Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Another Small Home Improvement - Our New Living Room Entry

Whooo hooooo!  The living room now has a tile entryway in front of the door.  A perfect place for wet shoes to land when coming indoors.  I am so excited I can hardly stand myself.  Once again a long awaited project has been completed and I'm so very happy about it.  What do you think?

This is the design we chose

The scrap pile with two extra pieces I decided I could part with after 20 years

It worked out really well that I happen to have a lot of tile leftover from when I tiled our kitchen, main entryway, laundry room, downstairs bath and our dining room.  It was a closeout tile and it was take the whole lot at a substantially discounted price or none of it, so I took it all.

All measured and ready to cut

At Home Depot I picked up a piece of Hardibacker (hate working with this by the way) as what I originally wanted to use they no longer sell and no one in town had it either.  Believe me, we checked.  I got it cut to size and of course it broke, but we carried on.

Preparing to put down the underlayment

Ready for tile

By the time I had it glued down to the floor and secured with roofing nails (screws didn't work as they stuck up too high and wouldn't countersink) we were ready get to tiling!

Sanding the cut edges

Looking good!

I had already laid it out on the floor complete with spacers so I knew exactly what it would look like and all of the measurements.  I also took a picture so I'd know how to put it all back together.  All the cut pieces fit right back in the box too for storage until we were ready to set them.  I used exactly one box of tiles for this project and we had minimal waste all things considered.  The more intricate your design the more waste you will usually have, plus you have to factor in breakage, which happens.  Surprisingly only one tile chipped, but we were able to still salvage half of it.

After spreading on the tile adhesive with a notched trowel it was time to get setting.  I used spacers saved from the previous tile jobs to make sure everything lined up perfectly and then once were done there was nothing else to do but clean up and wait for it to dry overnight.  We removed the spacers later that day which was pretty easy.

Ready to get grouting!

The following day after work I was excited to get home and mix up the grout to finish this project.  I happened to have some leftover grout in the garage as well so I didn't need to buy any new stuff.  Yay!


I mixed it up to the right consistency, smeared it on with a cheapie grout float I picked up at Home Depot and then wiped it down with an old kitchen sponge.  It didn't take much time, but it sure looked good when I was done.  Now all we had left to do was let it dry for 24 hours and it would be good to walk on.

Yep!  This mama's still got it!  😎

It has been awhile since I'd set any tile, but it came right back to me once I got started.  Even the challenge of working with the Hardibacker didn't slow me down.  I just persevered and got it done.  My girls were a great help.  My youngest sanded all of the cut edges for me and my oldest handed me the pieces as I set them.  They both helped in the designing of the entry way too.  This was a super fun project for us!


  1. It looks professionally done. Once again I am amazed, good job, it looks fantastic!


    1. Thank you. It was nice to have a tile project again.

  2. That. Looks. AMAZING!!!! Great job!!!! I love the design.

  3. Be sure to apply grout sealer now, before it is used and gets dirty/stained.

  4. What a good idea! And it looks very nice! After 4 years, we finally have a "home" that is large enough to have fun improvements, so I have fallen back in love with cheap and free projects. :)

    1. Isn't it great? Well, I have a lot of "fun" to be had around here. LOL

  5. Wow! Looks like you hired a professional!
    We did something similar in our old house, and I loved the way it saved the carpeting from dirty shoes!
    Can I ask why you don't like the Hardibacker, and what you would have preferred to use?

    1. I love to use Denshield because it is so easy to work with. Hardibacker is a good product, just hard to cut and it breaks easily.

      Thanks for the kudos. :)

  6. I love the design! Are you going to put carpet down? By involving the girls you are teaching two great lessons--you don't need to hire professionals. And, girls can do things in DIY and home improvement. My 13-yr-old was so surprised that we could put in an ac by ourselves.

    1. Girl power! LOL We can do anything we set our minds to. It's a surprise what we do with the floor. I can hardly wait! :)

  7. It looks so good! I LOVE the design you chose!

  8. Awesome! You really "fancied up" a basic tile! :-)

  9. I am impressed. It is one thing to paint, but laying tile, that is a higher skill level. Good job.


    1. I don't know. It looks hard. After I read your post I got up, got busy and started working on putting polyurethane on the cabinets in the bathroom. I keep telling myself, "just a little bit each day, just a little bit."

    2. That is the best way to tackle a gob of projects. Little bit at a time. Otherwise I get overwhelmed. Keep it up and it will be done before you know it.

      Tiling is easier than you think. ;)

    3. Rereading your posts to show my son Dustin what you have accomplished. As he looked over my shoulder, he said that he is "floored."

      Tee hee hee.

      Jeannie & Dustin


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