Friday, January 26, 2007
Let's talk tile...
Ask me how many words I wrote on my manuscript yesterday. Go ahead, ask. 200. That's right, a piddly, measly, teensy 200 words...a tenth of my goal. And do you know why?
That's right. Ceramic tile.
The tile-setters have been hard at work, and what a great bunch of guys. I've never seen such intricate cuts, angles, and straight grout lines. I couldn't be happier with them.
The tile supplier however, is on my list. A giant ORANGE home supply store which shall remain nameless, sent us several boxes of tile, from a rainbow of dye lots. Too-pale bull nose, kaleidoscopic 2" hex, and out of seven boxes of wall tile, I counted five different dye lots. We didn't even open these yet for fear of having a checkerboard effect on the shower walls.
Consequently, my writing day was massacred. After schooling the children, a run to the bank, and finally settling in with the laptop to work, the first tile guy arrived. (They are moonlighting this job, so they come in the mid to late afternoon and work through the evening. Very efficient and cheerful fellows.) The tile guy says they may be running short of some tiles and could I run to the ORANGE store and get some more, and btw, did you look at that bull nose? It doesn't really match. Discussion of options ensues and I declare I will try to find some that matches. Leave children practicing piano and finishing chores and I drive to the north side of town (30 mile round trip or so?) to the ORANGE store.
I get most of what I need (they were two pieces short on a listello/trim piece) and beetle home. I set foot inside the doorway and the tile guys are asking me to 'come look at something.'
Half the shower floor is laid, and I think to myself, "Boy howdy, they're fast and they're good. That looks great." I should've known better.
Tile guy points to the shower floor. "This is all from one box. But look at the stuff in this box." He lays another sheet of the 2" hex tiles down and they don't match...AT ALL. There are clear differences to the tone and pattern of the tiles. Tile guy says get me the number for the ORANGE store.
The bad news...the only remaining boxes of 2" hex tile in the ORANGE store match the dye lot of the box of 2" hex tile the tile setter's have not yet used. Evidently, the ORANGE store sent us out the door with the only box of this dye lot on the planet. Half the shower floor must now come up.
The good news...he states emphatically over the protests of the ORANGE store representative that the uncut sheets of hex tile will be returned (only six of the twelve were laid whole and could be salvaged, but he was able to wash the thin-set off and put them back in the box).
Fortunately, the tile setters are all on my side. They think this never should've happened either. One of them has the day off tomorrow (Friday) and will be coming in mid-morning. I assured him I will have enough tile that matches for him to not have wasted his day. This means another trip to the ORANGE store Thursday evening.
This time I pile the children and the tile I'm returning into the van and head for the ORANGE store. Because my order was a special order (which should have all come from the same dye lot!) I have to go to the 'special order return desk'. Here, we wait a LONG OLD TIME as they try to return partial cases of tile. To their credit, they apologized several times for the wait, but by that time I was peevish and it didn't make much of an impression on me. Once we got that settled, the kids and I went back to the tile department and retrieved the last five cases of wall tile in my chosen pattern, which happened to be from the same dye lot. (AMAZING!) I now have thirteen boxes of wall tile where I only needed seven. Six of them have the same dye lot and for the last one, we'll just have to choose one of the remaining boxes that is closest. Then I will take the leftovers back to the ORANGE store for a refund.
At least I didn't have to cook last night. With all the running around, the waiting in line, the schlepping of enormously heavy boxes of tile...I stopped at Wendy's on the way home.
Maybe today will be quieter. Whoops, tile guys are here. They've turned on the radio to accompany them while they work. 80's rock ballads. So much for quiet.