Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another tile job

So I've got another tile job. This one looks to be both easier and more difficult than the last one. Easier because it will not be in a broom closet. More difficult because it is going to involve partial demolition. Oh, and it involves 1970s colors, I think. That could be a problem.

See, the ceiling in the half bathroom downstairs started leaking a while back whenever someone upstairs was showering. A previous contractor sort of patched the ceiling downstairs, but then hurt his back and hasn't been seen since. Upstairs, some of the tiles in the tub surround started to come off, revealing what the renter/client described as "dark, wet wood" which means the tiles were probably mounted to plywood. Not uncommon, but nasty once a leak develops in the grout, because the wood swells with the water and forces other tiles to come loose and fall off. It's a bad situation. That's why I'll be putting up wonderboard and sealing it with fiberglass resin. I don't want any wood to get wet. Ever.

Because she was concerned about the water leak causing more damage, the lady I will be working for took the pro-active step of lining the inside of the tiled shower enclosure with shower curtains and plastic sheeting. She did an admirable job, too, in keeping most of the water from getting at the tiles and loose grout. Here are some of the pictures.

First, you can see the plastic and duct tape sealing job. Inelegant as it appears, it is working very well.

Next you can see how she taped the shower curtain up with clear tape to cover the tiles and grout where she feared there might be leaks. Again, it is not an ideal long-term solution, but it is working very well as a stop-gap measure.

The ceiling tiles seem to be ok. I mean aside from the fact that they are turquoise. There is not much I can do about that. I plan to leave them if it is at all possible (dear god, please let it be so!). I HATE putting tiles up overhead. Gurk!

I am unsure the actual vintage of these tiles, so I measured them to see what I might find in the store when I go shopping. Modern tiles I think are 4 1/4 inches on a side. These are 4 1/8. Doesn't it just figure? The measurements and counts will be all different. Grr.

Add to this mix the fact that the tiles wrap around the entire bathroom to a height of about four feet. I will not be replacing them all, just the ones on the three interior walls of the tub enclosure, and probably the few around the corner from the faucet end of things so that I can stop at the "inny" corner instead of the "outie" one. Someone please tell me you understand that. In any case, I will have to be very careful in my ripping and tearing. I don't want to have to replace more tiles than is absolutely necessary, and I don't want to damage the tiles that will remain. It will be fussy work at the edges. In the middle I can swing a medium-big hammer, but not at the edges. Urk.

Oh, and the stairway is narrow and outrageously steep - essentially a carpeted ladder. I am not looking forward to humping cement board up there, or tile or tools, saw horses and grout. Did you know that tile adhesive comes in 50-pound bags like cement? Yeah. I'm looking forward to that. I am thinking that the old tiles might get put into five-gallon pails and lowered out the window to the back yard. Those stairs are just killer!

So that's what I am up against. While staying at my aunt's house. While blogging in secret, out behind the gym. While sleeping in a twin bed in a room that is very, very pink and frilly. Sigh. I did charge extra for that stuff, dontcha know.

On the bright side, I will be able to attend all of the old meetings that I used to go to when I was newly sober, some years ago. Methinks I have changed a bit since those days. I was thin, enthusiastic, (acting) straight and my hair was brown, at least when I wasn't dying it strange colors. Oh, and I was 20 and hadn't done any real recovery work. Now I'm a fat, grumpy old lesbian with gray hair and a bad attitude. But at least I've done some stepwork. Oh, it'll be fun to see them all. Seriously, it will be fun. I am looking forward to it immensely. Just not the tile part. Or the pink room.


dolphyngyrl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dolphyngyrl said...

Do they even make tile that color anymore?

(I cannot believe I misspelled "tile" and didn't catch it until after it posted.)

Robin said...

She's keeping that hideous green? Man, I'd use that leak as an excuse for the mother of all redecorating jobs. In fact, I did. When we had to replace all our water pipes (yes, I did say all, and inside of concrete walls) I ended up with new floors, two new bathrooms, one retweaked bathroom (still ugly but cheap), a completely painted flat and a kitchen. Strictly speaking the kitchen wasn't necessary, but it was my reward for having to go through the rest of it. God I love that kitchen...

Kay said...

What a job...

And heck, recovery is a good thing to have under your belt so to speak... older now yes... but perhaps happier aswell.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I have to agree with Robin here. If I had a leak like that (and mold scares the HELL out of me), I'd redo the whole thing. Those tiles are a scary color.
Good luck with the stairs, etc. Please don't hurt yourself! Not a way to start the New Year. :)

Anonymous said...

Inquiiring minds want to know...are the toilet and/or lav the same color? In which case, maybe you shouldn't go there again. it might be harmful to your health. Even without the stairs.