Friday, March 1, 2013

Ralph the Grout-ch and the Great Tile Disaster

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. 

Notice anything?
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.


Vee said...

Oh my! I would have thrown a rug over it and called it good; however, it is a beautiful floor! What a joy to see it come together! Now I'll pretend that it's mine and that ice been laying a tile floor for a month. Gosh! I am exhausted. (You know, ordinarily, I don't laugh at others' misfortune, but you write so humorously...your sister sounds like a sweetheart.)

Vee said...

Ice? This iPad!

Tricia said...

Loved seeing Alf and Ralph after all these years! I know your heart SANK when you spotted that differently colored tile, right in the middle of your beautiful tiling job. Capable sisters are definitely A Good Thing! I'm blessed with two of them.

Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

ok, i'm sorry that happened. but so glad it worked out in the end. relax a little will ya. big big hugs. ( :

Shanee @ LivingLifeSouthernStyle said...

Your floor looks amazing! What a great job/accomplishment! So glad your thumbs are intact after all. I laughed (sorry) so hard at your crying....because I literally did the same thing on an area of hardwood, well I threw myself onto said area and wept. lol Again, it looks great, and what a blessing to have a non-coffee drinking sister to help. Have a great weekend.

Debbie said...

Oh Debbie I could have just cried with you! But you fixed it perfectly!! What a wonderful sister...I love it! The floor looks just beautiful! What a sense of accomplishment you must feel! Now rest for a little while at least...Enjoy your week-end! HUGS

Mrs.Rabe said...

Hallelujah for a great sister! Genius!

Your floor looks wonderful!

I remember Ralph and Alf.

Funny stuff!


Amy Kinser said...

What a great sister/friend.

I am totally impressed that you have done so much of the tile work. I remember when Donnie did it and it looked tough. I helped, but very little. He is such a perfectionist (I say that in a nice way) that I usually do better just staying out of the way and providing food and tlc when needed.


Christine said...

Have you ever thought about a Reality Show? I'd watch!

Kelley Dibble said...

I cringed--seriously-- when I read your title. Oh, I'm SOOO grateful for the sister's advice to rescue your gorgeous floor! It looks SOOO nice, Debbie!

And I'd never seen Alph or Ralph before. Too appropriate!

Happy weekend!

Miss Merry said...

YOU ARE WOMAN! I am so impressed with all the work you are doing. And I love your sense of humor. This would totally happen to me and I would be the blubbering one, too. Unfortunately I don't have a sister to save me! I enjoy your writing so much. I second the motion for a reality show!

Kim @ Stuff could... said... wrote such an interesting post about Tile. It is very hard work...and I would sit down and cry too. Thanks to endurance and a ended up with a beautiful floow

Crickit said...

This is hilarious! Glad you were able to repair the tile (it looks great by the way)and you and your sister are still friends! :) I have a sister... and she is the best! Good job!

Barbara F. said...

Debbie, I would have ran outside screaming at the top of my lungs when it was done "We are fam - mil - lee! I got my sis - tah with me!" Wow wow wow, do you realize (yes, I'm sure you do) the bucks you saved?? I need a new tile floor, I am going to continue to pretend I don't!!! New owners can deal with it when the time comes. lol xo

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Congrats! I'll bet it felt great hitting that tile with a hammer!!! Your new floor is beautiful-enjoy:@)

Denise said...

We certainly are the Tile Women! I'm really glad I convinced you that we could and would fix that stinking tile. You would have noticed it EVERY time you walked into the kitchen. Alas, it does look wonderful. I'm so pleased I was able to help.

Sisters are the BEST!

Carol OurSearsKitHome said...

I honestly didn't notice the light tile til you pointed it out......However, after you pointed it out, that's ALL I could see.
Nice job!
You're getting there!

Angel said...

Oh, Debbie...I am sitting here chuckling with tears in my eyes. Thank you for the comic relief. Not only are you funny, but you are a tile repair genius!

