Monday, July 21, 2014

Forays Into Tiling

Yes, I've been tiling!  This is new for me.  And when I say new I mean really new.  I've never put ceramic tile in a real house.  I've never put flooring of any kind in the real house.  I know what I want but I have no idea how to make it happen.  No matter how many home improvement shows I watch I always get hung up on the expense, the tools needed, the sheer amount of labor involved.

Not to mention the cats and the furniture that would need to be moved.  Yeah.  The whole exercise seems more than a little labor intensive.  Not a one person job.

But a dollhouse... that's a little more managable.  As you saw in the Gothic Victorian, it's usually one legal sized sheet of glossy paper or wood veneer that you glue down.  None of this prying up the baseboards, ripping up carpet stuff.

It helps that you can hold an entire rooms worth of flooring in one hand.

So what I need for my own house is a friendly giant who'll pick everything up, put in new flooring and then put everything back.  Do I have any volunteers?


Oh well.  Back to the dollhouse. 

I've been very excited about the bathroom.  I wanted to make it a little more realistic and that mean actual tile not the sheet plastic stuff I used in the Gothic Victorian.  I like how the big dollhouse bathroom looks but I want the Bungalow's to be different.

So I bought some miniature tiles.  They're about three eighths of an inch square and come in a sheet with a paper backing on what will be the front of the tiles.

My biggest problem was figuring out what to use to stick them to the wall and what I could use for grout.  Rummaging around my cabinets netted me some cauking for the bathroom, in an unopened tube.  Yay for plumbers who put in new faucets without needing cauk.

I cut a section of tile and squeezed the cauk onto the backs and pressed it to the wall in the right spot.  This can get messy with too much adhesive but the tiles won't stick if you don't put enough.  So a few attempts later and I got it to stick. 

I got another strip for the floor around the tub and a few more smaller strips to extend the area back towards the eaves. 

See how I got some cauk on the ceiling?  Luckily it wipes off with water and a cloth.
And then I had to let it dry.  That takes at least a couple of hours so to occupy my time I did a few other things.

I got creative with some little square beads.  They're glass and remind me of tiny mosaics.  I wanted a boarder along the top of the white tile.  So I got my cauk and started to put them in place. 

See? Shiny.

And I got a little...enthusiastic.  But I think it turned out well.  Gives the bathroom a little pizzaz.

I was very excited by this.

Wallpaper for the bathroom, as is hinted in the above photo.  We're going with more scrapbook paper here since I wanted something more modern than the flowery paper I used in the kitchen of the mansion.  And I also wanted the wallpaper to feel a little dated.  Like it was the height of casual fashion in the seventies and hasn't been updated because it isn't too bad and still looks good.

I thought about brown, but it seemed like it would end up too dark.  After all this bathroom has no windows at all.  We want to look a bit dated. Not dingy.

Voila.  Instant Wallapper.  I've got three sheets of this. More than enough for the bathroom.
So I got my wall and traced the dimensions onto the paper and then glued it on.  Good old Elmer's glue again.

It looks nice and bright doesn't it?  Cheerful.
I glued the wall into place with Sticky Tacky glue for the upper edges and Elmer's for the floor edge.  And since I was at it, I put in the bathroom door. All of it has to sit for a while so the glue can set and I like to accomplish as much as I can in one space of time.

So Sticky Tacky glue to the rescue and the door is installed.

See?  Nice and bright.  I really am liking this Summer Oak stain more and more.
A quick word on the door.  I thought about it and realized that if I positioned it so that the door opened into the bathroom it would be very awkward for spacing.  It would very narrowly clear the sink since its such a small space.  So I changed it and now the door pulls open instead of pushes.

I think it works pretty well.  It's something I didn't consider in the Gothic Victorian and I'm glad I remembered that with this house.

And we must have doorknobs.  It's so weird, the Victorian had six doors to stain and install not including the front door.  This house only has one.  So benefits to an open space modern home.

See the doorknob?  It sort of matches the one on the front door.
Oh, you can see some of my little extra tiles in the picture above.  Thats them with the back face up.

While I was letting all the glue dry I decided to paint and glue the window frames.

This was an interesting process. The instructions call for you to glue the frames together and run a rubber band around the raised edge to hold everything in place.  In a house with cats rubberbands are like an endangered species!

Seriously we don't have them.  We get rid of them if they come in the house because we're afraid of the male cat (who shall remain Helo) eating them or pieces of them and then needing surgery on his intestines.

So I taped and held the outer frames in place until the glue was somewhat set and then did the same to the inner frames.

See? neat huh?
I do like how nice and big these windows are.

I neglected to take pictures of me painting and adding the mid window supports but here's a couple of shots with them glued into the house.

A little blurry but you get the idea.
As you can tell from the reflection I glued on the plexiglass too.

I'm a little irritated with myself.  Once I put on the inside frames I realized something.  See if you can figure out what I missed/forgot.

