January 19, 2010

Grouting Queen.

The next morning (Tuesday) Pete showed me our mismatched tile situation. By 9am, which is early for us on a day off, we were at the closest Lowe's with coffee in hand explaining our tile problem to the nice lady behind the return desk. Thankfully Lowe's had the correct tile in stock! We left five measly tiles on the shelf, figuring what ever we didn't use in the bathroom could get returned but there was no friggen way we were going to run out of tiles a second time.

We decided the new plan of attack was going to be for me to grout around the toilet and for Pete to continue on with fixing the plumbing in the shower. That way both the grout and plumbing glue could set overnight and then the water could get turned back on Wednesday morning.

To lay the rest of the tiles and let them cure so the entire floor could get grouted together would have added an additional 8 hours in getting water/toilet back. Which would have pushed us back until Wednesday night. It sucks that everything worked out like that, but what are you going to do? Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. It was our own fault for not double checking the tile box beforehand.

I slapped my knee pads on and got to work on my home improvement specialty- Grouting.
Back in the summer of 2008 I learned how to grout while tiling our college rental unit and found that it really spoke to my previously undiscovered anal tendencies. I'm fine with my desk being a mess, but heaven forbid I mess up while grouting. Grouting is tedious- But I LOVE IT!

The cast:
  • Plywood to kneel on and evenly distribute weight across tiles.
  • Sponge to act as a wrist pad for non grouting hand. I tend to lean hard on my left wrist while working.
  • Giant Pastry bag to help squeeze grout out into seems. Tricky at first, awesome once you get the hang of how to use it.
  • Eva sized float. I have dainty lady hands.
  • Grout- two part epoxy mixed with colored sand. Love it.
  • Water for wiping up excess grout.

After an hour and some change I'd used up all the grout and had gotten a decent chunk of the bathroom done. Pete was working on fixing the shower, shocked at how well everything plumbing related was going. Thankfully no major problems after the initial shut off valve snafoo! We'd definitely be able to get the toilet out of the bedroom and reinstalled into the bathroom that night.

The whole condo was packed to the brim with tools and varies bathroom fixtures. I didn't even take a picture of the downstairs during this time. because I have no inclination to preserve that hot mess with a photograph. Believe it or not but the above picture was the neatest corner of the condo during the construction days.

After grouting I set up a painting station and got busy priming all the trim pieces. During this time I discovered the show "DEA" on Spike and watched a marathon of the show while painting away. Fabulous. I love a good law enforcement drama.

Success! Later on that night the toilet gets put back in! However, the water was still not on. So the toilet was more of a very nice, non working bathroom ornament for a few more hours.

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