Category Archives: Remodeling and Design

DIY Whiteboard and Other Great Storage Solutions

Today’s post will show you how to create a whiteboard out of cool materials found at your local home improvement store.  We will also show you many great storage solutions to make the most out of an office, school room or just about any room or space in your house.

To make a white board you can use several different mediums.  In this video we re purposed a piece of milky white plexi glass.  You can use clear plexi glass, colored plexi glass and even plexi glass that has pieces of leaves or designs in it.  The options are endless all though the fancier plexi glass is harder to find.  Your best bet is too shop online for something like that.  Another option which I haven’t tried but contemplated when I was searching for plexi glass with unique greenery etc inside for a bathroom remodel I was doing was to make my own.  My idea was to   take 2 pieces of plexi glass and encase flattened dried greenery (or just about anything else flat).  Pre drill holes in the corners and maybe the center of the sides depending on how big you are trying to make it, and bolt it together tightly with washers and bolts.  Like I said, I haven’t tried this yet so I cant tell you how it worked since I opted for a glass water fountain wall in the bathroom instead. You can also use glass or the paneling sold at home improvement stores that has a white high glass finish on it.

If you want to make something large scale you can pre drill holes and hang it directly to the wall.  You could also add it into a pre fab picture frame for a different look.  How about a piece of the cool colored plexi glass in between two desks that are back to back for a neat office look? The ideas are close to endless.

The other storage ideas we show in this video are re-purposing many items that we already had from around the house and turning them into creative storage ideas.  The removable buckets we added below the white board to hold the markers and crayons and such are generic buckets purchased from the dollar store.  We added small cup hooks to the wall so these could easily be removed and put back when a craft situation calls for crayons and markers!

The large shelf was a basic extra deep shelf that we moved from the laundry room when we remodeled it. Check out our Laundry Room Remodel post coming soon.  You can purchase shelves like these at places like Home Depot, Lowes and Ikea.  You can also get doors for many of these shelves as well to hide all the organized baskets inside when you are done.  We moved the shelves around to create a higher shelf for the printers.  This particular cabinet only had holes drilled in specific spaces for the shelves and we were missing some of the little metal shelf brackets.  We measured and drilled holes where we wanted to move the shelf to, and purchased replacement shelf brackets at Home Depot.  After moving this shelf, we needed to reinforce it so we drilled it to the wall to give it added support.

We used matching plastic crates that they already had to sort and label all of the large school supplies.  They had these crates in several different rooms holding many different things.  By pulling them all into use in the school room they give a more cohesive organized look.

We also had to cut a hole in the back to access the power outlet that was already on the wall. We ran a surge protector power strip and hung it where it is easily accessible on the back of the cabinet. to plug in the printer and other small electronics.

We made a simple temporary paper holder, using one of the crates and strips of drywall that we slide through the holes.  It isn’t the prettiest, but with paper in it you cant even see the drywall.  It will at least last them until they buy or make a better one.

The pegboard shown in the video is a great way to make use of even a small space like the one next to this cabinet.  We cut pegboard to fit the width of this area.  We re-purposed pegboard we had used at their old house for this project, but you find pegboard at your local home improvement store.  We also cut down 1×2 pieces of scrap wood to make a sort of frame underneath the peg board so the peg hooks will fit in the holes.  You dont have to completely frame the whole piece.  Depending on the size of the peg board you are using, you need to make sure it has enough pieces under the edges to make it sturdy and secure.  The pegboard shouldn’t have any give after it is screwed to these pieces.  You can use long screws and the pegboard directly to these pieces and through the wall, or if you find it easier, you can measure and mark the placement of the framing pieces, screw them in to the wall and then use smaller screws to screw the pegboard onto these pieces.

The last picture shown in the video is of the center kitchen island we re-purposed to use as a craft island.  It is convenient for crafting and teaching as it is counter height instead of table height and it makes it easier to stand and craft.  We also added small hooks and metal wire to the ends to hang all the rolls of craft paper  and even some paper towels.  You could also do this same idea by using curtain rods if you had a little more space.

