A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Tiling, Staging and Timing

The master bathroom tiling is dragging on. And on.

I really want it to be over with.

The contractor occasionally hounds me about it because he wants to do the finish work on the plumbing so he can get a final payment (although apparently he just realized yesterday that the plumber he sub-contracted didn’t include finish work in his original quote, however our contract with him specifically includes finish work, and I’m going to hold him to it).

We progressed slightly, however the area around the shower doorway and over the threshold is painstakingly slow because of all the necessary tile cuts. It’ll probably take us another full day or two to finish the wall tile alone.

The floor tile shouldn’t be too difficult because it’s all 12″ tiles, but we’re installing a Nuheat radiant heat mat, so there will be some prep work involved with that.

We weren’t able to work on the bathroom at all on Sunday because we spent the day with some of Pete’s siblings cleaning out and organizing his dad’s condo. It looks more and more like we’ll be putting it on the market soon, as his dad will very likely move into long-term care.

He has improved quite a bit over the past few months, but he’s not as self-sufficient as he was, and his sight has become worse (and it wasn’t good to start with).

To start staging the condo for sale, we put a lot of his personal effects into storage, including family photos, and started to pare down the furnishings. They had always used the smaller bedroom as the master bedroom, and the larger one as a TV room, so after tearing up the carpeting and revealing the oak parquet flooring, we moved the bedroom furniture into the larger room to stage as a true master bedroom. The smaller bedroom will become an office.

The parquet floor has some damage, but is overall in really great shape. We’re getting estimates for repairing that.

It looks like I may have a lot of painting to do — it’s in dire need of a fresh coat of paint — but the place is already looking brighter. It’s a little bittersweet, but his dad will be much safer in a retirement home that can handle his needs, and I’m really glad we were able to accomplish so much just in one day.

If only the timing were a little better and we weren’t pulled in so many directions right now. But that’s life, isn’t it? We’ll do what we can, when we can, but if needed it’ll have to be family first.

The bathroom will still be there, beckoning to be finished. And that first, long shower will feel that much better once the hard work is done and you know you’ve done your best to see that your family is cared for.


  1. Nicole on September 15, 2009 at 11:54 am

    The mother is helping my godmother (daughter of my uncle who died back in March) get his house ready for sale, so I can appreciate how hard it is!

    Hang in there. I’ve already had to resign myself to the idea that the kitchen and bath will still be there. At least you’ve got yours under way.

  2. Kathy from NJ on September 15, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    A year ago we had to get my parents’ house ready to put on the market – they moved into the house when it was brand new in 1950. The realtor asked us not to put much $ in the house because we would not get it back and the new owner’s would want to choose their own colors, finishes, etc. In this horrible market the (way overpriced in my opinion) house sold very quickly at the asking price.

  3. denise on September 17, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Nicole: sounds like we’re doing almost identical projects, along with other obligations! Our kitchen is a work-in-progress as well; I haven’t even gotten to blogging about that one!

    Kathy from NJ: Thanks for the insight, and hope! We were originally planning to put a bit more money into it, but after talking to the realtor we found that we didn’t have to do nearly as much.

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