Thursday, December 11, 2014


It's been a little over two weeks, and my knees are just now beginning to speak kindly to me again. They didn't like the before-Thanksgiving push to get the tile floors down in the bathroom and the kitchen.

I had motivation.  I was having a three year-old guest in, and didn't want her to have to trek down two floors to our beautiful rustic subterranean stonewalled bathing facility should she have to go pee in the middle of the night.  (It's a daunting enough trip at my age!)

Someone (not to mention point any fingers) just had to have one of those modern twists on the traditional 20's bathroom floor - the old-style tile, but with a border around the edge.  It looked really great in the tile shop showroom. So what if I had to dry-fit the entire floor before I could begin?   (I'll admit - it's a good thing I didn't have to pay the tile guy by the hour.  It would've blown what little remains of the budget out of the water.)  It's one of those projects that even as I was cussing me out while doing all the tile cuts I knew I'd love it once it was finished.  And I do.

My brother kindly came by to set the toilet and sink the day before she got here.  I'm not sure she appreciated the extra effort, but I do - that I no longer need to trek to the basement in the middle of the night myself is one of those beautiful side-benefits that we occasionally get in life.

And, because I thought I could fit it in, I also got the kitchen floor laid, not without a bit of drama.  You see, the black tile came in boxes of 21; the white in boxes of 15.  The Tile Shop computers thought both colors came in boxes of 21, so when we got about 80% done with the floor the Saturday before Thanksgiving we ran out of white tiles.  (I'd had the tile delivered; that'll teach me to actually unwrap a skid to check its contents on delivery.) So, we spent four hours on Sunday running around to the different locations in town picking up what they had in stock so I could finish the floor that afternoon, so the grouting could happen on Monday and be partially cured for company on Thursday.

With all that running around, I was pretty tired by the time I got around to grouting the tile after work on Monday.  So, when one of the tiles in the middle of the floor popped up, instead of doing the sensible thing and mixing up a bit of mastic to re-lay it, I just got out my trusty caulk gun and used it to glue the baby down.  Subsequent research on the web tells me that may not have been the smartest thing I've ever done - caulk doesn't hold up under traffic load.  But, what's done is done and the tile is firmly attached for now.  I've decided to think of it as a science experiment - how long will a tile stay attached to the floor if you use caulk to glue it down?  We shall see!

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