Basement Renovation 08 – Tile Floor is done!

Just finished putting the finishing touches on the floor and base last week. That involved grouting. Because natural stone is more gritty and porous than ceramic tile, the guy recommended that we seal first, then grout, then seal again. That way the grout wouldn’t stick to the tile as easily when we applied it. The sealer darkens up the tile and gives it a ‘wet’ look. Before sealing is on top, after sealing is on bottom here:

BR08_TestSeal

Then came time for grout. Here’s a fun fact: in the building industry, the same word has a lot of different meanings. ‘Soffit’ and ‘bulkhead’ often get used interchangeably, ‘trim’ can mean that stuff around your doorways or the handle for your bathtub. There are also a million types of trowels, and I used the wrong one to apply the grout. I used a regular trowel with a hard edge instead of a float trowel, which works more like a squeegee. It might have left less grout on the surface of the tile, which might have prevented this situation:

BR08_GroutHaze

But I’m betting I would have ended up with at least a little bit of “grout haze” either way. It’s a simple fix, there’s a product called ‘grout haze remover’ that is basically an acid that dissolves the bond holding the grout together. Unfortunately it dissolves other things, too, like the first coat of sealant. Here’s the same picture as before, but with the grout haze remover used on the left side of the previously sealed tiles:

BR08_TestAcid

Back to square one, but we were planning on sealing again anyway. It goes on pretty easily with a sponge, the only thing you have to watch out for is that you don’t leave it be too wet. So far so good, partially done here:

BR08_SealInProgress

And completed here (bonus info, the bottom right corner is what it looks like if you leave acid on concrete):

BR08_PostSeal

Progress made, slowly but surely. I’d like to set the toilet next to achieve quarter-bath status (seems mathmatically sound, with a half bath being toilet and sink, a full bath including a tub), but that would make it really difficult to install the wall panels. So the next step will be to set the cabinets. Here’s a sneak peek of that:

BR08_CabinetTeaser

We widened the powder room a little bit, but it’s still pretty narrow. So this is actually a 12″ deep upper cabinet that I bought at Construction Junction. I’ll be holding it off the wall so that the counter will be 16″ deep. But that’s a post for another day.