 

Making a Tiered Ruffled Comforter

These comforters are so adorable and super expensive if you bought anything equivalent in a store or online.  You can make these for any size bed and out of any type of material.  Get creative. I used knit material since you don’t have to hem all of the ruffles, but you could use basic cotton as well. An all white ruffled comforter would be great for a feminine touch to an adults bed.  Any color scheme worked into varying shades like we did with these is also great. Remember if you are working with knits you need to use a walking foot, and often stabilizer if the knit is thin and you are using a regular sewing machine.  This is definitely not a beginners sewing project.  Expect to take some time creating these.  Also expect to purchase quite a bit of material. Make sure you have a large workspace set up as well, as you will need to be able to lay the comforter out in whole to place the ruffles.  2 Table tops pushed together would be ideal.

IMG_9004There are several ways you can make this comforter. You can make a duvet cover that is removable, or you can attach batting or an old piece of comforter into the inside which won’t be removable.  I chose to make a non removable comforter for these 2 tiered ruffled comforterssince they were for two young girls bunk beds who have a hard enough time getting their beds made every day as it is.  I think children’s beds should be as easy to make as possible if you want them to get into a good habit of making them.  The color scheme that was chosen for their shared room was turquoise and purple, so we chose to coordinate the comforters in various shades of these colors.  Since they would be used on bunk beds we also chose to make the ruffle tiers cascade down the long side of the bed as opposed to the traditional way of cascading down from the pillow side to the foot of the bed.

IMG_6233 If you don’t feel like you are up to making one, email our shop at info@summerscloset.com for a custom quote.  You can also visit our shop for other great bedding and decor options like the Live, Laugh, Love sheet set shown here.  We also have personalized and monogrammed sheet sets, and great throw pillow covers to update any rooms decor.

 

 

 

We found a cheap white IMAG0957cotton knit on sale for $1 a yard which is what we used for the main part of the comforter and the top several ruffles.  It is hard to find a fabric this cheap, when I do, I try to purchase as much as I can for large projects such as these.  Then the girls chose another textured white knit and 3 different textures, shades and prints of the knits in their color scheme for the rest of the ruffles.  Initially, 1 yard of each of these colored fabrics IMG_9010was purchased.  1 yard only did about 2 ruffles each which is why we had to add more white ruffles than we initially planned.

Making the ruffles:  Cut the strips of fabric into the height you choose for the ruffles.  We cut our about 8 inches high to maximize the amount of fabric we had and to get at least 2 ruffles of each.  In general for a nice full ruffle, you need the length plus half the length per ruffle.  After you cut the strips, sew the pieces into two long strips.  If you are using a fabric other than knit that will fray, you will need to hem both the top and bottom at this point.  Since we used knit we skipped this step.  There are benefits to knit and also challenges.  Knit is much harder to work with, especially a thin knit like the white we used for the main parts of the comforters.

Next you need to make the ruffles.  There are several ways to do this.  You can use a ruffler foot for your sewing machine which works great (until the foot breaks).  I recently purchased a generic brand ruffler foot and loved how easy and beautifully it made the ruffles.  However after using it only a couple of times it broke.  I read many reviews of these feet and saw how many people had issues with them breaking but still gave it a shot.  I still plan on trying a better brand, but haven’t gotten around to it.  You can also use a gathering foot on your sewing machine, but I haven’t had much luck with my gathering foot working properly either. Another option is to use the longest stitch you have and adjust the tension to the lowest setting.  Sew this stitch without locking it in one continuous stitch along the top edge of the ruffle material.  After you have done this, pull on the top thread from both sides gathering the material as you pull and creating a ruffle.  With knits, I have found this doesnt always work perfectly since it often gets caught on the knit material.  If you work in smaller sections this will help prevent that.

