Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ah, Italia

Two years ago I wanted to replace the crap flooring in the kitchen.  It was old, very ugly and worn.  I spent some time looking for tile but after many a fruitless search, I changed my mind and decided not to do anything just then.

This past December, my neighbors down the road redid their kitchen and bathrooms. Bunny was telling me how happy she was with her new flooring, but also went on and on about the floor guy and the beautiful, professional job he did.  I asked for his number and a few weeks ago, we finally connect and he signs on to do the work.

Now it's up to me to pick the tile.  I wander from one store to another until I find a style I can live with, and Tom is going to start on Monday.  By Friday I'm going to have a new kitchen floor. Woo hoo!!

So, Monday morning and I'm out of bed while it's still dark because Tom starts at 7:00am. First step is to strip the kitchen, so now the fridge is in the hallway, the dishwasher in the dining room.  Then he has to remove the old stuff down to the sub-floor.  By yesterday, the floor is clean, prepped and ready for the tiling to start today.  I can't wait.

The first thing he does this morning is snap chalk lines and lay out the tiles before he mixes up the goop and glues them down.  I'm dinking on the computer, the dogs are napping and I hear this quiet sort of "Huh..."

I look toward the kitchen.  He's standing off to the side staring at the floor.  "What's wrong?" I ask, because hell, of course things can't go smoothly.  The gods don't like smooth.

"See if you like how this looks."  His voice says it all, but he's already admitted that he has no sense of color or decor and leaves all that to his wife.  Still.  There's something in his tone...

I stand at the edge of the kitchen and stare at the horror that is the tile. The color is crap, half the tiles look like a psychotic Rorschach blot, the other half has a dip-and-swirl pattern that looks like sagging boobs.  Seriously. The tiles don't match the three samples I brought home in any way.  I look at Tom, he looks at me.

"Oh my god!  I hate it!"

Tom says, "Don't like it myself and I'm clueless."

I have a small dramatic moment where I imagine being stuck with this hideous tile until I burn down the house move on, but Tom assures me I can return them and find something else.  Except there wasn't anything last time I looked.  And now this delays the Friday finish date.  Indefinitely if I can't find something else.

Have I mentioned that my fridge is in the hallway, the dishwasher in the dining room?

Tom loads the tiles into the Blazer and off I go to return/replace.  I'm nervous because I just can't believe Home Depot will take these tiles back when half of them are no longer boxed, but wow, they were actually great about everything.

Except now I need replacements.  I wander, I stew, I dither, I despair until finally this really nice woman (Claire) asks if I need help.  I explain my problem and she takes me all over the store where they have various stacks of tile on display--beyond what's in the flooring section.  But I can't find a single thing that will work, that I like, or that they have in stock so I don't have to wait two more weeks for delivery.

30 minutes later and I'm edging toward hysterical laughter.  All I wanted was a damn new kitchen floor.  Is that too much to ask?  I thank Claire for sticking with me and tell her I'm going to make one more pass down the flooring aisle before I throw myself in front of a bus.  (I forget that people who don't know me will take me seriously.  She walks all the way back to the tile department with me as if a bus might actually be showing up at any minute and she'll have to save me.)

We're slowly going down the aisle as I forlornly look at the selections when around the corner comes a guy on a forklift with a new shipment on a pallet.  And on that pallet, peeps, is the most beautiful Italian tile that any girl could possibly want this side of Naples.  It's the perfect color for my kitchen, the right tile size and they have ten cases...exactly what I need.

Funny how sometimes a big mistake can turn into something just right...


  1. The universe can really mess with your head before it finally delivers, yes? And will you be posting pics of the final floor? (I love Italian tile)

    1. Mess with my head is an understatement...the gods have me on speed dial.
      And definitely photos ahead...hopefully by tomorrow. Tom is cutting tile as we

  2. Oh boy, I would have freaked out seeing the tiles on the floor not being what I wanted ;) Isn't it amazing how the right thing is so often waiting right around the corner when we have kind of a nervous breakdown? ;)
    I can't wait to see the tiles you picked! And I hope it'll be all done today :)
    Have an amazing weekend!

  3. Very wonderful that the new tile showed up just in the nick of time...!! ;D
    Post with photos on my beautiful new floor later today...