No Time To Cry (Plus, A Little Bump On The Road)

There seems to be a point in every big project I do that I have to rest and cry. I didn’t really get to that point yesterday, but I was very close. And really, the only thing stopping me from doing that was saying to myself, “Kristi, there’s no time to waste on that! It doesn’t help anyone. Just keep going! ”

The project I worked on yesterday was to clean the shower tile to prepare it for grout. And let me tell you, there are areas on that tile that are completely chaotic, as you can see here…

That’s the dry mortar. The mortar on top of the tiles is easily removed. I used a large sponge to put a large amount of soapy water on the areas, and after giving it a few minutes to soak, the mortar was immediately removed. It was simple.

The less easy part is to remove the mortar from between the tiles.

cleaning mortar on and between tiles before grouting - 2

It might be easier if I cleaned everything the day after tiling (i.e., within those first 12 hours). But no, I waited a week. And the thing is that I know I’m doing a hard job for myself, but my hands are too sore to take care of. I let Future Kristi deal with that.

Well, Future Kristi is Yesterday’s Kristi, and she’s not happy camping. This is a slow job that requires using my Dremel Multi-Max. And yet, the mortar is so hard that it is not easy to get out. I didn’t even know how long I had been working, and I was able to clean all the floor slopes using clear grout lines.

cleaning mortar on and between tiles before grouting - 3

But as you can see, I still have a few areas on the floor level.

cleaning mortar in and between tiles before grouting - 4

So learn from my mistake. Clean the grout lines as quickly as you can. The reason I didn’t do this while I was installing the tiles was because every time I tried to clear the grout lines, the tiles would shift and shift. So I really plan on drying the tiles for just a few hours, and then go back and clear the grout lines. But I didn’t. And then I procrastinate. And before I knew it, a week had passed. Yes, don’t do that.

I had another problem yesterday. During one of my breaks, I was scrolling through Instagram and I came across a photo of the dog shower with the same penny tile design I planned to use on the shower head wall in our shower, that this shower wall.

By the way, I was asked where the shower drain was. Those tall gold objects on the floor were the gutters. There are two of them. I am

Here is the photo I found on Instagram showing the same penny tile design I plan to use…

Can you see that tiny little inset tile design? If you can’t see the photo above, you can see it on Instagram here.

While that was the design I was planning, I would have liked to use three or five rows of penny tiles to make my design instead of just one. So I took a sheet of denarius tile, cut it into three rows, and tried to put the design together.

It didn’t work.

I’ve seen pictures where some have used three or four rows of penny tiles to make boxes, Greek key designs, and other similar designs, so I can’t understand why I can’t use them. So I went online and searched for some of the designs, and I knew why.

I will not post such pictures in this blog post because I just have a rule that I will never post a picture of another person on my blog just to be reprimanded. And I would never call it a criticism because it is just a matter of personal taste and personal tolerance of imperfection.

But if you use penny tile to create any design with 90-degree corners, the corners are probably… good, not as clean and perfect as I should have them in my house. Some people have a higher tolerance for imperfect corners, and I would say more power over them. And from a distance, these designs look great, so I plan to do the same with our shower. But there’s no way I can look at those corners up close every day. You can see what I mean here: black penny tile design on white subway tile and blue penny tile border set on glass tile.

So now I’m back to square one with a way to use penny tile as an accent on the shower wall. I really wanted it to be just on the wall because I didn’t want it to be visible when standing in the bathroom, so there were no horizontal stripes around the entire shower (which was my original idea). So it should be a design that is only on the wall of the shower head. And I just bought 18 square feet for the entire bathroom (i.e., shower accents and wainscoting accents surrounding the bathroom). I can buy more if I really need to, but I prefer not to. I have a feeling I need to, though. Ug.

Any ideas?

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