Trailer rebuilding, starting the tiles

As the title says, I started working on the tiles today, and as you will soon find out, I didn’t get as far as I would have liked.

First of all, it was cold today. They said we were supposed to have a high of 8C (46F) but I don’t know if we made it that far. It was about 3.5C in the trailer when we got there this morning and it being cloudy all day, it didn’t get much over 5C (40F).

This makes working with tiles really chilly. Definitely a time to wear your gloves.

Anyway, I started with cleaning up and trimming the spray foam I put in yesterday. I also sanded the patches I put down to fill in the gaps. This is what it looked like after I swept the area.


After that, I had the fun job of cutting out the holes for the vents. I did this from below, inside our “basement”, which is really just a storage compartment. It does vent directly outside and this is how we get fresh air into the trailer both for us and for the wood stove.

The positioning in there is really cramped and I broke two new utility knife blades cutting the insulation out of the holes. There was some harsh language involved on that too. Luckily, cutting the cement board was easy by comparison.

I just drilled a hole in each of the four corners for each vent using a masonry bit. Then I went up top and cut out the hole using a fine toothed metal blade on my jigsaw. This works really well, but you will destroy the blade doing this. I didn’t much care as I paid something like $4.50 for two blades so trashing one didn’t much matter. It had already seen better days anyway.

In the end, two holes cut for the vents.


With that accomplished it was time to lay out the tiles. So I found my little baggie of tile spacers and went to work. Each box of tiles had 17, so this is just after putting in the first tile from the second box.


Here is the layout after filling in all full tiles. As you can see, I need to cut some to fit in the spaces on the right side.


As it turned out, I do not have adequate tools to cut tiles. I was using my reciprocating Dremel with a grinder bit and it worked okay, but it takes forever to make one cut. I cut a grove on both sides of the tile and then snapped off the remainder. This worked great for the first one I cut, but the two after it broke the tile.

I consulted with my step-father Cliff, who used to be a flooring installer, about the best options and he recommended just taking the few tiles I need to have cut to a hardware store and having them cut it. Considering that I don’t have many to cut, and the cuts for the vent holes are more complicated, I may just do that. I am considering all options.

In the end, I managed to get two worthy pieces cut and then I gave up so we could go into town and check out options at the hardware store. I did see online that there is this fancy carbide cutting bit you can get for your Dremel, but of course, they didn’t have it in Bancroft. That’s one of the things about living in the sticks: finding the right tool can sometimes be challenging.


While I was doing all of this, Kat was working on putting in the paneling in the kitchen slide-out. Here she is attaching the first panel.


Here we have the second panel up, complete with electrical outlets and all. As Kat has discovered, measuring and cutting the panels is quite time consuming.


By the end of the day, she had finished installing four panels. The only part I helped with was feeding the electrical outlets through the holes as Kat held the panel. The rest she did herself.


Soon she’ll be wanting to build something so she can use the nailgun 😉


2 thoughts on “Trailer rebuilding, starting the tiles”

  1. OK, So I KNOW I am late to chime in on this point. Cement board is EASY to work with. You can cut it with a skill saw if you get the appropriate cut-off wheel for the saw and take your time (don’t push the saw too hard). Alternatively, you could use an angle grinder…

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