Notice anything a little off?
Here?  See? It bugs me.
My OCDness is bothered every time I look at the windows.  They don't match perfectly.  Because I forgot to stain the side of the supports that would show through the windows into the house.

I could kick myself.  I thought about pulling them down and fixing them but I'm more than a little worried I'll break the wood or the 'glass'.  So I'm making myself live with it.

One more reason to get the curtains up.

But by the time I'd gotten all of this done the cauk was mostly dry so I could use a damp cloth to remove the paper backing from the tiles.  It got really wet.
A few of the tiles popped off. Cauk needs to dry completely or it won't stick.

But I glued those back down and let them dry while I fiddled around with the tiles near the eaves.

I ended up putting a few little tiles in so it looked smoother near the roofline.
And I realized something as the cauk was drying again and I tested how everything would look with my little sink.  I wouldn't have a level floor unless I either tiled the whole thing or I figured out a way to raise the floor so it was equal in height to the tile.

I really didn't want to tile the entire bathroom floor.  For one, it would make the tile around the tub area not stand out as much.  For another, I didn't have enough tile.

So I started to figure out other ways to raise the floor. (Hey that rhymes. LOL) 

Did you know that cardboard is a very helpful handy thing to have?

I cut out a piece to match the room and then cut out chunks to accomdate the tile and the doorframe.

See? Almost perfect.
And when I had it right I glued it down to the wood floor.

Now when the wood goes down it'll be level with the tiles.
That problem taken care of it was onto grouting.

Uh, I didn't have any actual grout.  I didn't even have any dollhouse grout.  What to do what to do...?

Go rummage through my cabinets and see what I have leftover from house repairs of course.  Seriously guys, its a good thing I don't throw stuff away until I'm certain its useless.  The spackle I found needed mixing because the liquid had started to separate but it was nothing a little elbow grease couldn't fix.

On a side note, my doctor would be pleased with me because every time I do some project for the dollhouse I end up with my heart rate increasing and I feel like I'm sweating like a pig.  That's an attractive image right?  Who came up with that saying anyway?

I'm told that in the south Ladies glow and Gentlemen perspire.  I have no idea what species that makes me.  Probably not a lady.  Unless by glow they mean red in the face.

But back to the workout I had remixing my spackle.  And I did not have a spackling knife or putty knife or whatever that thing is that looks like a huge flat screwdriver blade.

I used a regular butter knife.  And it worked pretty well both for mixing and applying the spackle as grout.  See?

It isn't perfect. But perfect is boring.

I like how the white spackle/grout makes the colored tiles stand out.  Here's another picture of the whole thing.

Excuse the shadow.  Picture taking is not my strong suit. Obviously.
One more detail shot.

You really see the little colors here.
And then I had to let the spackle/grout dry.  But I tested the level of the floor with my sink and then got to thinking about a backsplash for the sink. Sooo...

I neglected to take into account one little thing however.
If I put a mirror over the tile it's too high for a doll to look into.  And the lights would go above the mirror.  Soo...

Let's make that backsplash just a little narrower shall we?

Not perfect but better.
There was a lot of waiting for things to dry.  Have I mentioned I'm not so good with waiting?  Yeah... so I started doing something else.

One of my house 'wish list' projects is wood flooring.  And not just any wood flooring.  I want the wood to run diagonal to the walls.  I saw this on a home improvement show and it makes the rooms look huge.  I'm sure there's a technical explanation but I just know I Like.  Lots.

So I got to work on the bedroom.  Yet another cardboard template of the floor later and I was happily glueing (rubber cement this time) my floors down.

I'm so thrilled with how this looks.
I mean it's so pretty.  And different from the first floor.  Slight color change, variated boards, and the angles... Husband laughed at me when I was just petting the floors.

But I put a coat of finish over them.  It's not supposed to make everything super shiny, just give it a nice gleam.  Hard to tell in the pictures though.

So pretty!  Can't wait to get the baseboards in.
And while that was drying I could go back to the backsplash and clean it up and spackle that.

See?  Just the right height.
 Here's a slightly better shot.

Fun part was figuring which tile to put where for the edges.
Then I got the floors into the bathroom.  No diagonals here, just straight boards.

I've got a little edge showing near the door but I'll fix that along with some other finishes.
While that was drying.  Lord there's a lot of drying in this house. 

As I was saying, while that was drying I put up the rest of the wallpaper.

Just dated enough.  Not insane but I like it.
One more strip in the back to cover up the wiring tape.

Just the right touch to the walls.  I definitely didn't want this on the ceiling.  Too busy!
And we're all ready for a test run.

Swoops isn't thrilled.  There isn't enough room for him.

He couldn't even fit through the door without squishing.

But it looks really nice.
Now to figure out the tub/shower fixtures, some towel racks...

All details for our next post.  Which has yet another built in project.

I think I might have a built in addiction.  I need help.   Seriously.

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