Whenever you attempt a DIY project you need to be realistic about the time estimates for completion. Especially with an old house. When the magazine you are reading says you can "tile a bathroom floor in a weekend" or "about two days", do not believe it. They give you a best-case scenario estimate and it is usually not realistic for the average DIY home owner.
For example, the two-day estimate for tiling did not take in account the following:
- adjusting for the height difference between the hallway floor and the bathroom floor - the original purchase of 1/4" backer board - the discussions about tacking on another layer of 1/4" backer board or going back and doing one 1/2" layer
- drive time to and from the home improvement store to pick up extra backer board, missing trowels, and something to cut tile with
- spreading the adhesive on too thickly so that it squished up between the tiles where the grout needs to go
- hand chiseling out the extra adhesive (about a 2 night job)
- the tiles that popped out during the hand-chiseling that needed to be re-stuck down
- consultation with the wife about where the floor meets the thresh hold and deciding that she might be right when she said she didn't like the idea of a gap being filled with caulking and that the tile should meet the thresh hold.
- hand laying the edge tiles and snipping in half to make a straight edge at the thresh hold
- having to watch three kids while tiling so the wife could go away for a weekend cruise
- fitting the job in amongst all the other curve balls life throws you (like kid activities, social events, working late, buying a new truck, etc. )
In reality, projects are going to take a lot more time than they say they should. Especially if you do them right. Since you have to live with the results the extra time is worth it.
Our bathroom is coming along and no one is happier about that than me. My wonderful husband has logged many hours in there and I am very grateful that his is willing to do the work. He threw out his back last week and there were some very scary moments of "uh oh...now what do we do?" Thankfully he is feeling better and ready to take on the next stage of our never-ending to-do list. Stay tuned...