So, we got the plaster and lathe down for all of the bathroom except the shower surround (so we can keep showering while working on the main part of the bathroom). I installed cement board on the bottom half of the wall around the main part of the bathroom.
Working with cement board is interesting. First of all, it’s heavy. The sheets are 3’x5′ and weigh something like 60 pounds. Second, you can’t cut it the same way you cut drywall. Instead of simply scoring with a utility knife, you have to use a carbide cutter, and you have to score it a bunch of times on each side. The accounts I read online suggested scoring it six times on each side, but I figured they were burly handymen so I score it between 10 and 12 times on each side. And that means you have to measure carefully, so the scoring will line up. And then you lean on it with all your weight and hope that it breaks at the score line, and not somewhere else.
But, I did it. I did it myself.
Then I started tiling. We are using white subway tile, which is fairly inexpensive from most hardware stores. Plus most subway tile is “self-spacing,” that is, it has tiny little ridges on all four sides that act as spacers. So instead of putting in plastic spacers, you can just snug each tile up to the one next to it and go!
Here’s how I tile: