The adventures of the vessel "The Hard Six" and the man owned by her!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Tile Project

I'd like to say that this project was my idea. I'd like to say I looked at the galley and said "you know what this needs is".

I can't.

I belong to a "club" online called the Chris Craft Catalina Club. Another member there had this idea way before me. I'd like to think I did it better - Hey! It's my boat, let me have my dillusion!

When I got the boat the back of the galley looked like this:

This is the breadbox as it became to be known.

Ugly, and basically useless. It existed to hold radios and a light. Had very little storage, and made the cabin seem smaller.

The backsplash was this "faux stainless" veneer over marine plywood. It was dull, stained, and pretty ugly overall. And yes, I trashed the paper towel holder.

When I got the breadbox off the bulkhead, I discovered that the back corner had wet rotted over the years and was soft and weak. Oh great, now I have to build a new bulkhead. That means I have to go buy more marine ply. Joy.

Oh sure, it looks easy here. I can guarantee it was not. I had to cut that outboard curvature twice to get it right and then grind on it with a sander till it fit. It took hours.

My friend Fred, being the constant-researcher and Mike Holmes in training, found this stuff. It's called Ditra. Its used to isolate tile from a substrate to reduce vibration and flex. I was concerned about putting tile on a boat, since boats are always flexing. The Ditra is designed to act as a shock absorber and keep the tile from coming off. (update - 6 months later, and it's still perfect). We also used the most flexible grout we could find for the same reason. As you can also see the headliner is now installed and I am keeping the Blue Tape Division at 3M in business, all by myself.

Fast forward a couple days and here's a shot of the tile, installed. It's a glass block style tile available at Home Depot.

Here's a close up after it was grouted and cleaned up. I'm thrilled with the way it came out! You can also see the new sink and faucet in this photo and a nice closeup of the Corian counter tops.

And one more of the whole corner, after it was all done.

I had never done tile before. Fortunately for me, Fred had, and lives to supervise. It wasn't as bad as I thought, but very messy. In the end, I really feel like it was worth it and really makes the boat seem much more modern.

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