I know this may not be of interest to everyone...but I simply must recount our tiling experience.
The idea to tile happened when we first moved in, but with limited time to paint, install the laminate and move our belongings, we decided we would get to it later...which was not easy, given that the previous owner had let her dog urinate in the foyer sometime between our walk-through and our move-in (yes, we probably should have told our agent, but I never wanted to speak to him again.. and still don't). We put up with the dog pee smell for as long as we could (it was VERY strong), and talked about putting off tiling until an experienced friend could come and help (Sept/Oct) all the while, Sara was scouting craigslist for the perfect cheap tile. Last week she found it.
Once the tile was in hand there was no stopping her. We ripped up the carpet on Wednesday of last week, finding a still tacky and sticky urine soaked carpet pad (ew...sorry, I had to share, it was THAT gross). Thursday we purchased "all" the necessary items and Friday we set to pouring the self-leveling cement to level the not-so-level floor. Our sub-floor is wood with a 1 inch or so layer of porous concrete. We naively thought we would be tiling away by Saturday, but the cement needed until Sunday....and in the meantime, after some reading we realized we needed something else between the floor and the tile. We found this product, and while we were in the Home Depot (i.e. Boys-R-Us as friends call it) three people told us what a great product it was. So we brought the Ditra home and cut and laid it Sunday (see previous photos).
An aside...I worry a little about things I haven't done before, and like to read and anticipate every known scenario and possibility...which makes me approach things VERY cautiously (read: slowly). Sara likes to get the general idea, jump in and if need be, learns as she goes. That being said...things moved much more quickly once I stepped aside, went to work on Monday and let Sara git er done. She had also actually done the tile laying part before, where I had only SEEN it done.
And, ta-da! Its done...almost. She is doing the grout tonight... hopefully it goes exactly as planned because we have company coming tomorrow.