After he redid the tiled backsplash for the THIRD time today, I warned him that I would be blogging tonight. He just laughed and said I was funny and that whatever I said, he would just add his two cents later.
It started yesterday. Although, as you will read in a few, it started three weeks ago when the DIL and I found a nifty tile place in the town just south of Newmarket. A huge place, we wandered up and down the isles looking for something that would leap out and catch my eye. I wanted a tiled backsplash with a hint of green to pick up the color of the island, and a hint of beige to pick up the cupboards. I found a few that would work and brought one back to test it against the counters and island and cupboards. Eureka. It worked.
Bathroom Guy took *ahem* precise measurements and told me how much tile to get. I said *ahem* because so far, Kitchen Guy has batted far less than a thousand with his measurings, and even Tile Guy sent me back for more shower tiles (though, as I recall, it was Bathroom Guy who measured that too. Hmmmm.) There is also the small matter of 6 extra sheets of shower floor tiles which were shlepped by yours truly after receiving *precise* measurements from Bathroom Guy as to how much was needed.
People who have measured things during this reno never seem to get it right the first, second, or sometimes even the third time. But with faith in Bathroom Guy still riding slightly higher than the expiration date on the chocolate toffee squares I bought last year, I went back to the tile place and got the square footage he told me to get. Two and a half boxes. Heavy little peckers too. Shlepped them back home, where they sat by the back door for a week or so.
Remember when I said this was like dominoes. One thing gets done then other things can follow. So when Kitchen Guy showed up on Friday and swapped out two of the three banks of cupboards that needed swapping, he gave Bathroom Guy the go-ahead to do the backsplash, with the intention, undoubtedly, to avoid more hysteria on my part. Just the notion of having the splotchy torn up drywall covered after six weeks took some of the glowing red sparks out of my eyes. The thought of being able to wipe the counter without having a sprinkle of plaster dust fall right back down over it almost made me sorry for Kitchen Guy’s limp. Won’t even mention the dust that floats down over the dark hardwood floor every farking day, or how many times I’ve swept, wiped, or washed everything in that kitchen. No. He said I could have my backsplash! The crud would be covered, including the gaping black hole where the old fan vent used to be and from whence I imagine bats, mice, and plate-sized spiders crawling through every night when the lights go out.
So yesterday, I left the house around eleven, confident Bathroom Guy would remember how to get in without written instructions. I was gone for four hours and when I returned, Sparky was there, all cheerful and pointing out the marvellous job he’d done putting the backsplash up and how great it looked against the counters and cupboards.
Yeah. From a distance it looked marvellous. Up close I had to blink a few times. One wall was fine. He had started the tiles at the door jamb and worked his way across the counter to the corner, leaving artful little spaces between the tiles so the grouting would show off the rustic, rough edges of the rustic, rough tiles.
But then he had a brain fart.
Instead of starting at the window trim and working his way back to the corner, he continued on from the corner and worked his way over to the window, at which point he had to squeeze in an inch-wide strip of tiles to make them fit.
When I asked why he hadn’t started at the window and worked his way into the corner, thereby having a row of full tiles at each end, he gave me a Forest Gump look and said yeah, that probably would look better.
Splook splook splook…off came the tiles which were still removable from the wet tile goo. Now keep in mind, his first effort at tiling had taken him four hours to do both walls. In the time it took me to go into the bedroom and change from jeans to joggers and return to the kitchen, he had taken the tiles down from the sink wall, reversed them, and stuck them back up. In about the same amount of time, he had his jacket on and was out the door, flying home to pick up his daughter from daycare, yelling back as he flew “See, I told you I could fix it for you!”
It was late afternoon, the light was fading, I was tired and slightly cranky.
It wasn’t until 7am the next morning, as I was waiting for the coffee to drip through, that I had a good look at the way he had stuck the tiles back up.
Ever see the movie Harvey with James Stewart? He takes his girl out for dinner and while I forget the exact reason why he feels the need to shout, he teases her by saying oh, oh, I feel it starting in my feet….and climbing up my ankles into my legs…oh! it’s in my belly and climbing up my chest….it’s in my THROAT…it’s…..it’s trying to come out…it’s almost there… And at that point, the girlfriend screams NOOOOOO!
So there I was, feeling this scream starting to climb up from my toes to my ankles to my legs to my belly….
It looked like someone who had been sniffing tile glue for too long had put the farking tiles up. Most of them were touching, leaving no room for grout. Others had a quarter inch of space between them. Some were crooked, not even in a straight line. Two uber-rustic tiles with eroded corners were put side by side so that there was a gaping huge space that would stick out like a eyepatch when and if they were ever grouted.
The scream never came out, but emails sure did. I fired one off to Bathroom Guy telling him I WAS NOT HAPPY (actually, I think I said I was PISSED and dropped the f-bomb half a dozen times) and would NOT advise him to show his face today. I fired off a copy to Kitchen Guy as well so he’d know he wasn’t the only one tiptoeing dangerously close to that precipice known as YOU’RE FIRED.
To his credit, Bathroom Guy bravely made my phone ring. To *my* credit, I can assume my mood had been properly conveyed via email as the first words out of his mouth were: Don’t hang up on me!
Hmphf. He talked, I listened. He would fix it. He promised he would fix it and he would be there soon to do it.
Hmphf. When he showed up, I pointed out the reason for my hysteria and he agreed. Sloppy. Did not match the wall behind the stove, where he had taken care with his spacing and levels and matching up the lines. But he would fix it. Don’t worry.
I knew, if I heard those words again, I really would scream, so I prudently left the house to do some shopping. When I came back two hours later, he was just finishing up. Yes, Sparky, it took two hours to fix it properly, not ten farking minutes with your coat half on.
I’ll be curious…as will all of you, I’m sure…to see his comments when he comes to read the blog.
Oh…and remember when I said he had given me the measurements and told me how much tile to get? As I was taking the dog out for a walk, I happened to notice two boxes of tiles still by the back door. The top one was open and had a row of about 20 loose tiles in it…tiles that have to wait for Kitchen Guy to finish installing the cupboard *light valences* now before the backsplash can get finished and grouted. (Dominoes. Always the dominoes.) But sitting beneath that box was another box….FULL OF TILES. I’m curious to know where he plans to use them. I suspect there is enough there to do a double layer on the entire backsplash!!!!!!! Or perhaps he could use them to artfully tile the front of his truck. Or the back of his truck. Or he could combine them with the 6 sq feet of excess tile he over-measured from the shower floor and start tiling my basement floor. Or the wine room. Or that natty little space where the sun doesn’t shine.