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House Post: Upstairs Bathroom, Part 2

Last time, you learned about how my downstairs shower failed in the middle of a pandemic, and what the upstairs bathroom looked like at the time – in pieces.

So, when we left it off, here’s what it looked like.

So, step 1 was to do a final plaster coat and sanding, and then paint: oil-based primer and two coats of the paint itself, a dark gray. I already forget the name of the gray, but it’s a Sherwin Williams color.

Then it was time to deal with the tub surround. This provoked no end of angst, honestly; I had done a TON of reading about the best way to waterproof behind tile. The previous tiles had simply been glued to the drywall, which was not the way I wanted to go at all.

In the end, I went with a paintable waterproof membraning. Even though this was not a true tiled shower – water would be splashing on the tile at best, not actually cascading onto it – I felt more comfortable knowing that we had done the best we absolutely could. At $130 a gallon, yikes, we painted on this green stuff, which had the consistency of pudding, in two layers. It dried with a slightly rubbery feel & texture to it.

So then it was ready for tile! We finished the waterproofing on a Sunday night, and then I took Tuesday off to start tiling. I had read and watched a million tutorials and talked to the guys at the tile store, so I started off by laying out the tile and doing SO MANY MEASUREMENTS.

See, I was doing it with subway tile…but I don’t really like subway tile all that much. If you’ll remember, I tested a LOT of different tile and just wasn’t quite able to get precisely what I had in mind, and the color/finish that was closest was this Daltile subway tile. I did not feel up to the mental gymnastics of doing it in a herringbone pattern – what I really wanted – so I laid it out a lot of different ways and ended up with this 1/3 offset, which I think gives it a nice movement but isn’t the standard 1/2 offset, or worse, a plain brick pattern.

Next week…we tile.

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