Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I can tile?

I pose that title as a question because the answer is questionable. The walls haven't come down yet, so I think I was successful. Maybe, YES, I can tile.

There are a few large projects in our home that I have avoided because of FEAR. Plain, good old, I-am-a-big-huge-sissy fear. One of them is the marble that surrounded our tub. It has bothered me for over a year now, since I added the molding to the walls around the tub here.

The marble is a creamy color and the walls are bright white. For normal people this would not be a big deal, but it made me twitch a bit, cause as you know, I'm not normal. I have been wanting to take off the marble surround and replace it with tile foreva.

So Saturday morning, I thought, what the heck, I'm going to go for it! What's the worst that could happen? Uh, believe me, the "worsts" were running through my head.

Sister helped me take off the marble -- I used razor and a pry bar, being careful not to dent the wall as I took off the marble:

This house was built very well, but we have found the one thing they skimped on -- all the tile in the house was glued down, instead of mortared. Makes an easier job for me, so I'm cool with it. Hubby was working downstairs and I didn't even mention this little project was going to happen -- he didn't know about it until he walked in and saw the mess. There was just a brief flash of complete panic on his lovely face, but God bless this man, it didn't last long. He has faith in me. :)

I didn't take pics of the installation part of this project, because I was working like a crazy mad woman to get it all done before my son woke up from his nap. You basically take the mortar and mix it like the directions say -- water and the mortar, mix it up -- that's it! Make sure to do this outside with a mask on.

The directions say to put the mortar on the surface and the back of the tile, but I did a couple with the backs covered and quickly found it didn't need it -- there was way too much and it was spilling through the tiles.

You know how on HGTV when they mortar, they just slap it on the walls and it goes on like butta? Yeah, it didn't work like that. I would swipe it on and it would pretty much just fall right off. It was fab. Next time I won't put quite as much water in as the instructions call for.

This is how it looked before the grout:

One thing I have learned about tiling is you can't judge it until you have grouted. Grouting just makes all the difference in the world:
To grout, you use the same mixer thing that attached to the drill and water or grout enhancer. I got the enhancer ($5) because it's supposed to help reduce the possibility of mold:
This part was much easier then the mortar:
My back was keeeeeeling me at this point, so I tried to sit for most of this part, but it didn't work out that way for long:
(See the Pepsi and popcorn? Sister was trying to give me energy food.) You'll notice I taped off the area around the tub with paper -- this was a life saver both during the mortar process and the grouting. It made for much easier clean up! The hardest part of this WHOLE process was wiping down the tile after grouting -- it felt like Groundhog's Day -- over and over and over. (And over.)
I still have some paint touch ups to do and some caulking, but for now, it is done:
I wouldn't have done it quite so tall, but some of the drywall tore of as we took off the marble, so I had to go a bit higher than expected:
I love how it ties the creamy of the marble tub, the white of the walls, and the green accent color all together! Yes, I am a happy crazy woman.

And yes, that's beadboard around the tub -- I just glued it right on the marble a while back. LOVE it! Here's the before before, from a couple years ago:
Here it is today. YAY!:
I'm going to do a little accent of this by our sinks to tie it all together, and I'll take pics of that process start to finish -- I won't be so sceered next time. Then, I want to rip out the shower surround and tile that whole thing, then the floors, then, then, then... Now, if I can just get those fixtures on the tub replaced, I'd be in heaven.

If you haven't seen my interview at houzz.com today, go here to check it out! Make sure to comment there for a chance to win the Ballard pear! (See previous post.) Your comments over there are making. my. year. by the way. I am so honored to inspire you. I can't thank you enough for your support.

122 comments:

  1. Hey there,

    I was asked to teach a class to my ladies group on how to make the Ballard Designs wall tiles that you taught me how to make! How cool is that?! I will totally put your website on the flyer so everyone gives you the credit. Your have such great ideas!

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  2. Fantastic! Beautiful! Amazing! But, I wouldn't expect anything less!!

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  3. Wow. I am at a loss for words. You and your COURAGE amaze me! It turned out beautifully!

