We left off after Dan had removed the existing tiles from the fireplace.
The next step? Pouring some self leveling cement to create a level and smooth surface to tile. In order to pour the cement we needed to fashion a dam. Since we idolize MacGyver and are cheap, we decided to make one out of duct tape and cardboard. First, a layer of duct tape to follow the curve, followed by a strengthening layer of cardboard, reinforced with some weights and rocks. And of course, the cats were very helpful.
With our damn in place, we herded the cats out of the room, mixed up the bag of self-leveling cement in two batches, and pouring and panicking.
After letting it cure overnight, we removed the dam and examined our work. A nice, level surface as a base for our tiles!
We had a few leaks, but nothing too bad. That being said, I wouldn't do our duct tape and cardboard method if you like your carpet.
Another step down in complete this beast. As I see it, we've probably got another five steps ahead of us.
- Cut away the carpet adjacent to the fireplace
- Tile up the rim of the base
- Lay the tile on the top of the base
- Tile the front surface
- Build the mantle
Whew, this is still going to take for ever...