Next you need to measure the material to the size that you need.  You can use an old comforter as a template.  Cut the material accordingly.  For the twin comforters we were able to use the width of the fabric  as the width of the comforter.  For larger sizes you may either need to purchase extra wide width fabric if you don’t want seams, or sew 2-3 pieces to get the size you need.  For the base of a comforter like this seams wouldn’t be a problem on the top as the ruffles will cover them.  You will need 2 pieces one for the front and one for the back.  Make sure you watch the video for more detail on these instructions.  You also need to add about 3 inches of seam allowance on one side to add buttons or a zipper if you plan on making it a removable duvet cover.

Take one of the pieces you cut and assembled and lay it on a large flat surface.  Pin the ruffles on in straight rows.  It is easiest to pin one ruffle at a time, sew it and then pin the next ruffle.  You can also make chalk lines with a straight edge to mark your ruffle lines which will make it easier to pin and sew your ruffles properly.  Sew the ruffles on with a straight stitch at the top edge of the ruffle.  (You could also get creative and make non tiered ruffles and sew the ruffling stitch in the center instead of the top in the previous stitch. See our post on Textured Rose throw pillow for ideas on making ruffles this way, or even a whole comforter! Imagine a comforter covered in roses like these?)  Continue sewing the ruffles on from bottom to top, overlapping each one slightly.

After all the ruffles are attached to your top piece of the comforter, it is time to assemble the whole thing.  To make a removable duvet cover, lay the top piece right side up, lay the bottom piece right side down, making sure right sides of both are touching.  Pin all sides.  Sew three sides, leaving a large opening in the 4th side.  Add a zipper or hem this opening adding buttons and button holes.  If you are making an attached comforter.  Lay a piece of batting, or an old comforter flat on the ground, lay the top piece ruffled side up on top of the batting, and lay the back piece right side down, making sure right sides are touching of both pieces.  Pin, and sew all 4 sides, leaving a small opening large enough to turn the comforter right side out when you are finished.  Once you turn it right side out, turn in the seam allowance at the opening and sew the opening shut.

You now should have a beautiful tiered ruffled comforter completed!

 

 

Glass Mosaics Part 3- Grouting and Finishing

This is my last post on the glass mosaics. You will see how to grout and finish your mosaic piece. Don’t forget to check out the first two posts for all the steps on creating a glass mosaic.

Glass Mosaic Step 1:
http://www.summerscloset.com/blog/2014/01/31/glass-mosaics-step-1-how-to-make-mosaic-glass-using-repurposed-glass/

Glass Mosaic Step 2:
http://www.summerscloset.com/blog/2014/01/31/glass-mosaics-part-2/

IMG_1602What you will need for this step:

-Bag of sanded grout in color of your choice

-Grout mold and mildew preventive mixture (optional) good for bathroom projects

-Mixing paddle for electric paint mixer or cordless drill (optional), You can also mix it by hand with a paint stick, but it is much easier with the electric mixing paddle.

IMG_1491-Tile float

-Rubber heavy duty tile gloves

-Empty buckets

-Large sponge

Make sure your mosaic completely dried from step 2.  You should have left it to dry for 24-48 hours depending on how humid it is where you are. Here in South Florida, we have to leave it at least 48 hours on these big projects because it is so humid.

IMG_8996Mix the grout according to the directions on the packaging. I mix mine to a slightly thicker consistency than I normally would for normal tiling.  Start with a small amount of water in a small amount of grout and mix in a large bucket, adding water and grout as needed.  You can always mix another batch of grout.  Only mix what you will have the time to use since the grout will harden if left in the bucket after it is mixed and you will have to throw it out.  Add mold mildew mixture if you choose, before water as it will water it down. Let the grout mixture sit after mixing for 10 minutes or according to package directions.

Work on one area small area at a time perhaps a couple of square feet. It is best to start from the top down of your mosaic. Using the tile float, spread grout back and forth and up and up and down in the section you chose. Make sure you are getting grout in all the little holes and spaces. Use your tile float to scoop some grout from your bucket, and work from the bottom up of your section to help keep the grout from spilling off the wall while you work.

