February 1, 2010

1810 Bathroom Part 6 - Grout, Toilet, and Vanity

I was hoping to make a lot of progress this weekend and I actually got more done than I planned. The tile is grouted, the toilet and vanity are installed, and the new door is stained and sealed with 2 coats of polyurethane. Here are the pictures to prove it:

Friday night I started by removing the plastic spacers and scraping the excess thinset from the grout joints with a box cutter. I then went over everything with the shop-vac to clean out all the dust and debris.

Once the floor was clean I mixed up half a bag of "Sahara Beige Keracolor S" grout, slopped it down, packed it in the joints, and then scraped off as much as possible. This is the easy part...

After letting the grout setup for about a half hour I started cleaning the excess off the tile. This sounds easy but is actually the hard part. The trick is to get as much grout off the tiles as possible without getting too much water on the grout joints. Getting the grout joints too wet will cause the grout to cure funny colors and leaving too much grout on the tile now makes it difficult to get the tile clean later. The process I used was to wet a sponge, wring it out as dry as I could, then wipe once on each side, rinse and repeat. This takes forever but works pretty well.

Even after all that sponging there is still quite a bit of grout haze on the tiles the next day.

Saturday afternoon I cleaned up the grout haze and after letting that dry got a feel for the grout color. The grout initially came out very light colored which is likely because I mixed it too thin. Too much water in the grout or getting it too wet while cleaning causes minerals in the grout to rise to the surface of the grout joints and turn them white and blotchy. I tried cleaning up this "efflorescence" with a 50/50 vinegar water solution and it did help but I will likely need to use full strength vinegar or maybe a stronger acid to get the grout color darker. I'm going to let the grout cure a full 7-10 days before I try a stronger acid solution. The picture above shows the difference in color when the grout is wet vs. when its dry.

With the floor done I could finally start putting the toilet in. The tile is higher than the old floor so the toilet sits a bit higher than the flange so I doubled up the wax ring to make sure things are sealed nice and tight.

After the toilet I moved on to installing the vanity. I bought this vanity off Craigslist for $75 over a year ago so its nice to finally get it out of the basement.

And here is the vanity top and faucet installed.

In between tiling and grouting I've also been working on finishing the new door. Here it is ready to be stained.

I tried out a few stains to find something that matches the existing trim and ended up with Cabot dark walnut. Here's the door after a coat of stain.

Next on the "To-Do" list is to install the new door and put the trim back up, hang a mirror on the wall, and set the tile base.