looks on the tile and the marble.
it looks gorgeous, you should be proud of yourself.

Greg said...


If they make a 1/16th inch spacer it's not sold around here. And no I can't go a another HD, Lowes, or Manards to look for them. They don't exist here. I live on another planet.


It is very nice, isn't it.