IMG_1608Let the section sit for a couple of minutes and then take your damp sponge and gently sponge over the section to wipe off excess grout.  You will need to rinse your sponge several times as you clean the tile. You will need to change your water often as well.

Continue the same steps until you have completed grouting your mosaic.  The glass will have a haze over it that you will wipe off with a dry cloth after everything is dry.  Make sure it is only a haze left before you let it dry.  Do NOT let the grout dry on the glass without sponging it or it will be difficult if not impossible to remove.  This is why you need to work in small sections.

IMG_1599Also, make sure you tape off everything but the edges of the mirror if you do a mosaic around a mirror, since the grout can leave a haze on the mirror that doesn’t come off.

On the tropical mosaic dock, I added tiny little pebbles on the dock posts and edges that I had gotten from a trip to the German Alps.  Try adding fun little mementos into your mosaic, be creative, just remember grout doesn’t stick to wood like it does stone. The wood edge framing that we built on the bathroom wall, and any other edges like that need to be caulked with matching color caulk when everything is completely cleaned and dried.

Use cheesecloth or a soft cloth to buff and clean all the grout haze off when the grout has dried. If there is a lot of dust you may want to wipe it again with a clean damp cloth again first to remove some of the dust.  You will then need to let this dry and buff again with a soft clean cloth.

Check out our great Womens handbags that we sell in our shop. Like this Green Bohemian Quilted Sling Bag. It is great for everyday and has plenty of room for a change of clothes for an over night bag, or even a small laptop or tablet!

Glass Mosaics Part 2

This is a really neat way to remodel a bathroom wall, a kitchen or bar back splash, or just make your own art work to hang. It can be done and used in so many ways for so many different looks. The video shown here is of us doing a mosaic on a bathroom wall surrounding an unframed mirror above the vanity. I also created one on the back splash of my bar/kitchen extension I built on my former home. That one was a tropical theme that played along with the ceramic dishes I had painted. It featured a palm tree, sailboat, and dock. The mosaic in the video is our representation of “The Great Wave of Kanagawa” by Hokusai.

Please see our first blog post and video on how to make the glass for the mosaics from re-purposed glass.
http://www.summerscloset.com/blog/2014/01/31/glass-mosaics-step-1-how-to-make-mosaic-glass-using-repurposed-glass

IMG_1492 What you will need for this step:

-Broken painted glass, we used 2 sliding glass doors worth of glass for this bathroom wall and ran very short of some colors.

-Pre-mixed tile adhesive from your local Home remodeling store, or tile store.

-Heavy Duty Tile Gloves

IMG_2045The first step we did ahead of time was to hang the mirror .  We centered it above where the sink vanity was going to sit.  Using mirror adhesive in a caulk gun, we applied it to the back of the mirror and positioned it on the wall.  You have to tape it on after positioning it until the adhesive dries. Be VERY careful not to scratch the finish on the back of the mirror while adhering it, or it could have a noticeable scratch in the mirror after it is hung. We accidentally did this when we first hung it and had to return it and get a new mirror.  You must let the adhesive dry over night and make sure it is propped up with something as well as the tape so that it will not fall off the wall.

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The next step is to do a basic pencil drawing of your design on the wall.  This takes a few times to get the layout just right usually.  It is not worth making a detailed drawing since you will be covering whole sections in glue and will not see your drawing.  You should draw only the very basics, making sure to get the dimensions proportionate.

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Starting in one area no more than a square foot, apply the adhesive using a small putty knife or even a disposable plastic knife.  In our design we followed the curves of the upper wave with tile glue to start.  If you are mimicking a picture, make sure you have a copy hanging close by as you will need to look at this often to know what pieces of glass to place where.

IMG_1491The nice thing about a mosaic like this is you don’t have to be perfect! There is plenty or room for your interpretation of a picture or photo.  The important thing is to make sure you get the main proportions to look realistic and visually appealing.  Of course, that is if you are doing a realistic picture! You could also create a nice abstract design as well.  This mosaic process kind of reminds me of painting with watercolors.  There is a lot of forgiveness of mistakes in the process as you create. With wateIMG_8996r colors a little dab of water can almost erase or change the lines you did not like, with mosaics, a “wrong” color tile can add dimension and shading you didn’t know you needed.

