• Erin Griffith - Home Improvement Novice

When Toilets Attack - Episode II

So the toilet murdered my house; now, several rooms in my house have to be completely redone. The insurance company is paying to replace everything with exactly what it we had before, which is totally awesome. But, my husband and I decided to take the opportunity to upgrade a few things while we have the opportunity. Some of those things we are willing to pay extra to have done, like replacing some carpeted areas with wood floors. We cannot afford to have professionals do all of the upgrades, so we are tackling a few projects on our own. For instance, we decided to tile the floor of the kids bathroom instead of having the linoleum replaced.

Unfortunately, like many home improvement projects, this one came complete with a whole bunch of......issues. Which will someday be the name of my autobiography

"It came with a whole bunch of issues" yep, that title just feeeeels right.

This is not a new project for us, we have tiled a bathroom before. So we were all like "Hells yeah we can tile this floor, no problem!" However, the last time we were not prisoners to any sort of time frame. And this time we had to get the floor tiled, grouted, and sealed in a very short time. We chose something called "snap-tile" which is a product that can be laid over any floor and does not require any adhesive. This removed the step of cutting and laying cement board over the existing floor.

Having obtained the tile and grout, we were ready to start the project once we located the same tile saw that we used last time. The saw that belonged to my father-in-law. The saw that was stored deep in the bowels of the storage units of the fried chicken empire (for those of you not in the know, my mother and father-in-law own several fried chicken restaurants). In my brain, I picture those storage units like the storage area from Raiders of the Lost Ark, except the wooden crates have chickens on them (with Xs for eyes).

Turned out, the the saw had gone the way of the holy grail and was mysteriously missing in action. So, my husband gritted his teeth and purchased a 160$ tile saw. Ok, now we were ready to begin the project.

Except my husband was struck down (and I am not kidding: one minute he was fine and the next minute...) with bronchitis and a ragingly horrible sinus infection. So we were delayed by a few more days so that he could recover.

We finally managed to start the project. It was f&*king 32 degrees outside, and we were using a wet saw that sprayed water EVERYWHERE! So Eric was sick, wet, and freezing. Also, tile cutting is not an exact science, most of the time it turns out ok, but our first three tiles cuts were really bad. We did manage to get a few rows installed. Then, we found ourselves sitting on the bathroom floor going through a postpartum depression of sorts.

You know when you give birth to a huge idea baby and then you are all like...what have we done? There is no way in hell we can do this. It's too hard. We should never have started this, it was stupid. It was like that.

But, soon we put on our big girl and big boy pants, put on our ponchos and safety glasses and continued the project. I mean, we had already opened the tile and saw and, the truth was, we were two perfectly capable adults who could do this project. Then, we reached the hole in the floor where the toilet goes.

We stood there staring down at it.

"We are two college educated adults," I said, "We can do this. It's like a puzzle, right?"

"Sure." my husband replied.

After drawing four templates, breaking six tiles, crying (both of us), screaming at each other, and taking a hammer to two of the six broken tiles, we managed to piece together tiles around the toilet in a manner that a toddler would be proud of. Luckily, the toilet and the vent cover will mask our tiles of shame.

Here is the finished product.

The contractor reset and the vanity and toilet. We still need to caulk and set the edge tiles, but this is "mostly complete."

Thanks for reading!


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