The start of tiling our bathroom marks another long adventure that tests our endurance, our mental fortitude, our marriage. Here’s a photo tour of how far we’ve gotten.

Prologue (individual time trial): Tig starts out on the edge of the tub. He’s warming up slowly, getting his legs back up again, so to speak.

Flat stage (the big wall): Our first weekend together tiling. We’re cruising, laying on tile after tile, covering lots of ground. It’s a quick win, very encouraging.
flat stage

First mountain pass (team time trial): We start on the rope liner, slowing down to gain precision in our task. The tiles are lining up the way we want it. So far so good.
rope liner

There’s a tight turn ahead, ninety-degrees and up the shower wall. We take care to lay the tile perfectly. We have a lot of support from Tig’s parents. Mom shuttles tiles and back and forth and calls out measurements to Dad, who mans the tile saw. A strong group effort as evidenced by the results below.
right angle
Individual time trial - The weekend is over, Tig’s by himself again. He tiles up to the ceiling around the showerhead. He makes admirably tight cuts around the showerhead, tub faucet and soap dish holder.
faucet wall

He even bridges over the tub (this photo was taken a little later).


Then, it happens: Equipment failure. The tile saw pump breaks, leaving Tig out of commission. There is no supply van behind him. He needs to make two trips to Home Depot before he gets back up again.

The Pyrenees (mountain pass): This weekend, we are working together as a team. The tile saw is operating again. We tile up the sides of the window. It’s grueling, all those little pieces to cut and position. It requires mental focus and stamina to not go crazy. Sometimes we have to hold things together with tape.
around the window

Tig runs back and forth between the bathroom and the back porch where the tile saw is. He takes this opportunity to gather intelligence from the field.

“The next door neighbor, you know that girl who lives on the first floor?”


“Her friends caught her boyfriend kissing another girl at a bar last night.”


“She’s talking to her friend on the cell phone. She said something like, ‘He wasn’t thinking of me when he was sticking his tongue down her throat!’”


Toward the end of the day, we have most of the window tiles in. Having energetic music playing from our Nano (iPod) helped immensely. We only have one more really difficult part - the top of the window - and we’re saving it for tomorrow.

Cool down: time to wrap up, we get in some easier tiles on the third side of the tub to use up mortar.

end of day
We make a quick dinner and blog about our progress. Tomorrow is another day.