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

Mojave Monday

We received word that our master bathroom cabinets are ready to be delivered! While very exciting, it also puts us under the gun to finish tiling. The contractor was already bugging us to finish, so it’s just as well that we got an extra nudge.

On Sunday we finished the shower interior, including the shower bench:

Here’s how it looks with the row of accent tiles we added at eye level, which are the same 2-inch travertine tiles as the shower floor.

Once we set the tiles for the bench, we had to fill in the remaining subway tiles in the row above the bench so that the bench tiles were tucked under the wall tile. It took some time because each tile had to be individually measured and cut at this point. I’m so happy that part is finished.

On Monday we started on the main bathroom floor.

First, we did a dry fit to make sure we liked the layout and the randomness of the tiles. We chose tiles that had the most character to use in the sight line from the doorway to the shower.

Next, we moved all the tile to a dropcloth and installed the Nuheat radiant heat mat, which was simple to do. We mixed the thinset to a soupier consistency, troweled it out as we would for tile, and pressed the mat into the thinset, pounding and smoothing it with the grout float to get any air bubbles out.

The instructions advised checking the electrical resistance throughout installation with a voltmeter, which for us remained consistent throughout.

The only problem we nearly had was, in the midst of our tiling zeal, we almost forgot to install the thermostat probe under the tile. That would not have been good, but I remembered in the nick of time.

We finally finished around 8:00 Monday night and overall, I’m thrilled with the look.

The travertine tile we chose is called Mojave and has quite a bit of variation, which is what attracted us to the tile in the first place. As we shopped for tile, Pete was always drawn to the beiges and browns, and I was focusing on the whites and grays. With the Mojave tile, we both get our wish, and we’ll have lots of color options for towels and accessories.

Our job is far from done. We still need to tile the outer shower wall, which shouldn’t take too long, and then we need to seal the stone and grout everything.

The bathroom cabinets arrive on Monday — I’m not sure we can finish it all before then, and we probably won’t. We’ll be installing the cabinets ourselves anyway, so it’s not imperative, but it sure would be nice.


  1. Mom on September 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Looks great! Can’t wait to see it in person on Saturday. Made our reservation for 7 pm. Love, Mom

  2. Kathy on September 25, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Ohhh…looks so good! You’ve motivated me to do our other upstairs bath, even though I swore I’d move before I did any renovation again.

  3. Laura on August 25, 2012 at 8:16 am

    What color grout did you use? This look is what i am hoping to accomplish! Georgeous!

    • denise on August 25, 2012 at 8:18 am

      Thanks Laura! I’m pretty sure the grout color is called “Dove Gray”. It’s just a neutral medium gray color. Good luck!

Leave a Comment