Monday, June 3, 2013

Operation Hearth Re-Tile - Let the Laying Begin...

With a ton of the "prep" work out of the way {inspiration, demolition and cutting/dry fitting}...our hearth re-tile project was heading towards the finish line.  Unfortunately for me, in order to get there, I'd have to get over my fear of messing something up, and permanently adhere my carefully cut tiles to my sorta smooth surface.

To those of you who have been keeping up with this project...it's pretty clear that every step of the way has been a little nerve-wracking for me.  I mean, can you blame me?  I'm a complete novice.  I've never done any sort of tile work...ever.  So while I had little confidence in my tile setting skills, at least I could be 110% confident in the products I was using.  The Tile Shop totally hooked me up for this project...and not just with my drool-worthy tile, but with the perfect products to complete the job.

So with my dry-fit complete, it was time to move to the next step.  Before I went any further, I took the time to remove the dry-fit from the hearth, and re-assembled it, in order, right next to the hearth for easy access once I started tiling.

Then we broke out the thinset...the Pro-Flex Platinum, Latex Fortified Thinset Mortar to be exact. 


Hubs and I headed to the garage to mix things up.  We knew this could be messy and wouldn't dare to attempt this inside on our hardwood floors.  We mixed the water and the powder with a mixer bar, per these instructions.  {**Make sure you pour the water in first, and then add in the powder...otherwise you will find it hard to mix things at the bottom of the bucket.  Just sayin'...**}

I wasn't sure how quickly I'd move along since this was totally my first "rodeo"...so we mixed a little bit at a time.  As I needed more, hubby headed to the garage and whipped up a new batch for me.  {**Let the thinset sit for about 5-10 minutes after mixing it, before you start using it.**}

I spread my thinset and laid my tiles using this technique.  Because my starting surface wasn't the smoothest, there were a couple random tiles that needed to be built up a little higher.  For those situations, I would either back butter specific tiles, or lift the sheet up and stick a little more thinset where need be.  My goal was to have each tile even with it's neighbor.








Before I knew it, I was D-O-N-E, and already counting down the hours {at least 24 to be exact} until I could start grouting.  Ugh...patience was never my strong suit. ;)

42 comments:

  1. ooooh aaaaah! love it! now all you need is a bearskin rug, a glass of wine, and me! ;)

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    1. Haha...you really hit the nail on the head, Cassie! ;)

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  2. Sooo pretty! Even before the grouting & normally I think tile w/o grout is ugly!

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  3. You're brave, kid. I'm seriously impressed you did this by yourself. Just don't tell Nate.

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    1. Aw, thanks friend! Don't worry...I'll keep it on the DL. ;)

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  4. Hi I just hopped over to see your gold diy and had to snoop around ;) I LOVE the tile you selected for your FP. It looks amazing! I have white painted brick FP that is now in need of a new hearth thanks to this post! I'm happy to be following via bloglovin. Cheers!

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    1. Hi Elisa! Thanks for stopping over...I'm glad you decided to snoop!! :)

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  5. Hey, I just came across your blog and I must say that I just LOVE all your awesome ideas!!! Great job on retiling!! Love the new look!

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    1. Thank you so much!! I'm so glad you stopped by! :)

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  6. It looks so shiny and beautiful!!! I am super impressed...I have yet to officially tile anything. I'm too nervous that I will mess something up! You did great!!! ;) Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

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    1. Thanks so much, Jesse!! :) I don't blame you for being nervous...I definitely thought I was in over my head quite a few times, but if I can do it, so can you!!

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  7. It looks awesome! You're such a pro-- I'd be so afraid to tackle tiling.

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    1. Thank you, Chelsea!! I definitely was terrified, but luckily, it turned out to be totally doable! :)

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  8. Impressive work :) I love how many photos you took along the way. I always forget to take them!

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    1. Thanks Julia! I'm surprised I remembered. Normally I get so involved in projects I forget to take progress ones. Thank gosh I remember for this project so there was proof I actually tackled it hehe. :)

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  9. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE! LOVE LOVE LOVE!! It looks so great Gabbi!! You must love it! xo Kristin

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    1. Aw, thank you so much, Kristin!! I definitely do! :)

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  10. This is seriously the most gorgeous tile ever. I love it! And I'm totally impressed you did this on your own. You are one badass DIYer.

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    1. Aw, thanks Kim! Means a lot coming from you! :)

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  11. Nice. I know I keep saying I'm so impressed that you are doing this yourself, but seriously! That's awesome!!

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  12. FLIPPING GORG. great job! I would be way to nerv to do this all by myself...pretty sure that's why i left our fireplace up to my dad :)

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    1. Aw, thanks Trina!! I definitely was crazy nervous, but thankfully I worked my way through it.

      Aren't Dad's the best?! ;)

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  13. Seriously SO LOVELY!!!! Can't wait to see it completed! You go!

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  14. Gorgeous! I bet this is the perfect first tiling job - just a small area to worry about!

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  15. It looks simply stunning!! I adore your fireplace!

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  16. That is gorgeous! I love how it looks. Do you walk by every day and smile while you check out your handiwork? I know I would if that was my fireplace

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    1. Thank you, Anne!! I do...sometimes I stop and pet it too. I just can't help it. ;)

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  17. Gabbi, your new tile (and caulk job) look AMAZEBALLS!! Seriously, I'm in awe of of the transformation!! You go girl!

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