Monday, October 15, 2018

Mosaic Mandala Bathroom Floor

I’ve been very busy since the end of August making mosaic mandalas for my bathroom floor. My bath has been on track for a remodel for the past 3 years but we had to remodel the other bath first.  Deciding what to do with a clean slate is always fun and since it’s my bath I could make it into whatever I wanted. I decided to go talk to my favorite tile girl at Battle Creek Tile & Mosaic, Alissa and she let me go through her back room of tile scraps and I picked up a ton of tiles to use in my floor. I chose white arabesque wavy tiles for the wall with a black border at the top and a black border around the floor to frame it. 

This is the original 1960's bath, have I ever told you that I really hate brown! I did however love the height of the tile but this full sized vanity had to go, it took up half the walk way. I’ll post more photos once the vanity and toilet are in. 

Here's the room gutted, it looks so much bigger, the floor space is under 40 square feet. I got a new tub you can just see off to the right that’s extra deep, I’m really looking forward to that first bath!

I decided that I would build the mandalas on contact paper and just for your info, if you try this get the Duct contact paper not the contact brand, it’s about three times stickier and you won’t have half as many misplaced tiles with it like that one in the middle there. 


After building what I thought was a ton of Mandalas I started placing them on the floor this was quite a long process that took me almost two weeks just to dry fit it! When this project started I thought I would need about 40 mandalas but it ended up needing 80!😳 The mandalas I had ready at this point only took me about a third of the way across the floor. 


When you slide circles together you end up with some holes that need to be filled with something and I found this star shape tile that was super easy to work with but they had to be cut to fit and that took forever!  Jerry my amazing tile guy told me I couldn't have any holes bigger than a dime. 

I layered the star tile on top of the shape I was trying to fill in and could kinda see the shape underneath so I took a chalk marker and traced where I thought I should nip the tiles. It wasn’t a perfect method but it worked ok and when I screwed up with these small tiles it was pretty easy to fix. Below is one filled area and at this point it felt like I had a million more. 

I even signed and dated it off to one edge. Once I got the whole floor dry fit I used a special super thick extremely sticky tape that came on a 50 foot roll and was 18 inches wide. It was a two person job to cover the whole floor with this sticky plastic and I had to do it as I went because there was no walking on the floor without it down. This plastic then had to be cut down to manageable sized pieces but we did this as we we went.  I tried to put the tile down myself but found I was not able to finesse the mud so I called in the big guns, Jerry and I worked together to get it into the thin set.  Since I had a lot of clear glass tiles we had to use white thin set, this meant that all the mud that came up between the smaller tiles had to be carved out with a box knife or screwdriver. It took me two days to go over every inch and remove all the mud that came up to high, even then Jerry still found some that were to high and had to cut them down as he grouted because the grout is black and it stuck out something terrible.  All in all this was a fun project but we had some hiccups along the way, we forgot to take the contact paper off the back of 2 mandalas and as I was cleaning the thin set from between the tiles I realized it luckily before we grouted. My builder didn’t talk to my tile folks like I asked him to and he put down the wrong underlayment, it had to be taken up and replaced so Jerry ended up doing that work along with patching two holes in the wall the builder should have worked on. He also didn’t talk to the plumber so no one realized I needed a plug behind the toilet for my new fancy toilet seat. Needless to say we are finishing the bath up ourself because this builder isn’t welcome back, luckily I only paid him for half the project up front and that’s about all he finished!

If you decide you want to take on this challenge in your own home find some amazing tile folks because without Jerry and Alissa at Battle Creek Tile & Mosaics this project never could have happened. I had just enough knowledge to get myself into trouble and Jerry saved the day over and over. By the way this is my very first mosaic project, go big or go home, LOL. 



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