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  4. Sarah,
    That turned out great! I am so impressed that you got in there and did it yourself. My husband has done all the tile work in our house. I want to help, but he considers it his domain. :) Oh well, I get to enjoy the fruits of his labor. I usually stick to redoing furniture and stuff. Thanks for all your great ideas.
    Love your blog!
    Traci

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  5. Absolutely beautiful! We have a big tile project planned for our master bath over Labor Day weekend and you totally just helped to relieve some of the anxiety! :)

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  6. Looks great... and I might have to try that bead board on the marble thing... our tub needs some help!

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  7. It looks fantastic, and I think the projects we do on the spur of the moment, are usually the best!!I have a couple of rows of similar tiles as a feature in my bathrooms, so the tiles won me over, but you did a great job!
    Sue

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  8. Love it, love it, love it! I love those small tiles, and have been toying with the idea of something like that for my backsplash.

    And you glued the beadboard on the the marble? I've been wondering about that since I first found your blog! What kind of glue?

    Great work! Now go rest your back!

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  9. You are brave but it gives me hope. lol I love it the look!

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  10. Look at you! You just took control of that project with no fear! Wow - it looks amazing! I have similar tile in my kitchen and love it.

    Make me want to tile something. Great job!

    XOXO
    Jen

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  11. Love that you finally did a tile job! I have been wanting to do a back splash in my kitchen and I assume it would work the same way?!?! cute cute cute!

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  12. Wow, wow, wow! You are definitely an inspiration! To see the before and after - amazing! One of these days I might actually brave the waters and try some of your ideas...you make it look so easy!
    Btw, I love your new profile pic.

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  13. That turned out beautiful! Great job! I might have to copy. ;)
    BTW - I had to laugh at the fact that you did this all barefoot with sharp tiles and tools around.
    Shoes shmooze!

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  14. Love it!!! I love your before and after pictures too because you can really see what some of the seemingly small details can add to an area!!! Now if only I had your energy, lady!!! :) P.S. I've linked to your blog... Hope you don't mind- I love knowing the instant you have something new on here! :)

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  15. Go you! It's looks brilliant! I have been itching to tile my bathroom floor, but so afraid. You have given me courage to finally tackle it.

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  16. That looks fab! Excellent job, I wish I had your eye for decorating and detail, you are such an inspiration. And so lucky to have such an understanding husband!

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  17. Yes you CAN tile! It looks amazing. Well done!

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  18. Wow! You ARE a mad woman. We have been in our new home 18 months and I have not even started to decorate. I have spent countless hours on your blog and I think that I am finally getting the courage to start. Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration!

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  19. I don't generally comment. BUT, I have to say I like your choice of tile... subtle with just a touch of color.

    Snappy Di

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  20. Can I just say "I hate you!". Just kidding of course! :o) Sarah, you are so inspiring. I wish you were my friend or at least my neighbor. There's so many major projects I want to do around my house, but don't. Either I feel they're too "big" for me, or I fear my husband will pop a vein if he knew what I was doing. I think I just need to jump in and do it!

    Thanks so much for providing such great inspiration and ideas with your blog. Oh, and the tile project turned out fantabulous!!!

    Carla

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  21. Your tile looks amazing....I especially like those clear-looking tiles. You did a terrific job...want to come by & do my house?!

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  22. Your site is divine! One day I'm going to tackle something as big as tiling...when I don't have four kids pulling on me at one time! :) The tub is beautiful. Keep the great ideas coming. With each post I get more inspiration and confidence to try my hand at simple decorating challenges around my house. I just need to find a tree that grows money. ;)

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  23. Looks great! OF course I'm just sitting her drooling over the tub and barely noticing the awesome tile work.

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  24. I love that tile. You did a fantastic job!!!

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  25. Congratulations on a successful job! Amazing. This isn't something I've been brave enough to tackle myself. Your tile is beautiful! I love it Great job!

    Roeshel

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  26. Another WOW!!! Amazing before/after. It looks so warm & inviting now. Nice job :)

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  27. You are unstoppable!!! :) I can't believe you did it all during nap time! I'm lucky to get the dishes washed during nap time. ;)

    I really really makes a difference. It looked good before, now it just looks amazing.

