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What is a computer guy doing with home remodeling projects on his Website?

The Upscale Utility Room Remodel with Catch Basin and Wraparound Ceramic Tile Wall

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The Utility Room Finished

Front View of Utility Room Ceramic Tile Wall with Washer, Dryer and Water Heater Installed

There were some problems encountered during the finishing work. The wallboard had to be cut to match the corners neither of which was a 90° corner. The door no longer closed properly due to the increased height of the ceramic tile. The aluminum and rubber strip on the door had to be removed and 1/4" cut off the bottom of the door.

I started this project to solve some simple problems - fix the wall damage and build a catch basin for the washer, dryer and water heater. I originally planned to use some recycled vinyl tile from the bedrooms. As it turned out I replaced the floor with ceramic tile. I installed a fancy ceramic tile wall and ceramic tile catch basin. I might just now have the nicest utility room in the neighborhood.

Yes, it may be just a little bit of overkill for a utility room. Most of my memories of utility rooms are dark unfinished rooms in a basement. This utility room is bright and functional.

This was an ambitious project for me. I hate to admit how long it took - about four weeks total. It is far from perfect. There are several mistakes I made along the way. I set the ceramic tile by hand and didn't check for the height to match the adjacent tiles (I should have used a straight, non-bowed piece of wood that spanned at least two tiles to get the height right). Several of the floor tiles have slight imperfections. I caught one of these before setting the tile but I should have looked at the tiles more carefully. They were only 68 cent tiles so I should have expected some imperfections. These are the kind of problems that occur when you have a few ceramic floor tile installs under your belt and you think you now know how to install ceramic floor tile.

The ceramic tiling on the wall is 3/8 of an inch higher on the far left of the wall (it isn't noticeable over ten feet but I should have set a chalk line parallel to the catch basin floor where the top of the ceramic tile wall would stop).

If I were to do another catch basin I would use a one inch drain pipe. It might require larger pavers, but I found during the drain testing that the drain wouldn't handle a catastrophic rupture of a water line. The 3/4 inch drainpipe works just fine but it couldn't drain the water from the washer during the spin cycle. I found that out when I forgot to put the washer drainpipe into the wall drain. Oops! Impromptu test! The ceramic wall and floor tile did survive without damage. That was the whole point of the ceramic tile in the utility room.

All in all, the problems are minor and no one would notice unless they knew what they were looking for. I am very happy with the results.

If a utility room remodel project is in your future you might want to consider hiring a professional to do the ceramic tile wall work. They have the right type of equipment and knowledge to do the job right. If you do want to do it yourself, prepare and take your time. It is not a simple project to tackle especially if you have no experience installing ceramic tile.

Click on thumbnail to see a larger image

Finished Utility Room Entrance Ceramic Floor Tile Finished Utility Room Entrance and Interior Door Ceramic Floor Tile
This is a view from the carport entrance into the utility room. The three bullnose tiles were found at Home Depot and are a good match to the existing tile. The tiles were cut to match the doorway moldings. The additional height of the ceramic tile required a 1/4 inch trim of the interior door.
Finished Ceramic Floor Tile, Catch Basin Perimeter and Baseboards Finished Ceramic Floor Tile and Catch Basin Perimeter Corner
The baseboard was purchased at Home Depot. It was stained and a coat of satin polyurethane was applied. The dark grout is called Nutmeg and was used because it hides dirt better in a high traffic area like the utility room. It also is a good match to the dark stained baseboards. The basin corner shows the outer lighter tan bullnose tile and the inner beige color bullnose tile used to trim out the basin edge.
Finished Utility Room Ceramic Tile Wall and Catch Basin Floor Front View Finished Utility Room Ceramic Tile Wall and Catch Basin Floor Side View
This is a view of the catch basin and ceramic wall tile from the front. A view of the dryer, washer and water heater sitting in the finished basin. The two inch tiles at the top add a touch of class.

Plumbing Problems Plumbing Problems
The Utility Room Remodel The Utility Room Remodel

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