Obviously I have been busy. At least, that should be your assumption since I haven’t posted in a long while. It mostly has to do with trying to accomplish last minute projects before going out of town for a week. Well, I came home and went right back to work trying to finish an important project that has been an issue since moving here.

One of the projects I tackled before leaving out of town was the step on the inside of the house. When Syd and I first moved in, we ripped all of the carpet up, including the front step, and we haven’t done anything to it since. That would be over two years ago…..That is pretty bad, I know, but it has still functioned as a step, so I haven’t felt too pressured to get it done. Well that has changed. After fixing the framing downstairs, I finally felt like it was time to finish the step.

The firstB stepB (like my pun?) was to remove all of the existing carpet staple. There were a ton.

IMG_20150830_144934828Then I vacuumed it all up and smooth things out to ensure the backer board would go down without issue.

IMG_20150830_145913919_HDRI cut the backer board to size and screwed everything down with backer board screws. If you ever install this, make sure you use the correct screws. They have small pilot drill bits on them to ensure you don’t crack the backer board and they are resistant to corrosion from the mortar.

IMG_20150830_153249769_HDRI put backer board everywhere I was planning to tile. Normally, they recommend that you put mortar under the backer board, but I haven’t done it since the first time I tiled and it just seems unnecessary. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be better, but as of right now, I haven’t done it and I haven’t had any problems….yet.

IMG_20150830_161040255I should have removed the molding on this left side to get the tile right, but I didn’t and no one will notice the small gap difference between each side…. I think.

IMG_20150830_161056706I got the tile saw out and began marking up tiles and cutting them to size. After doing the bathroom, I figured out that it is much easier to tile when you have all of the tiles precut and ready to go. Miley helped as you can see.

IMG_20150902_201504483I laid plastic down (which gave Butters the idea that it was something for him to play with, so it was more of a hindrance than a help) and mixed some mortar.

IMG_20150902_203727590Sydney buttered the tiles and I placed them along the front and side of the step. I wanted this to be level with the step so when I placed the tiles on the top, the overlapped the front and sides. It made sense to me.

IMG_20150902_203732021It didn’t take long to get all of the tiles laid. Sydney does a good job with the mortar and I place the tiles and ensure they are fully set.

IMG_20150902_214157486The step already looked a ton better. I waited until the next evening to do the grout.

IMG_20150902_215615384I mixed the grout and filled in all of the gaps and edges.

IMG_20150905_201817923This is after the first pass with the sponge. I did a pass every fifteen minutes until I had three full passes. Once that was done I wiped everything down with a tack clothe and then cleaned the floor around the step.IMG_20150905_205737018I had leftover quarter round wood pieces from the fireplace, so I cut to size and tacked them in with my finish nailer. Everything is done except for the caulking. I need to remove some of the leftover mortar and grout and then it will be ready for caulk and the extra finishing touches.


I will admit, it does feel completely different entering the house now. The step used to creak and it looked bad compared to the wood floor. Not it is solid and it ties in the tile that is on the fireplace and the tile you can see from the bathroom. It was something that should have been done a while ago, but oh well.

We have since finished most of the exterior of the house, but I wanted to make sure everything was done before I actually posted all of the details. That will be coming soon. Sadly, I’m still fighting the issue of leaks in the roof, but I have an attack plan that I think will finally solve it for good. We will just have to wait and see.