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:
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:
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:
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:
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.