    Good for you for conquering your fear! :)

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  28. Wowsers. I'm so ashamed that I would totally pay someone to do this for me. This actually makes me want to do it myself though. VERY inspiring. :)

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  29. I am SO glad you posted this! I have been dreaming about tiling around our tub, which has NOTHING but wall around it, but had no idea how to do it!

    Did you just go pick out individual peices of tile? And how long did it end up taking???

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  30. AWESOME Love this post your a crazy decorating woman where you find the time is beyond me!! But your so good at it...this project turned out beautiful.

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  31. I love it! Gives me hope that I can do our guest bath just the same!

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  32. Wow, I'm impressed!!! What a great job! It looks beautiful!

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  33. Girl is there anything you can't do. I have ordered some tin backsplash tile for our kitchen. I made the mistake of fessing up to hubby last night and ofcourse his practical side started shooting away. Well he is out of town next week so those tiles are going up no matter what LOL

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  34. What an AMaZinG transformation!!! I love those tiles and how all the colors came together. I would have never thought to put the beadboard, molding & tiles all together but it works SO well. Fantastic job!

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  35. I love the colors. Way to go!! I need to find the money so I can try all of these cool things!!

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  36. Another amazing job! I love the glass tiles mixed in with the stone!

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  37. Sarah~ in your own words, I LURVE it!! Looks so much more custom ad high end. You're a tiler now--can't wait to see what you decide to tile next :)

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  38. That looks beautiful! I've always been scared to do tile too. My husband has done it before and I've watched it but it just seems so SCARY! But maybe it's not so bad.....

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  39. This looks great! I want to eventually tile the backsplash in our kitchen (there isn't one at the moment), and you have shown me that tile isn't something to be terrified of...

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  40. i am fairly certain that i'd LURVE to move into that bathroom. and i have been "lurking" for a while and didn't realize you did alllllll of that molding everywhere, all over your house. i seriously want to run to lowes right now, yesterday and put it everywhere. don't get me started with my love for beadboard. i would be here all day.

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  41. i fudging looove that! great job! i've been wanting to do those little tiles as a backsplash in my kitchen(well, when we win the lottery and i can afford a kitchen makeover!!lol) i now have hope that i'll be able to do it myself!!

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  42. Great transformation! It looks fantastic with the beadboard too. I always hated the wiping the grout process, too. It always seemed to take awhile to get that haze off.

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  43. Way to go on the bathroom! It looks great!

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  44. Wow! Great job! I am in escrow for a 101 year old house and will be needing to re-tile the bathroom... so thanks for explaining the process!

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  45. I love it! It looks awesome. I want to do the backsplash in our kitchen.

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  46. Hey-I think that's the same mosaic I put up in the kitchen in our last house....wanna know my trick? I use a spatula for "buttering" the back of the tiles. Because it's bendy it makes it soooo much easier.

    LOOKS GREAT! If you didn't want it so tall you could always add a little cap of trim on the top and paint it out white....you know they've got that plastic molding...careful when you cut it with the saw though. If you aren't quick enough it starts to melt (not that I would ever muss anything up).

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  47. You never to cease to amaze me,, you're not afraid to try anything. I've always wanted to try and tile something,, Maybe one day!

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  48. Holy smokes! Check you out! I am beyond impressed! The bathroom looks amazing! Love the tile work and the molding. Pictures never really capture all the hard work but I know you worked HARD! Wow, wow, wow! Great job! Thanks for the continuing inspiration!

