I have never installed tile before in my life.  This is a wholly new concept to me.  I have seen tile installed.  The process and the finished product both.  Our tile is a particularly repulsive combination of off-white and a rather muddy brown streaking effect.  Fortunately, we have two large boxes of leftover tile in the basement which, until now, had only seen service as a means of pressing the Book Safes that I made for Dad & Paul (my brother-in-law) for Christmas.  I retrieved a lone, completely unused tile from the workshop to replace one of its fallen comrades who had broken on impact with the tub.

I spent a very irritating hour at Home Depot Wednesday afternoon.  The store is probably set up according to some kind of logic but it’s a bizarre and cock-eyed Atlanta-based logic that does not jive with the way I laid out my list of required supplies.  I needed many items because I am not only planning to re-tile, I’m also hoping to avoid further problems in the future by installing a bathroom fan that vents outside.  I wound up walking back and forth through the store, retracing my steps quite often, in order to gather the goods.

The hardest item to find from my list was a drywall saw.  They aren’t with the hand tools.  They’re not with the saws.  They’re not with the scrapers.  They are at the very far other end of the store with (ah ha!) the drywall.  My total list of supplies was as follows:

  • tile adhesive
  • tile grout (caulking, really, which lead to a whole bunch of jokes when I got home)
  • caulking gun (see above)
  • putty knife/scraper
  • bathroom fan
  • surface-mount switch (I am not totally prepared to fish wire through the plaster of my bathroom)
  • 20m of 14-2 grounded wire (white to match trim, as is the switch)
  • Marrettes (those yellow twist-on cable connectors.  Also call Marr connectors apparently, which makes spell check much happier)
  • drywall
  • 4” flex duct (leads from bathroom fan to soffit for venting)
  • adhesive spreader (kind of like a drywall taping tool with ridges along two sides)

I had practice pretty much as soon as I got home (I ate my dinner while walking.  Turkey burgers cool quickly in a breeze) so I didn’t get to the actual adhesing until after nine.  The tool I was using is intended for laying large swathes of tile in a neatly prepared, totally accessible area.  It is not really meant for re-attaching nine, 40-year-old tiles to an area of damp plaster.  I slathered things up thoroughly and jammed the tiles home.  Then I realized that the tiles had been cut to fit so I had to pry them off.  Tiles that have been glued do not go quietly.  Eventually, all was at peace and I had smoothed out all the squashed-out adhesive.

Thursday evening I began the caulking (there were many caulking jokes at this time as well).  We have a small group book club/study going on right now so I delayed everybody’s evening by 25 minutes while I got the joints all filled.  I decided it was probably not wise to just leave the job half-done.  As it was, it was an absolute bear.

The title of this series of posts is intended to reflect the fact that, while I may technically be able to do something, that in no way implies that I should do that thing.

it had something to do with the rain