 

 

 

 

 

While you are remIMG_2351 copyodeling, don’t forget to check out all of our unique products in our shop such as these Personalized Aprons with clever quotes. This apron features a 100 percent cotton linen like fabric with an adjustable neck strap and waist ties. It has “I do whatever the voices in my wife’s head tell me to do” embroidered with light pink thread.

They make a great gift for the Valentine in your life.  they can wear it all year long and there are coordinating aprons for women, children and even dolls!

 

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Glass Mosaics-Step 1-How to Make Mosaic Glass Using Repurposed Glass

If you are interested in doing anything mosaic then this post is for you!  I will have the other steps of creating gorgeous, detailed glass mosaics in future posts but this one is all about an inexpensive alternative to the expensive mosaic tiles you would buy at the craft store.  Not only is it a cheaper alternative but it makes for a much more unique and beautiful mosaic.

 

What you will need:

-Tempered Glass, I used old sliding glass doors that were being thrown away.  You could try thrift stores or garage sales or even trash piles on bulk trash day for other items that would work, without having to spend much money.

-Frosted Glass Spray Paint

-Clear Lacquer Spray Paint

-Fine Glitters in your choice of colors

-Craft Acrylic Metallic paints in your choice of colors

-Denatured Alcohol

-Wide Paint brush, like you would use on the walls not for crafts

-A large piece of cardboard or thick plastic to work on

-Hammer

-Buckets or some other thing to place under the glass to help break it

-Trays or other buckets for sorting the glass.  I use old photo developing trays which work great when you are working on the mosaic since they are short and flat and make finding the right pieces easier.

IMG_2067 IMG_2068 IMG_2069First you need to clean the glass thoroughly.  Scrub it down with some soap and water, dry it with a clean cloth and then wipe it down with denatured alcohol.  This helps ensure that the glass is clean and the paint will properly stick.

To give you an idea of home much glass and supplies you will need I will tell you what I used for past projects.  For the last glass pieces I made, I used 3 sliding glass doors, a whole pack of about 12 little vials of glitter from Michaels, 1 can of lacquer and 1 can of frosted spray paint, and about 7 little bottles of craft acrylic metallic paints. This made 2 very full 5 gallon buckets along with 2 large developing trays full of glass.  The mosaic I did in the video on the bathroom wall I used 2 sliding glass doors and has a little left over.  I once did a mosaic back splash on my bar area I built in my house and used 1 sliding glass door but had to use lots of the itty bitty pieces to finish it.   My advice is to purchase extra of the craft paints and save your receipt and return what you don’t end up using.  You can always use the leftover bottles of paint to make some beautiful re purposed glass dishes like in my other post http://www.summerscloset.com/blog/2013/08/02/re-purposing-ugly-mis-matched-glass-dishes/

IMG_9074Before we go into all the instructions be sure to check out our fun Elf aprons.  You can get matching aprons for women, children and even dolls.  You can also get them personalized for a little extra.  These make great gifts and will help you get ready for all your holiday projects like these mosaics!

You should start with the glitter since it will end up covering the least amount of space depending on how much you purchased and it looks fantastic mixed in the mosaic giving it an extra sparkly glass look.  They also sell glitter in little assorted color packets at Michaels that work well.  Just make sure you use fine glitter, you don’t want to use any large pieces of glitter. First you will spray a small section, I repeat SMALL section, of the glass with the clear lacquer spray paint. (On a side note make sure you purchase the spray paint from a place like Home Depot and not a craft store or you will pay almost double in price for the same thing.) Quickly after you spray the glass sprinkle the first packet or vial of glitter onto the wet spray paint.  Make sure you have everything ready because the spray paint dries quickly and you must get the glitter onto the spray paint before it dries. Sprinkle the glitter until it is fully covering the section of glass not leaving any clear spaces. You can blow the excess glitter a little if you put too much on the glass to spread it to other wet portions of the painted glass. Repeat this until all of your glitter is used.  You want to put all the colors right up next to the others and don’t worry if they overlap a little this makes for more unique pieces of broken glass. Make sure there are no empty clear spaces of glass.

