Tile Decisions, Storage Cabinet Plans, and Progress

I haven’t gotten as much done on the bathroom over the last two days as you’d probably expect, but keep in mind that I don’t work on Wednesdays. 🙂 But on Tuesday, I did make some progress with the tile on the bathroom floor.

I had been undecided on what I wanted to do on the floor in the toilet area. When I started tiling the floor, the plan had been to use the small 2 x 2 tile only on the shower floor, and then use the large tile on the floor in the toilet area.

But when I decided to use the little brushed brass Schluter strip as a separator between the large floor tile and the 2 x 2 shower floor tile, that threw a wrench into my plans. Y’all know how much I love (need) symmetry, so I couldn’t do a brushed brass transition strip on the left side of the bathtub area (the bathtub will go in front of the mural), and not do a transition strip on the right side of the bathtub.

I briefly considered doing a transition strip on the right side and then continuing on with the large tiles in the toilet area, but that would seem random and needless. The transition strip only makes sense (in my mind) if there’s a true transition in the flooring used on either side of the transition strip.

So I went with symmetry, including the transition strip and the 2 x 2 floor tiles in the toilet area.

Here’s a view of the two areas. I seriously love symmetry. It sooths my mind. 😀

tiling the bathroom floor - progress 1

If this were a tiling job that I could have done by starting at the back wall and working my way out the door, it could have been finished in one day.

tiling the bathroom floor - progress 2

But had I done that, I almost certainly would have been left with cut tiles right at the transition strip. And it was very important to me that I have whole tiles on both sides of that Schluter strip. That means that I had to start with the row of tiles at the Schluter strip…

tiling the bathroom floor - progress 3

And then work on the rows perpendicular to that first one, starting at the side wall.

tiling the bathroom floor - progress 4

Once I had that much finished, I had to stop because that area was getting pretty tight for me working on my knees, plus my 5-gallon bucket of mortar, plus my 2-gallon bucket of water. I ran out of room to maneuver without stepping on and kneeling on tiles to work, and that wasn’t an option. So I had to stop and let these tiles dry so that I could go back (today) and be able to walk on and kneel on those tiles to do the rest of the floor.

tiling the bathroom floor - progress 6

It usually comes back to bite me when I say, “Today, I’m going to get X, Y, and Z done,” but I’m going to go ahead and make a goal. By the end of today, I’d like to have the rest of the tile installed in the toilet area, all of the excess mortar cleaned up, and have the shower floor grouted. That’s the goal, so we’ll see just how close I can get.

There will be one big way in which the shower and the toilet area won’t be symmetrical. You may have noticed on my “to do” list for this bathroom that one of the building projects listed is to build cabinets in this toilet area. (You can see my master “to do” lists for the bathroom and the home gym here.) I decided on this design when I was wrestling back and forth between having a window seat between the two vanities, or filling that area with more storage.

I finally decided that I really want a window seat, but I couldn’t sacrifice that much storage area without finding another place for storage. The toilet area was the perfect place. That area is huge, and even if I lose 14 inches of depth along the back wall, it’ll still plenty large. So the cabinets will go here…

These cabinets won’t be walnut like the vanities. Because I want this area and the shower to be as symmetrical as possible, these will be painted white to blend in with the white tiled walls. So I will be sacrificing perfect symmetry, but for the sake of a load of storage in an area where there’s plenty of room to spare, I think it’ll be totally worth it, especially if it means I can get a pretty window seat in the main part of the bathroom where it really counts.

As a side note, I wanted to let y’all know that my hands were just fine after Tuesday’s tiling. I put coconut oil on my hands, and then put on two layers of the disposable blue nitrile gloves from Home Depot, and it worked perfectly. The outer layer did get a couple of holes and tears (but not as many as I had expected), but the inner layer remained perfectly intact, so nothing got through to my hands.

When I took the gloves off at the end of the day, my hands were waterlogged and wrinkly like I had spent an entire day in a swimming pool, but that went away after about an hour. And I would rather have waterlogged that go back to normal in an hour instead of dried, cracking skin and painful, swollen hands that take over a week to go back to normal. So double-gloving with disposable nitrile gloves for the win!



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  1. Will you have enough room to fully open the lower left door when the toilet is installed? The door looks pretty wide.

  2. Are you going to do cabinets that look like cabinets or the kind with no knob and just a push latch so it looks more like a wall? That would aid with symmetry since they would be less noticeable. Also wondering the same thing as Adele, how do you get the lower left cabinet open?

  3. Perhaps use sliding doors on those cabinets so as not to run into the toilet? Or maybe there is more room than I realize. Your attention to detail and careful planning make these tile floors so very nice! I doubt I would have thought about having the whole tiles at the transition, but you are so right that it makes things look better.

  4. I’m so excited about your progress and love that you post more during the accountability phase! Always hungry to see any little progress and to hear your thoughts on how you make decisions.

  5. I’m happy you can get back up after all that time on the floor on your knees. I’d hafta call 911 to get back up!

  6. I think your love of symmetry is PERFECTLY APPROPRIATE. Essential, even. It’s one of the 836 things I love about you!

  7. So glad to hear that your hands did much better, and you have found a way to protect them for future tiling jobs as well. Glad you are young and get up and down doing these jobs. My husband and I are both finding it very hard now. And the next day – UGH! I love that you are putting the small tiles on both sides – I too have issues that they look similar. 😂 I love someone’s idea of making doors that don’t need knobs, or sliders to make it as simple looking as possible – kind of “wall like.” So happy that you found more storage as well. Excited for next post!

  8. I think those are all great decisions! I’m a symmetry girl, too, but sometimes you just gotta go with practical. And you are choosing the least obvious non-symmetrical solution! That storage in the toilet area will be worth it’s weight in gold! Can’t wait to see it! xo

  9. Kristi, YOU constantly amaze me with your wonderful insights, planning, thinking, doing and being able to succinctly share your thoughts, motives, reasonings and actions with us. I absolutely admire your talents and drive to use them.
    As soon as you said tile the commode room, I thought about your love of symmetry and in the next instant read and saw how you had altered plans to maintain such beautiful symmetry in that whole back area of your beautiful and fully functional bathroom suite. Love the idea of extra storage in that big commode room and know you will plan to keep it totally functional and beautiful.
    Am so glad you stayed with the wall color in the main room to get it Just Right and and another effort that will bless y’all for years to come. It is like a birthday party every day to see each new post and explanation.
    You are living my dream in regard to all your remodeling and hands on actions in as much of the process as you are able or can learn or adapt to complete yourself.
    I constantly applaud all your efforts and actions.
    I pray for you and your precious husband also.

  10. Good Morning, Kristi! I think it looks really good with both smaller areas tiled the same. Have you considered building your storage above and around your toilet? That would still give you your much-needed storage; but it would be less visible from outside the toilet room and maintain the illusion of symmetry in both spaces (at least from the straight on view).

    Not sure if that would have an affect of the usability of the toilet for Matt, as I am not familiar with wheelchairs and the space that is needed for toilet use of disabled people.

    What a blessing this bathroom is going to be to both you and Matt, with its gleaming tile, spa feel and interesting finishes everywhere you look. Great job! Keep up the excellent work!!!

    YHWH Bless You : )