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How To: Clean Up After Tiling

By Picardy Project on Jul 20, 2012

Clearly I have been a TERRIBLE blogger this week. Work has been crazy busy and we haven't really done anything on the house since we got back 4 days ago. Chris however was super nice and amazing and after I opened my email when I got to home from work tonight (A's beat the Yankees, woo-hoo!!!) I had a lovely new email titled "post" from him. He's the best. So without further ado...

a common problem when tiling or working with cementitious materials is what to do with the waste. my method is the best i've found in my experience working for a tiling contractor, speaking with other contractors, and doing tiling jobs on our house.
find an out of sight corner of the yard and dig a hole, you'll use this for the last bits of leftover. at the end of the day you'll have a variety of tools and buckets leftover from grouting or tiling that will need cleaning. scrape off the big chunks and dump them in the trash. put two inches of water in the thinset bucket and use a sponge to clean off all your tools and buckets with the water from this bucket. add more clean water as necessary to get everything clean, but always dump the dirty water into your main "trash" bucket. if you have babies around, cover this bucket and leave it out overnight.

it will look like this when you're done, with all the sediment suspended in the water:

the next morning the bucket may have a thin layer of bad stuff on top, but it'll be mostly clean water on top. it'll look like this:

take the trash bucket with the settled sediment and pour the clean water off the top into the hole you dug earlier. stop pouring the water into the hole if you start to see cloudy water. the stuff left at the bottom is trash.
it'll look like this:

if you're doing more work the next day, just leave the trash in there and continue to use this bucket as your trash bucket - continually dumping the dirty water into it until it's too full or the project is complete. if you're busy enough with this kind of work you'll fill up a bucket every few weeks and, at the end, just throw the whole thing away.

there are a few advantages to this cleaning method - the tools stay clean, the mess is always contained within the bucket, and you're not going to kill your plumbing system by dumping thinset, etc. down the drain.

Thanks Mr. Christopher :) Now if only I could get back on the blogging train...

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