IMG_2044 IMG_2043 IMG_2042 IMG_2045Next you will use the acrylic paints to finish covering the rest of your glass. It takes about 3 bottles or less of the acrylic paints to cover a sliding glass door, so you might not want to use the whole bottle if you are doing a much smaller project and need a variety of colors.  Squirt some of the paint onto the next section of glass and use your large paint brush to spread it evenly and thinly on the glass. It should be thick enough that you don’t have any clear glass streaks showing but not too thick or it will end up pealing off the broken glass and leave you with a lot of unusable pieces. Make sure you cover all sections of the glass just like with the glitter.

IMG_8999 IMG_8997Next you will need to use your frosted glass spray over all of the glitter to seal the glitter in and make sure there is no clear spaces that will show glue through after you break the glass. If you have left over frosted glass spray paint, it is a good idea to spray over all of the metallic paints as well with it.  Then you should use the clear lacquer spray paint to spray a coating over everything just to help seal it all in.

Let it all dry over night

IMG_8994IMG_8996Next comes the fun part ( a little scary too if you haven’t done it before. Make sure you use safety goggles and gloves and don’t do this around little children.  You need to lay out your large piece of cardboard or plastic underneath your glass which you need to have laying on top of 5 gallon buckets or something that high on the ends.  This is best done outside on pavement so you can sweep up any glass that may miss the plastic.  Take your hammer and hit the glass to break it.  You will need to hit it several times and at first you may think it will never break.  Out of all the glass doors I have done they all break differently. Some are much stronger others break with a couple hits of the hammer.  The last one I did felt like it would never break and I ended up breaking it using one hit of the claw of a large crow bar.  Be very careful that your hammer and arm don’t go through the glass when it breaks.  When tempered glass does start breaking the whole thing breaks and breaks quickly.  I do suggest using something like the crow bar which is long so you have less chance of your hand or arm going through the glass when it breaks and getting cut on any of the broken pieces.  After the initial break, you may need to tap the edges of the glass off the door frame to get the rest of the glass off.  Then move the frame to the side carefully since there will still be broken pieces left in the frame.

IMG_1491Next comes sorting the pieces. With thick gloves carefully pick up all the pieces and sort them into your trays by color.  Leave the bigger pieces big especially if you are doing a large scale mosaic like the one in our video. Don’t bother to pick up all the tiny ones that don’t have paint on them, these are useless for your mosaic purposes.

Next put the sliding door frame back on the plastic or cardboard and carefully using a flat screwdriver pry the gasket out of the frame releasing all the leftover pieces into your plastic.  Usually these glass doors are aluminum and you can get a little bit for them if you scrap them.  Clean up all the bad glass by sweeping it or just gathering your plastic up carefully and tossing the whole thing in the trash.

IMG_1492Now you are ready to mosaic!

Sewing a Ruffled Flower Pillow-Sewing Projects with Texture

IMG_9012This is a fun sewing project that you can use for all sorts of things.  In our video today we are going to show you how to create textured flowers from handmade ruffles and attach them to a pillow you will also make.  You could use these textured flowers for all sorts of sewing projects like apparel, handbags and much more.  Let your imagination go wild for ruffles!

We used scraps of knit fabrics that we had used on a ruffled comforter as well as pieces of flat lace.  Be sure to follow our blog for more great posts such as the ruffled comforter.

 

IMG_8434Be sure to check out our Matching Dresses and outfits for girls and their 18 inch dolls in our store.  Like this cute Lilac sundress made from flowered organza fabric and pretty ribbon straps.  The matching dresses fit most 18 inch dolls like our own Soft Bodied Seasons Dolls or American Girl Dolls.

