Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lowes is Stupid

Our big plan this weekend was to at least get started on the tile floor for the guest bath, with the ultimate goal of getting a working toilet on the second floor. We figured that we would get some stuff done early today, and then head to Lowes to pick up all the fixins for the floor, tile included.
1) The tile that we'd picked out, a relatively simple (but chic) hexagonal black and white mosaic, was on display, and priced, but was not available for purchase. According to the salesman, Doug, the display case was for "inspiration" not purchase. Why it had a price tag on it if it wasn't for sale is a mystery.
2) We told Doug, "Okay, but we're still going to put in a tile floor, even if we get the tile somewhere else." He tells us that if we're going to be putting up tile for the first time, we should have somebody do it for us and we should watch. And then proceeded to offer his services at a rate of both $10/sq. foot and $5.50/sq. foot. How about $0/sq. foot???
3) I told Doug that we were going to do it ourselves, that we're in this for a learning experience, etc. and that we would just like him to tell us what we need, including thin set, sponges, grout, trowel, etc. He balks and says we'd be better off having someone do it for us (again) because we're just going to spend a couple hundred dollars on tools. I saw a trowel right there for $8. What costs $192???
4) Finally, I told Doug that I just wanted to leave. He got the message and left us alone. And we left. We left our cart in the middle of the aisle and walked out.

And then we went to Fazolis. And it was delicious.

But the disappointment and pissed-off-ness lingers. I do truly respect the abilities of craftsmen, and realize that there are indeed tile jobs that beginners could not and should not do. However, installing 60 square feet of pre-cut tile on a flat floor without any cut-outs seems to me to be a very good place for a beginner to start. And while I'm positive I have an inflated opinion of my own intelligence, I'm pretty darn sure I could figure out how to tile! And I'm married to a damn architect. If he can design a house that doesn't fall down, I'm 100% confident in his abilities to stick a piece of ceramic to the floor. Ugh.

In other news, we were indeed busy today. Got up and went to the dogpark. When I got back, I raked the yard (2 lawn bags full of leaves!!!! Good lord, what are we going to do in October?? But it looks SO much better), de-nailed and polished another 25 pieces of trim, and then we did something very exciting. We went over to Sherwin Williams and got some exterior paint samples! Whoot! And in a very strange turn of events, I think we're going back to the green and brown. Here's the scheme:

These colors are "Bronze Green" and "Dormer Brown." We also picked a couple other shades, including the gray-blue, a light gray, and the famed Bunglehouse. The gray-blue is very nice, the light gray, too. The Bunglehouse is perfect but, alas, is also the same exact color of our neighbor's house. So that's out.

Here's the plan. We're going to use the green as the main color on the first two floors, the brown as the trim color, and a nice cream as the accent (window sashes). Then on the third floor dormer, we'll reverse the scheme and use the brown as the main and the green as trim.

Red door, of course. We picked up that paint today, along with a very pretty light blue for our bedroom.

This is all very surprising, because I thought truly that I was wed to the blue. We are having a bit of discord around the accent color. I really REALLY want something light, particularly as that color will be used on the sashes and the front porch. The traditionalist in me wants a bright white porch. But I'm flexible. I just don't want a red porch or something like that. Eric is a bit more adventurous than me around this stuff. I just already feel like we'd be doing something dramatic if we do the green for the field color. We don't need red window sashes.

1 comment:

Gene said...

You are correct. 60 sq. ft. of floor tile is definitely doable for some one with some DIY home improvement experience. The part to be most careful with is layout -- plan out where tiles will be, cuts needed for edges, etc. -- then check your layout again before starting. I haven't done hex tiles, but with square tiles the usual thing is to find the center of the room, and lay out perpendicular lines to work from.

You'll need a serrated trowel and some thinset. And you'll need a large bucket, mixing attachment, and a fairly strong drill to for mixing the thinset.

I find the score-and-snap tile cutters a pain to work with to get clean cuts, so I rented a wet saw the first time, and more recently bought a small Husky wet saw for cutting the tile.

Once the tile is placed and the thinset dried, you'll need a rubber float, grout in your choice of colors, and a sponge and a couple of buckets for cleaning off the excess grout.

Walls are more complicated, and full showers more complicated still, but 60 sq. ft. of floor is very doable by you. The other big box store sells a "how-to" book on tile that describes all of the above in more detail and with pictures and diagrams. Definitely worth the $10 or whatever it cost.