God bless you and have a lovely weekend enjoying your latest handiwork!

Merlesworld said...

That was a job well done.

Lynn Richards said...

Oh, Deb!!
Sometimes you just need a sister to come to your aid. But tell me one thing. Didn't it feel good to take out all your frustration on banging up that one floor tile?

Sharon said...

Oh my goodness...

First of all, I totally cracked up at your exceptionally clever blog post title. Very good one, Debbie.

Second of all, I am impressed at the intrepid replacement skills of you and the sister.

Finally, I so absolutely get the *need* to replace that blonde tile in the sea of brunettes. How do I know, you ask? (You asked, right? Doesn't matter - I'm going to tell you anyway). Because...I just made "The Hub" replace a brand-new refrigerator with another model because it was too loud. No small feat in the 9-10 inches of snow we've had lately. (And there was snow both times - Delivery #1 and #2). Hmmm. I'm thinking maybe there's a blog post in there.

I did it because it would just *bug* me forever.

Same as a light tile.

Everything looks really pretty, by the way.

You are woman, I hear you roar!


(p.s. You have a twitter account? Do you think I should join the *tweeting* ranks - seriously, do you?)

Gaby said...

Have I told you this is the ONLY blog that I read that I ask my husband to "come read this!" because I know he will chuckle with me? He read over my shoulder and cracked up at your misery. But he understood. I would have learned to live with the title, he would have done just what you did. Bless you for being so courageous!

Mevely317 said...

It looks spectacular, Debbie!!!
Only you!
... and God bless ya, thank goodness you blog so's to brighten my day! :)

elizabeth said...

It looks great! Can't wait to see the whole thing! Thanks for pinning my photos...I had no idea! How flattering. :)

elizabeth said...

It looks great! Can't wait to see the whole thing! Thanks for pinning my photos...I had no idea! How flattering. :)

Dayle @ A Collection of This and That said...

Do your talents have no end? Tiling and grouting? Are you serious? And un-tiling and re-grouting? Girlfriend ... I'm impressed in a big way!

renee @ Singing With Birds said...

U-GO GIRL! I am totally amazed...amazed, and be sure you do it all to perfection. There's more of the Duchess and her 52 trees in you than you think! Love that older clever caulking sister too.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, Debbie. That is one of the sickest feelings in the world to have worked so hard and THEN notice a problem area. Oh, girl. I just love Farm Sister and I have never met her!! You women are invincible!! Sending up big Texas sized cheers!! Looks absolutely great! Congratulations on a job well done. blessings ~ tanna

Maryann said...

The floor looks great. I would have been so upset, what a blessing that you had a sister who was able to help. I wouldn't have had a clue on how to fix it. can't wait for the final reveal

Chatty Crone said...

The floor looks beautiful now! I am with you I saw that tile was definitely lighter. You would never ever have been happy with it after all that work you did. So I am glad that you had the patience to fix it!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is gorgeous.

Sharlotte said...

Oh Debbie, it looks great. You are truly a "trooper" to handle this! I'm so proud for you!!! Now you can add "tiling" and "repair" to your long list of talents!

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

LOL! As I was reading I was thinking "just take out that tile". Your floor looks really great! I know a lot of hard work went into it but it looks just amazing!

The Polka Dot Closet said...

How in the world did that happen!!! I feel so bad that this has been such a nightmare! FRom what I can see though...It is looking mighty fine!! I am still worried about the saw and your thumbs!! Just remember this two shall pass! And everyone will be laughing about it one day...Far, far, from now!


Kathryn Ross said...

