Hey, look what we did! It’s tile! (Sorry the photo is so crappy, the only light in there right now is a work lamp.) Up until the last second (literally!) we were debating whether to set the tiles in a traditional running-bond pattern or in a more modern horizontal grid. In the end running-bond won out, mainly because the less linear a pattern, the more it hides irregularities like slightly off-square wall corners and unleveled bathtubs. You have to know the limitations of an old house!
And yeah, we only got this wall done—the other will have to wait until Saturday. Cutting the holes for the fixtures proved challenging (we only have a manual tile cutter and a pair of nippers), so it took longer than expected. The other wall is just a big rectangle, though, so I expect it will go very quickly, especially now that we have a good feel for the right ratio of thinset to water, etc.
Aside from the fact that my fingertips now feel like cat tongues, the whole experience was pretty painless. I highly recommend tiling as a DIY project. This was way easier than hanging wallpaper (or even painting, in some ways). A lot of advance research/reading was required, but doing this ourselves (including all of the prep work, which was extensive) saved us thousands of dollars. It’s all about having confidence!
I also got two coats of primer and a coat of paint down on the floor in the back room. It looks AMAZING. It’s like a giant, fluffy cloud of brightness in there! I’m holding off taking photos until I get the second coat down (hopefully tonight) and have a chance to hang the doors (probably this weekend). I still don’t know what we’ll be using that room for, but at least now it’s not wasted space.