Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday 13: The Floor Tile Edition

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Below are 13 important lessons Q and I learned while tiling the floor in our den.


1. The job cannot begin without tile spacers. Check the shopping cart for all purchases before leaving the Lowe's parking lot.

2. Not all tiles are created equal--even if they come from the same box. While we were laying the floor, we came across one tile that was 1/4" shorter than the others. I put the piece the scrap pile, but it came in handy when we had a problem getting one of the rows to line up properly.
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3. Concrete will make your skin dryer than Phoenix in July. And no amount of buffing cream, moisturing cleanser, and aloe and lanolin-based lotion will relieve the chapping.
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4. Grout hides LOTS of mistakes.
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5. Fingernails make the best tools for scooping, scraping, and digging into tight spaces. And the longer the better.
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6. The load-out from the den was dispersed throughout my half of the garage, the entry hall, and the family room. Parking in the driveway sucks.
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7. Aside from being frighteningly loud, the tile saw is a beacon for curious neighborhood children. It must be unplugged it when not in use.
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8. Thinset mortar is hell on gold. All jewelry had to be removed--including wedding rings.
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9. Mortar can also ruin a perfectly good 5-gallon bucket.
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10. Helpers under the age of 10 will accept payment in the form of ice cream.
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11. Mortar and grout residue is very difficult to remove from corners and baseboard crevices. An old, wet toothbrush is your friend.
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12. One word: Sharpies. Lots and lots and LOTS of Sharpies. Sharpies in pockets, Sharpies on the floor, Sharpies on all work surfaces. You can never have too many Sharpies. And you still won't have one handy when you need it.
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13. This 12 hour job took us over a week and a half. Laying tile is not a good enough reason to skip work or school.
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Bonus: Sanded grout residue is the home improvement equivalent of Christmas tree needles. I'll be vaccuuming that stuff up until late summer.

2 comments:

Val's Husband said...

Number 14: An easy way to get your wife on all fours is to tell her we're putting in tile floors.

Ms. Val said...

:-)~