Last time we talked about the vanity, I left you here. With some hinges. At the beginning of August. So, go ahead and refresh your memory.
So. I can now check ‘design and build bathroom vanity from scratch’ off my bucket list. Or I would, if I had a bucket list. All that remains is to install it, which I kind of thought I’d never be able to actually write.
Since we talked last I’ve installed hardware, spaced and adhered tile, and yesterday I grouted it. Oh, I also installed stoppers for the doors so Nick would stop complaining about how he was going to accidently destroy the doors.
Installing hardware is…pretty self explanatory, so let’s skip that step. I will say, CHECK YOUR WORK. A LOT. Before you actually install any hardware on the front of your very difficult to build doors. Mmmkay.
Laying out Tile: Space Early, Space Often
When it comes to the point that you’re ready to tile the top of your vanity, or floor, or whatever, really, you’re going to want to spend a lot of time laying out your tiles before you stick them to anything, because you can’t really go back and fix them.
I spent about two hours laying out and triple checking tiles that took me maybe half an hour to glue down.
*Also, side note, if you want to learn how to tile anything (seriously), head over to DIYDiva; Kit has some truly excellent tutorials with lots of pictures.
I tried to the tiles out in such a way that I used as many full sheets of tile as possible to minimize having to get correct spacing.
We also spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to minimize tile cutting for the areas around the drain holes. We thought using tile nippers would do the job, but apparently they have a tendency to shatter glass tiles like the ones we were using.
Luckily our down the hall neighbor, who is also renovating traded us his wet saw for our cordless reciprocating saw. We wrapped each tile in masking tape several times, and drew the cut lines on the tape so that if the tiles did shatter they wouldn’t blind us. (Always wear safety goggles kids. Safety goggles are cool.) Naturally we also wrapped way more tiles than we needed for each cut to make sure that we had enough good tiles to finish the job. This method actually worked much better than we were expecting; I think we only had one tile actually break wrong.
Getting the space around the sink hole dandy wasn’t as important as the one for the faucet drain because the sink has a massive bottom which would cover any less than perfect tiling. I actually ended up putting in even more tile pieces than I really needed to because I’m anal-retentive.
Making sure the faucet hole was perfect was much more of a task since the base of the faucet covers barely anything, but I think we did okay:
If by ‘okay’, you mean ‘awesome,’ which I do.
Tile Adhesive: Not as fun as it looks
I foolishly thought coating the counter of my vanity in tile adhesive would be really fun, like frosting a cake is fun. But tile adhesive is no butter cream frosting, let me tell you. It is also not edible.
It is like frosting a cake in method though—smack some adhesive on the top and spread it around with a notched trowel.
Once it was covering the vanity in a thin, but not too thin layer, I started laying the tiles down in the same order I did them when I was laying them out. I didn’t push down any of the tiles into the adhesive until all the tiles were laid out and spaced.
I used a lot of tile spacers, spacing as I went. Nick seems to think that tile spacers were unnecessary for this project, but I disagree. A little extra work is worth it to make sure that the seams are invisible. I also put spacers in some spots where there was no break between tile sheets but where the tiles were a little wonky on the mesh.
When the tiles were all laid out and pushed in by hand I went around with a two by four and a mallet giving everything a bit of a smack to make sure nothing would come loose.
Here it is the next day with the sink and faucet in place for show.
Grout: Not as Scary as Nick’s Dad Makes it Seem
For this, I basically just followed the instructions on the grout carton and did whatever Nick’s dad told me to when he popped his head into the basement. Like wrapping the vanity in shower curtains? Yeah, I totally wouldn’t have done that.
After mixing up the grout and letting it sit for a few minutes, I dumped the whole bucket on the vanity and spread it around with the grout float.
Nick’s dad was worried that because of the way the corners met that they would be a disaster to grout and that they would fall apart, but I just packed a ton of grout in with my fingers and hoped for the best.
As you can see, they turned out just fine.
Pour grout on counter. Smush around with grout float. Scrape off excess grout with float. Wait. Bother Tesla. Wait.
Wipe grout off with a wet sponge. Wait. Wipe grout off with a wet sponge.
Wait. Admire. (You can do this last part too.)
Speaking of which, I have a bathroom to finish dry walling. Peace!