 

 

 

 

What you will need:

-Long strips of knit or other non fraying fabrics cut anywhere from 1/2″ to 1 1/2″ depending on your desired look.  Pick 1 type of fabric or go for coordinating fabrics with different textures like we did.  The options are endless.

-Fabric for pillow

-Stuffing for pillow or pillow form

-Sewing machine, thread, and siccors

IMG_9011First cut your strips of fabric for the ruffled flowers.  Next cut your fabric you are using for the pillow covering to the size you want the pillow or the size of your pillow form plus 1/4 inch on all 4 sides.  You need to cut 2 of these being sure you put the fabric wrong sides together when you cut if you are making an irregular shaped pillow.

Make sure you are using a stretch needle if you are using knit fabrics.  Put your sewing machine on the longest stitch possible and on the highest tension to make the ruffles.  Sew a seam close to one edge making sure not to back stitch at the beginning or end so that you can pull the threads when you are done with the stitch.  Next pull one of the threads (whichever is easiest to pull top or bottom on both sides scrunching the fabric creating a ruffle.  Do this to the whole strip.

Next decide where you are going to start placing your first flower on one layer of the fabric you cut for the pillow cover.  Make sure you put your machines tension and stitch back to normal.  Start from the center of the flower, wrapping the ruffle in a tight circle. Sew little by little keeping the bottom edge of the ruffle outwards and sewing on the top edge.  Continue this spacing your ruffles to the desired space for your flower and as big as you would like your flower to be.  When you have reached the desired size, cut the ruffle and tuck the end under the last ruffle that overlays it and sew slightly over that last ruffle so that the edge is hidden under the stitch.

Continue adding as many flowers as your creative mind desires in the same manner!

 

Tiling a Shower with Large and Decorative Tiles

IMG_8989Our renovation project today I’m sharing with you is one part of many posts about renovating a bathroom. This part is about using large tiles, in our case 18 inch greyish porcelain tiles to tile a shower and lower wall of a bathroom.
First we removed all the old tile. We did this by taking a hammer and flat screwdriver and placing the flat screwdriver up against the edge of one tile and tapping the handle with a hammer. You continue to do this until the tile pries up. It will usually pry up in pieces.  If the tile is really tough you may need to hit the whole tile with the hammer to try and crack it and then continue to pry it loose.  Make sure you wear protective goggles and have on gloves and thick long sleeved clothing to help prevent injuries.  The pieces may fly at you and can be dangerous.  It is not a quick job and you need to make sure you take your time.

IMG_8609Be sure to check out our personalized robes for the whole family.  We have soft ultra cuddly robes for men, women, children and even dolls.  Sheer lingerie robes for women and cute flannel robes for everyone on your gift list like this cute polka dotted black flannel robe.  You can also get most of the robes embroidery personalized with a monogram, cute saying or name.  They make a unique and personable gift for any occasion.

 

 

 

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Before

The tiles we removed in this project came up relatively easy compared to some tile I have removed.  A couple of pieces I had to use a hammer on, which resulted in a little damage I had to patch up to the soft drywall underneath it.  Often I have found, you may need to replace the drywall, hardibacker or green drywall anyway due to water damage and mold, or replacing plumbing fixtures.  In this case, we just had to remove one piece where we replaced the faucet mechanisms and patch another piece on the other side.  After you remove the tile, you may need to scrap any really rough pieces of glue that are left on.  A little bit of glue shouldn’t hurt your new tile.  We pulled out the old broken jucuzzi tub and replaced it with a new soaking tub.  We ended up having to smash the old fiberglass tub in pieces to get it out of the tight area.  You need to make sure you disconnect all electrical, water and plumbing properly before attempting any of this.  The new tub we chose was an inexpensive plastic material which is much easier to carry due to the weight.