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  49. Wanna come visit me??? I'll feed you well, ahem, while you work.....and even rub your back when you are done........it's gorgeous, Sarah, I mean REALLY....

    suzanne

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  50. Yeah for you and GIRL POWER!! Looks fantastic!!!
    Funny - I just finished my tub surround too - check out the post on my blog - I used lincrusta - which is like a paintable wallpaper. Love the beadboard - wish the front of my tub was flat so I could have done molding too!
    I have an irrational fear of tile too, for no particular reason other than it just seems "permanent". I am excited you tried it. Love the blog - been following before you got HUGE (cheering you along the way). And I also love the fact that you love color, and embrace dark colors, even though everyone else is doing light and white! Go TDC!
    Alyshia

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  51. Wow, that looks great! I wish I had your courage to just go for it and pray something turns out well! I'm so paranoid about messing something up that will take alot of time and money to fix! Now you can fill the tub w. bubbles and relax! :)

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  52. Really? You really CAN do it?

    I love the fact that you just decided to go for it. Gives me courage. And it looks wonderful! Great job!

    By the way, I'm hosting a giveaway today--an unplanned, unexpected but very fun giveaway, based on a lesson I learned about one of your favorite subjects: organizing. Come by and take a look!

    Richella

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  53. Can your hubby come talk to mine??? LOL! I have been wanting to rip out the marble around my tub since the day it went up! (we built our house 2 years ago). I wondered how difficult it would be. I may still have to bide my time, but I'm soooo going to do this one day! Thank u for sharing!!!!

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  54. You did a fabulous job and you made it look somewhat simple....but I know I wouldn't have the patience to finish it.
    Great job.

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  55. You know what's so great about you? You are empowering me to try things I never would have tried before. You make it seem doable! Thank you so much.

    p.s. next weekend we're going to be tiling our house - yikes! I'll take some pics and post on my blog. I'm sure I'll need some backache meds or muscle relaxers by the time we get finished.

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  56. You are so amazing. That's one thing I am afraid to do to. You made it seem doable. May just have to try that soon:)

    Thanks again for all of your tips and advice. You really inspire so many!!

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  57. Love it! And I think the height is really nice, too. I was terrified of my first tiling project as well, but it is totally DIY-able!

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  58. Girllllll-you did awesome! My husband's the one who tackles all that kind of stuff at our house, but you make me want to know how also...well, or at least assist him more in the process...hee-hee! It looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

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  59. whoa!! Va-va voom girl! that is one sexy bathroom!!

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  60. and you did all this WHILE YOUR SON WAS NAPPING? You. Are. My. Hero. The most I get done during that time is the dishes!

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  61. NOW I know how I am going to do with the area around my tub!!!!

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  62. Way to go girl! You did an awesome job! Such a sexy bathroom!! ;)

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  63. Your tile turned out amazing. I never would have had the guts to tackle that one.

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  64. Seriously, great job! You've inspired me... I've been debating doing a tile backsplash in my kitchen!

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  65. Oh My....GREAT job! I am a big fan of all you do.

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  66. OMG looks so good!My dad does tile for a living, and I have to say it looks pretty darn good! Good for you!

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  67. Great job, it turned out very pretty! Love the beadboard too!

    Quick question: Did you just stick the mortor right on top of the dry wall? I've been researching tiling above our shower (it's just a fiberglass insert) and have gotten some mixed suggestions. Some people have said you need something that is textured (I'm sure there's a specific name for this product, but I haven't a clue) to attach to the drywall first or, b/c it's in a bathroom with a lot of moisture, the tiles could just tear the paper off the drywall? Does anyone know anything about this? Thanks!

    tns7406@gmail.com

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  68. OH my gosh! That looks great. I can't believe you can just get in there and do it! I feel so helpless without contractor husband....! Hopefully I'll put my big britches on one day and do something like this! Superb job.

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  69. Whoa! You are one amazing woman! This looks so fab!! I would have been way, way, way too scared to even attempt that. Great job!

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  70. i would love to change the tile in my kitchen. not because it's ugly. i just don't like it and it's plain. my husband won't let me. he said you have to replace the drywall. i wonder if this is true?

    i just love your tile in the bathroom. good for you for taking the plunge

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  71. wow the tub looks so much more cozy now!!

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  72. What a great job. Can you come by my house and tile my backsplash in my kitchen with glass tiles? GREAT JOB!!

