Front Hall Overhaul – Part 6: 23 Tiles Sealed

Even though I still have about 16 more tiles to lay, I decided to clean and seal the current 23 before moving forward.  They were covered in streaks and splotches of dried thin-set mortar, and I’d read that a mixture of vinegar and water could be used to soften the mortar.  I worked at the numerous spots for about 4 days, devoting a couple of hours to the task before they were “clean enough” for my liking.  It’s been too rainy to lay any more tiles [since I have to use the wet saw outside, etc.] so I decided to seal the existing 23 tiles before moving forward.

I’d bought a bottle of natural stone “Enrich ‘N Seal” at Home Depot and tested it on some of my discarded remnants:

210b        210a

I really liked how it brought out the natural beauty of the slate, so I applied it, tile by tile, to the 23 in the front hall:

210c2       210d3

Next up will be laying the remaining tiles, sealing them, and grouting everything.

I also set up a temporary cat platform in the living room window for Birdie, using a junk board and some crappy brackets.  It took about 10 minutes total, and the second I laid the IKEA grey carpetting down she made a beeline for her new shelf:

210f        210g

210h        210i

If she continues to use it, I’ll cut a nice piece of plywood, prime and paint it white, and attach it with nicer brackets.

We also realized over the weekend that our hot water heater – which has been leaking for a couple of months, but on a miniscule scale – was bowing out in back and leaking much more profusely:

210j        basement floor is wet from hot water heat leak

Our new plumber came yesterday afternoon to check out the situation and was like “you’re supposed to call me BEFORE it bows out like that!!!  You’re actually supposed to call the second you notice any kind of water heater leak!”.  Lesson learned… he also scolded me for my method of bleeding the baseboard heater pipes last winter, and said I could have easily cracked the lining of the boiler… ooops… I hate plumbing!  I assured him I’ll call him next time I need anything done before tinkering with it myself.  He said he sees too many situations of “DIY plumbing” gone wrong.  This morning he installed a brand new hot water heater, so hopefully we won’t have any more basement water issues!  Although we still have a pesky foundation leak I need to investigate, which makes our cage damp any time it rains.

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7 Comments

  1. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    Plumbing debacles are the worst. Sorry yours cost so much, but at least you’re good now.

    • It’s lucky that Douglas isn’t opposed to plumbing, with his blow torch and solder or whatever – that’s a huge help! I don’t like plumbing enough to try to get any type of good at it. I’d rather pay someone!

  2. What a heavy-duty, nasty job, but the end product is beautiful.
    Ask one of us about sealing the holes in your foundation; I think we have the answer!

    • OK, thanks! It seems to be just one small area where the rainwater is running down into our basement cage via the wall abutting the main road.

  3. I hate plumbing also. I once turned a small leak into a waterspout on a Saturday night so I have a hard and fast rule: no DIY plumbing on the weekend. Sounds like you have a plumber who likes to get things done the right way, the heart of a teacher. I’d rather deal with electricity than plumbing any day. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • I remember reading about a plumbing debacle on your site! There’s a lot more to plumbing than meets the eye, that’s for sure. I like electricity much better, too!

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