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Removing old fixtures

I definitely recommend getting at least a soaking tub which is much deeper and nicer for an adult to actually take a bath in, and doesnt take up much more space than an average tub.  The tub took a little finagling to get it in properly in the tight space, but we finally managed to figure out the best angle to get it in place.  Since this tub has an attached skirt we had to have the new drain plumbing properly prepared before placing the tub in place measuring it to be exact it would all line up.  Once we placed the tub, we had to attach the drain and over flow from the inside of the tub and the small space where we had to remove the hardi backer to replace the new faucet fixtures.  After we finished all of this, we replaced the old faucet, spout and shower head fixtures and built our built in shower shelf.  See our other blog posts for more instructions on how to do this.  Then we replaced the hardi backer, and we were ready to tile!

IMAG0802The large tiles make a nice shower that is much easier to clean than little tiles since it has much less grout.  (They are a lot harder to lay if you have a very un even wall, like most walls I have found in houses so far!) Smaller tiles give more forgiveness, but I still prefer larger tiles for showers.

 

IMAG0798You have to do the large tiles row by row starting at the bottom and working your way to the ceiling in our case.   Once you cut and lay one row of tile you need to let it dry before attempting the next row since the tiles are so heavy.  Since we also tiled the lower portion of the bathroom wall behind the toilet and vanity, we also did the first row of it to speed up the process and give the other tile some time to set.  Once the first row is cut and layed and set enough that it wouldn’t move, we cut  and layed the second layer.

IMAG0801 I have a small electrical tile saw I bought at Home Depot for under $100 that has come in quite handy for all my tile jobs.  It can cut ceramic, porcelain and even granite tiles as long as you have a decent blade.  The tile saw uses water to cut to keep the saw and tile from heating up too much while you are cutting such a hard surface.  The water also helps to prevent major dust from the tile being cut.  It is best to try and plan where your tiles will end up regarding your plumbing when you are dealing with such large tiles.

IMAG0803Cutting holes into porcelain and stone tiles is a very difficult task that you need an expensive diamond whole saw bit and lots of time and patience.  I hate this task and try to plan the placement of tiles to where all I have to do is use my tile saw to cut corners off of tiles to make room for the fixtures to protrude through.

IMAG0804I like using the pre mixed tile glue rather than the mortar you have to mix.  I prefer this on most any tile job from mosaics, bathrooms, back splashes, even small floors. To adhere the tile to the wall you first measure and cut it to the specifications you need.  Make sure you double check it before adding glue to make sure it fits properly.  You need to cut as you go and not cut too many pieces in advance.  Using a tile trowel with a notched edge apply a layer of glue to the back of a tile and use the notched edge to run raised lines all throughout.  This helps the glue stick to the wall properly. Lay the tile where it should be placed and slightly twist it back and forth making sure it is properly in place.

 

IMG_8988You need to continue the same process line by line all the way up to the ceiling.  I highly recommend framing in the whole window frame as well if you have one in the shower.  It looks so much nicer and helps prevent water damage.  Don’t forget to frame in your recessed shower shelf if you built one using the ideas from our other post.
Adding a row of decorative tiles helps break up the solid look and a lot of design for not too much buck.  We used 12×12 sheets of a beautiful glass and stone mixed long skinny tiles and cut them in half to make a 6 inch tall border about eye level on all three sides of the shower.  I placed them after two rows of the large tiles so I wouldn’t have to make any additional cuts in the large tiles.  Make sure you thoroughly let these dry before laying the net layer of large tiles, as the weight will push them down and make your spacing uneven.

IMG_8989Last comes the grouting.  You need to wait 24-48 hours and sometimes more for very humid areas, before you grout to let the glue completely dry.  You can see more about grouting in our other videos and posts from our mosaic series as well.  On these tiles we used non sanded grout since our grout lines were less than an 1/8″ thick.  If they are wider you need to use sanded grout.  Mix it with water and we also added a little of the additive we bought that helps prevent mold and mildew, until it is a consistency about like mayonnaise.   Spread it back and forth over the tiles making sure to get it in all cracks completely with a rubber tile float.  Scrap off the excess back into your bucket and let sit for a few minutes.  Use a damp sponge and a bucket of water to carefully wash off the excess grout.  Let dry overnight and wipe again with a damp cloth, when this dries polish off the excess grout dust with a dry cloth.

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