Okay, so I'm totally impressed with your floor and beyond impressed that YOU did it. Not I - I am shamed to admit - could I attempt such a feat. Though, I would greatly desire to see a beautiful floor such as this grace my kitchen, I would have to hire out the job. But then, how would I gain such awesome spiritual insights through all the sweat and strain - and the tile that didn't match??? Yes - tears would flow. Actually, I often get myself into such projects - usually with my theatrical endeavors or performance venues - and find myself in over my head and then - (Knight in Shining Armor music) the Lord blazes to the rescue and I learn new depths of grace and humility. The past two years of my life have been like that - and the Lord gave me Blogland to help along the way. This year - he word is HOPE - and though we've no great home improvement projects on the horizon, I have plenty of kitchen floors of other types ahead. May I walk as worthy in them as you have in triumph with your beautiful new tiles!!

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

Well, OF COURSE this had to happen! Your project wouldn't have "ended" properly without this chapter. I'll admit that I've shed my share of tears over renovations-gone-wrong (or long), and I, too, learned to get back up and face the music -- AFTER throwing a pitty party or two. Unfortunately, my sister doesn't live near me, so you had the BEST outcome ever! What a fantastic gift The Farm Sister gave you that day.

BTW, as crazy as it sounds, that one-color-off tile scenario can happen to anyone. I recently had to point out the same thing to a client building a new house when the PROFESSIONAL tile guy missed it. I probably shouldn't have chuckled in my head when I thought about him having to cut out the tile... LOL

Alycia Nichols said...

Oh, sweet Debbie! Your adventure with this renovation is turning into a sitcom that could rival anything on TV today!!!!!! I'm glad the end result was good, but SO sorry you had to go through that. I can just imagine your absolute horror when you noticed the difference in color!!!!

Kathleen said...

Thank heaven for sisters!! The floor looks great.

Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

Thanks for the laugh...and I am sorry you went through this, but what you are going through in the physical I seem to go through in the spiritual...some breaking up a tile and removal going on here.
As for tired...oh my, my eyes even hurt...just you wait until you have a girl's wedding...LOL My little bride ran for cover and left her mom with it all...LOL Thanks to my Ethel we pulled it off!!

Laurie Ritchey said...

Oh Debbie, I feel your pain. And yes, I did immediately see that tile in your picture. I would have cried too. Having said that, the floor looks beautiful, and it won't be long before you'll forget all the bad parts and just love your beautiful kitchen. (It's kind of like child birth) I love the text your husband sent you. Can't wait to see the finished kitchen. Also enjoyed your commitment post. laurie

Debbiedoo's said...

Always a bump in the road when it comes to these sort of projects. I have actually done a little grout repair. I mixed it in a cup to get PB consistency and then used a Popsicle stick to repair my area. That was in our Florida worked too. I just know this reveal is going to happen while I am gone. But do come and remind me when I am home:)

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh it is going to look so good. Hang in there my friend!

Barbara Neubeck said...

hello Debbie.... congrats on all the hard work you have done......the repair job is and your sister make a good team.
I know you have lots more work (tiling) to do ..God Bless you and your floors.
You make me laugh the best of ways.
Hugs and Blessings
Barb xx

Mary said...

Oh I feel your pain but love the bits of humor thrown in! Hurray for sisters, the internet, and $4 grout saws! I loved Green Acres :)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Boy, can I identify with this or what? That is so weird to get to the end of a project only to have that one tile different. Oh, Debbie, I would have done the same thing you did, only I probably would have blubbered.

I've been doing my fair share of that lately. We had a death that was and is a hard one to take, and the only thing I can do is know that he is with the Lord. I thank the Lord each day for his mercy and for the fact that we will see the precious boy again.

I loved your Sunday message. It made a lot of sense to me, as your lessons always do. Love to you, my sister in Christ.



Amy Kinser said...

Hey girl. Hope you are doing well and getting things finished up soon.

I know you are busy so you probably didn't see my first Girl Time Tuesday post. I wanted you to know that I have included you and this post on my 2nd Girl Time which is tomorrow. I hope you will take a minute (if you have one) and check it out tomorrow.

Last weeks link is if you are interested in seeing what it's all about.


Related Posts with Thumbnails