Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Impasse

I’ve reached a point with the bathroom were the only thing I can do right now is clean floor tile. It is ever so fun, too.

I can’t put the wainscot cap on until I grout the subway tile. I can’t put the medicine cabinet in or trim out the stained glass window until I get the wainscot cap on because both of these things need to sit flush on top of the cap. I also can’t put on any shut-off valves for the sink until the tiles been grouted. Thinking about tub, sink, toilet, or cabinets is so far out of the question there is not point in me even bringing them up, even though I just did.

The reason I’m holding off on grouting the subway tile is because I wanted to do it at the same time I did the floor tile. Also, I foolishly put down the cement board for the floor tile and I’m trying not to get it grunged up before I set the tile. Ideally, what would have happened is that I would have simultaneously finished cleaning the floor tile when I was finished plastering the walls, and then I could start in on the floor tile. Obviously that didn’t happen.

To keep with my perfectly planned order of things I need to finish cleaning the floor tile. I have 80 sq ft that has been cleaned in the bleach. Of that 80 sq ft, 71 sq ft has been de-grouted. There is an additional 30 sq ft that hasn’t been touched.

On a good day I can de-grout 5 sq ft of tile, but there haven’t been many good days lately. Also, I’ve kind of stalled on the bleach cleaning. I’ve only done about 5 sq ft in the last 3 weeks. That’s down from about 12 sq ft a week I was doing for a month or more. Part of it was the family coming to visit, and the other part was the plastering in the bathroom. There are only so many hours in the day.

The bleach cleaning doesn’t bother me so much. That goes quickly, and while it’s not the most enjoyable work in the world, it is very tolerable, because it goes quickly. I can do 10 sq ft in an hour and that’s pretty much all the tubs will hold. Once I’ve emptied the tubs, I fill them up again and they sit for a week. So, if there’s only 30 sq ft that hasn’t been touched, that’s only a few hours of work spaced over 3 weeks.

It’s the 40 sq ft of tile that needs to be de-grouted that’s the problem. Let’s say I can do 2 sq ft a day, then that’s 3 weeks worth of work. Even if I could do more, it still needs to go through the bleach bath. Anyway you slice it, if all goes well, I have 3 weeks left of tile cleaning before I can start setting floor tile. That’s 3 weeks where I can’t do any work on the bathroom other than clean tile. I’m a bit of a masochist, I’ll admit, but because the tile cleaning is so unpleasant, this is reaching Devil Queen level of old house restoration hell (Just kidding, John).

So now I’m thinking I need a way to be able to work on another bathroom related project, while at the same time continue with the tile cleaning. I need something that is going to show progress to off-set the tile cleaning hell. I think I can protect the cement board to a point where I can grout the subway tile. I could then put on the cap, install the medicine cabinet, trim out the window, install some shut-off valves, and maybe even hang the high-tank. At the same time I could be slowly but diligently working on the floor tile.

Besides, if I don’t find something else beside tile cleaning to do, it will be weeks and weeks of blog entries detailing with the excruciating process of cleaning all 6 sides of every single tile. It would just be hell for everyone.

5 comments:

aaron said...

What rhymes with impasse? Hmmm...
Greg needs a gym pass, nah ...
Greg needs to cut the grass, nah ...
Greg's favorite metal is brass, nah..
Greg caught a sea bass, nah ...

Greg needs a vacation!
There, that rhymes. :)

Greg said...

I can think of something else that rymes....

aaron said...

Would it have something to do with a donkey?

purejuice said...

i wanted to let you know that your influence lives on outside cyberspace. i'm thinking of buying a house and i thought, if you do you better buy one next door to a master plumber.
i also thought of your cleaning this tile when i read in the new york times last week, and had a discussion about, how carbon exchange companies are kinda full of shit, as are a lot of so-called "green" building techniques -- such as tearing out good floors to replace with "sustainable" bamboo.
what you're doing is the real thing -- the gold standard -- and you should know that we know it.
happy tile scrubbing, looking forward to a post when you're ready.

Greg said...

The highest compliment, thank you.