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  73. I would love to glue some bead board to our tub in the master bath, it would fit well with the cottage theme I am going for with the whole house. I love how yours looks! Did you buy the sheets of bead board or the individual slats that you put together? What kind of glue did you use? Does the top of your tub (I can't tell from the photos) have a lip that goes over the side so that it kind of covers up the top of the bead board or what did you do about that? Thanks for any help you might be able to give me!!

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  74. Good work, Sarah! Here's to more soothing tubby-time! :)

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  75. Love this! It looks terrific!

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  76. What a transformation - it's gorgeous! Although in the first picture at first glance I thought the topiary was a very wirey-furry dog, lols.

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  77. Girl you did a fabulous job! That tile looks great. I like how you tied in all three of the colors (you so smart :) ).

    I love the beadboard on the front of the tub. I may just have to steal that idea. My tub area could use some love and that is a great solution for the front of it.

    Thanks for being such a DIY inspiration.

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  78. Oh, Sarah, I loved your first Bathtub fix...and now this? It's just beautiful! I love the tan colors with the crisp white. So serene....

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  79. Great job! It looks very professional :).

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  80. glad to see that i'm not the only one who rocks a headband and a ponytail when working....lol. it looks great!

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  81. Nice job!
    Wow, that was a huge black hair ball in the tub on that first picture. Hope ya didn't wash that down the drain when you tidied up!

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  82. Oh yeah...you rocked it out on this one Sarah! It looks gorgeous. My fave part of this post...you sitting in tub in sweats with popcorn and pepsi close at hand! LOVE it! P.S....you are adorable, even in sweats...so not fair!

    I am doing the happy dance!!! I see my button in your sidebar. YIPPEE!

    ~Amanda

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  83. Perfection! I love the colors. I mean, I luuuuurve the colors.

    You have inspired me! I will probably think about tiling everything when I get home...

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  84. Wow A-Maze-Ing! I want/need to do a tile backsplash. I love love love your tile selection, may i ask where you got it and what was the cost of the entire project. keep the great ideas coming!

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  85. Amazing! I should show this post to my husband who is freaking out about me being home with no kids now... and all I did so far was rip up a bush, plant some mums, and paint my front door black. I think it's the so far that's scaring him. lol.

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  86. AMAZING! I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT SO MUCH! The chandelier too! the scrolly accents, the white rectangular framed out squares... the the the... LOVE IT ALL! Your work is so inspiring! ;)

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  87. That looks awesome! And not TOO difficult. I might have to try it sometime, myself!

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  88. Ohh! That looks amazing! I wish we didn't have contractor tub/shower combos so I could do this. BTW, I've been "following" you without actually being a follower, so today I am official. Wink*

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  89. Looks terrific. And I LOVE the chandelier over the tub. My SIL/BIL are moving into their new home over Labor Day and my SIL bought a pretty little chandy and I pulled it out of the box and asked her where it was going...entryway? Stairs? Over their lovely tub?
    NO! She's putting it in her youngest daughter's room...who went off to college 2 weeks ago, won't be home til Christmas and probably won't be home much next summer or actually ever again. I told her that her daughter had the right idea to paint it but put it over their tub! Their bath has a pretty gray/white carrera marble, and that black chandy would be so nice. So I am sending her the link to see!

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  90. Really no surprise, but it turned out beautifully! And can I say that picture of you sitting in the tub makes me want to just hang out with you and drink soda and eat popcorn while you work! ;D

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  91. Tiling is one thing I think I'm good at, I tiled the shower/bath and the kitchen backsplash with white subway tile. It was awesome. Backbreaking, but awesome.
    When you say mortar, did you have to mix something up or did you use premixed tile adhesive? That's what I used. I also used sanded grout as that is supposed to inhibit mold growth also. Seems to be working so far!
    Good work!

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  92. Its like two completely different rooms. I am in awe of the transformation :D

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  93. That looks amazing!

    june@craftyniche.com

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  94. Wow! It looks great!!

    I have been wanting to do a tile backsplash in our kitchen... maybe this will be the kick I need!

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  95. Wow! it turned out beautiful, excellent job!

