Handy Andy

Have you ever hired a general contractor, concerned more about the price and time frame estimated to finish the job?  Well that was us.  Naive first time homeowners, more concerned about dollar signs and moving in ASAP.
About three years ago, we bought this fixer-upper townhouse.  The bones were sound, but the aesthetics were shab & drab.  With a deep DEEP deep clean, new coat of paint, carpet, tile, updated fixtures and new decor - it soon became our cozy home.
Within the first few months of moving in, we found several issues that had been due to contractor in a hurry, but nonetheless- we really did get a good deal.  
Unfortunately, the tiles in the entryway and kitchen started to crack, split and detach within the first 6 months.  Not only has this issue been plain old obnoxious, but dangerous as well.  I have cut my foot a couple times.  Not cool.


So of course, Handy Andy came to the rescue!  Having never installed tile before, my husband teaches himself to do pretty much everything.  He decided to do a trial run on the entryway, and if all went well... move on to the kitchen!  We chose vinyl tiles instead of the previous ceramic tiles, so as to have a little more give to the material.  The vinyl tiles are peel and stick, but are groutable as well.
Andrew spent an entire Friday prepping the floor with demo, replacing plywood, applying leveling compound and primer.  The prepping process also involved wait times in between for solutions to set. 

Early Saturday, the tile laying began.  Our entryway is everything but spacious... which led to a well thought out plan to make sure the tiles not only fit but looked nice as well.  He deliberately placed larger tiles along the edge for heavy traffic, as those were the first to break in the past.  

I love how he chose to go with a staggered pattern, as I think it makes the entry look a little bigger and MUCH better!
Once the tiles were cut to perfection and layed, the grout was applied.  I love the dark grout that he chose because it really picks up the darker shades in the tiles and makes them pop!

To finish off the project, Andrew added a grey carpet strip to make for a smoother transition from carpet to tile.  I love the finished product!  

Next on the docket is tackling the kitchen tile... which is in much worse shape than the entryway.  Half of the tiles are cracked and falling apart.  

Yay for Handy Andy!

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