Have I mentioned that I'm tiling my kitchen floor?
Just thought I ought to start with that just in case one person in one corner of Blogville hasn't heard me gripe and moan about it.
When I say that I'm tiling it, I really mean it, too. Aside from laying that cement board on weekend #1, I have been there for every inch of the journey. Until I injured my thumbs with the wet saw (Don't worry I still have both of them...) I was the tile cutter. After that, I was basically the Ralph to the Alf.
Do you see the look of pain on Ralph's face? Yeah, well, I'm pretty sure what she was doing just prior to this moment. She was probably on her hands and knees grouting the tile in an ever-expanding kitchen.
All by herself.
In the middle of monsoon season.
While Alf was out of town.
I'll bet she had to lug buckets of grouty water through a piney stick forest in the middle of that monsoon to wash them out, too.
Under a hot pink umbrella.
So you can imagine how thrilled I was last Thursday night when I went to bed having finished the kitchen proper. I still had the hallway to the powder room and beyond, but I could see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Unfortunately, when I woke the next morning
and turned the corner to admire my work,
I also saw this.
Don't even try to pretend that you don't.
What in the world?
Now folks, that particular part of the floor was one of the first parts laid in mortar. We did it weekends ago and have walked over it ever since. I even showed a picture of it on here. Never, not one time, did I notice that one tile was clearly lighter than all the rest.
At first, I decided that it was grout haze so I washed it. Then, I washed it again, this time with a little vinegar/water solution. It made no difference whatsoever.
I admit it. At that point, I threw the sponge in my hand across the room, sat down on the floor, and cried.
Then, I did what any responsible adult would do in said situation. I called my sister and had a big old blat over the phone to her. I sent copies of that photo to everyone in my family, and then I tweeted the words I quit so all that 9 people who follow me on twitter would feel sorry for me.
And then, I did quit for a while. I got in Ebenezer and took those river pictures that posted earlier in the week. Just after lunch, I got a call from the Farm Sister.
"I'm at the hardware store," she said, "and I bought the little tool we're going to need to rescue the floor. "
Grout saw: About 4 bucks.
Yes indeed. Instead of crying and quitting, the Farm Sister got on the internet and figured out how to remove a single tile. She would be here in 30 minutes and was bringing her caulking gun for good measure. (The Farm Sister is the Caulk Queen in the family. She doesn't drink as much coffee as the rest of us.)
While she caulked my cabinets, I sawed away all the grout surrounding that tile with the handy little tile saw. I don't know how long it would take you, but it took me about an hour to get it completely out.
Then, we took a hammer, closed one eye, and bammed the tile until it began to break up.
Then, we pulled up every piece of tile with that chisely looking thing and a flat head screwdriver. For the dude on the internet, it came up in big hunks. For us, it came up in little pieces. It doesn't matter though. The important thing is that it came up.
When the husband came home late that night,
this is what he saw.
I happy to report that he was able to set a new one the next day, and I was eventually able to grout it with very little noticeable grout line issues.
And there she sits today, well blended with all the others.
And thus ends the tale of Ralph the Grout-ch and the Great Tile Disaster. To be honest? I'm glad that it happened. Now I know that I can not only lay tile but repair a tile as well. I can even repair grout if I have a mind to.
Not that I have a mind to...
All you need is a grout saw, a hammer, a chisel, and a sister.
We are strong. We are invincible. We are Tile Women.