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  96. You are a brave woman! It's gorgeous! I just tiled my backsplash and I used a new product this group will love. It's tile adhesive on a roll called Bondera Tile MatSet. You peel the liner, stick it to the wall, peel the front liner off, press the tiles into place and grout right away. It was so easy that I did it in just a few hours. Those who are thinking of tiling should check out the "tile style" contest they are promoting on Facebook. You can win $100 Lowes gift card and the Bondera adhesive to do your project. Here's the link:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bondera/233046435396

    My backsplash looks so great that I am looking at tile to do my counter. I can go right over the existing ugly laminate!

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  97. I'm impressed! I love the look, great job.

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  98. Is there nothin' you can't do????

    I read the title and thought two things:

    1) YAY!!!

    and

    2) I can haz cheeseburger? :-)


    Then I saw the first picture and had two questions: (yes, my mind works in even ways)

    1) I wonder if she cleaned her tub before taking the picture. I totally would.

    2) What kind of dog is that sitting in the tub?

    Seriously. I stared. And stared. And then realized it was a topiary and smacked myself.


    And the tile is B-E-utiful! Great job!!!!

    I can't wait for the next post!

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  99. Girl, you are good! hahaha
    Amazing job, like always!

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  100. How pretty! The after is just gorgeous. I love that tile, and I know what you mean about being scared, but you did such a great job and saved yourself so much money!

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  101. What a great job you did with the tile. I am doing it as we speak. well not this minute, but this week. I have one section of the kitchen that has diagonal tiles just up once course. The contractor's really had never done tile before and now I have to remove it ???
    The top sags in the middle and looks icky.
    Thanks for your help.
    I am going to put you on my blog if you don't mind ???
    Thanks, Connie

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  102. Oh you brave brave girl. Looks great! I have that same builder basic tub tap fixture on our tub and oh would love to change it out.

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  103. This looks great! I have this exact same tile as the backsplash in my kitchen. I just recently painted the walls in my kitchen a sage green color to match the green in the backsplash and love it! Great job!!

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  104. I love this post! Beautiful tile choice, by the way, and good for you for tackling it.

    http://tearinguphouses.blogspot.com

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  105. You totally ROCK!! Seriously, the whole area looks amazing!

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  106. That looks freakin' awesome!!! And i'm glad your husband didn't flip out.. Mine sure would have!

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  107. Love all your ideas, you are amazing. The tile looks so nice. You inspired me to do some updos around the house. We just finished the boy's bathroom using the same tile idea in a small area as a backsplash above the sink. It turned out great. Love it.

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  108. What a tremendous update Sarah! ~GORGEOUS~ It's so classy and pretty. :)

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  109. YOU...are...amazing!!!
    ♥ Jen

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  110. It came out great! I love the tile.

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  111. I'm going to install a backsplash in the kitchen. Even though I'm not going to pay someone to do it, I am lucky enough to have a brother-in-law who is a brick layer. Gonna get his help! (and my dad to help readjust the outlets).

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  112. I absolutely LOVE your tiled garden tub! I'm in the process of buying a house right now (talk about overwhelming) and it's so inspiring to see what you've done with your home. :)

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  113. 1st of all, it's really NOT a dog??
    2nd it looks fab! and my real question was about the scrolls, jw if you painted them or if they were already there, i',m considering doing a full wall stencil (on 1 wall) and am looking for any feedback/tips you might have to offer. As you mention you'd like to include the same tile pattern in the room, I remembered that when my parents recently renovated their breakfast nook, they used the same exact tile pieces (but with a little more green to match the paint) for the strange window sill under the bay window (sorry i can't help rambling!) and had a sheet left so she bought a mini stool and painted it white to match trim and ceiling and put the tile sheet on top and grouted. Presto a gorgeous matching plant holder/table! might work really great in your bathroom as well! if i ever getting around to making my own blog, i'll post pics and let you know if you'd like to see how it came out!

    paige
    paige.fuentes@yahoo.xom

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  114. Oh it looks nice! I hope you do an updated photo shoot soon! I'm sure there have been some changes in 2.5 years and I'd love to see the rest of the area.

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