My New Living Room

Seven years ago we had a minor issue with moisture (okay it was huge and we ended up ripping out all the carpet). We then had to treat the floor and the walls for mold it was a mess and I didn’t have a living room for a month. Over that time period I found a cheap way to make the floor look nice (we needed something very cheap and fast). We laid down 1/4” plywood and I did a paper bag floor. We covered it with polyurethane (not as many coats as recommended and left it). We never finished the living room because we both wanted to do something more with it hardwood or laminate flooring. A couple years ago we got a second dog, and with that the floor took a beating it looked awful. We started looking into hardwood floors, when one of our friends suggested tile. The tile floors would stand up to everything, dogs, kids, etc. it was true tile stands up to hotel guests and were found in Pompeii.

I have laid tile so I knew we wouldn’t have to hire anyone to do it. I was on a mission to find tile under $0.40 sq. ft. Tile that looks like wood is expensive and I didn’t think I would ever find it. One night I was searching Home Depot and saw tile on clearance for $0.15 sq. ft. I told Jeff we need to get this tile we will never find a better deal. We ordered it and I went with the kids to south side to pick it up. The guys were like you won’t get that all in there it is too heavy. I told them I had 25 – 50lb. Bags of soil in the back of this SUV load it up. They did and I made it home, we unloaded the tile and it sat in my living room for two years (not kidding). I bought a wet saw and we slowly started acquiring stuff so one day we (I) could do the floor.

That one day finally happened during quarantine. We got some 1/4” cement board and I laid it over the 1/4” plywood. I did this for several reasons, one there was no way I was taking that up. Two my floor is not even and this would help. Did I mention I was lazy? Anyways, I raised the floor up 1/2” a couple things I did not think of the big one being doors. I ended up taking the closest door off the hinges and cutting off 1/2” so the door could open. The other doors were fine so all my doors open.

I had to do my living room in stages, we don’t have the space to clear everything out. The first section was a little trial and error. The first mortar I used wasn’t what I needed, even though the guy at Home Depot said it would be perfect. My husband went to Floor & Decor, they were awesome and set us up with the correct mortar. I started cutting by hand the cement board- what a pain in the ass. I seriously would have paid someone to do this and the grouting – I hate both. I got the cement board was laid and we hit the point of no return.

Jeff had to run to Ace because we didn’t have a torc dill bit.
As you can see the brown was the old floor and it looked bad
The dogs were very helpful while I tiled
First section done
Second section- you can see we were running out of places to put things
Second section done
The last section with the old paper bag floor before I did the cement board
The things you find like this gem. My front door wasn’t nailed into anything (fixed now)
I finished the floor and have baseboards and corner round
Furniture back to where it belongs
My neighbor had a beautiful rug she was getting rid of. She asked if I wanted it and I said yes.

There you have my quarantine home improvement project. I love it, even though each day after I felt like I got hit by a train. I will say I have no desire to start any other projects any time soon.

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