Friday, March 26, 2010

Woggy #27: Guest Bath Floor

One of the earliest home improvement projects I took on after moving into my condo and getting married (which btw, was at least 7 years ago...) was decorating my guest bath, which in the case of my house is also the laundry room. If you don't count the flooring, the room itself has been complete for some very long time and must have been a success judged by the fact that whenever any of my guests who've been here before finds out that another one of my guests hasn't seen it, they always respond by jumping up and saying "Oh you've GOT to see the bath!!!" enthusiastically dragging said poor new guest, unawares and bewildered, down the hall. This is probably due to my unorthodox decor of "Space Station", inclusive of portholes with a view of Earth, a simulated sideways airlock, and a space monkey.

I can only hope everyone's enthusiasm for the space-like walls and ceiling have all these years kept everyone distracted away from the fact that the floors, which in general look pretty good, are nonetheless unfinished in just about every corner of the room, and have been practically permanently so for years now. Originally, I had tackled the flooring of both my bathrooms with a fervor to get rid of the boring white "builder's special" linoleum, constrained by the fact that I had read getting the bath floors redone was a pain due to various HOA regulations regarding something called a vapor barrier or something like that. I therefore decided that finding a flooring I could put on top of my existing flooring, one I could order in the mail and install myself, was obviously the ideal solution. And I was happy to find a nice industrial tiling that even came in the lovely space-station-y black I had been hoping for (seriously, only galvanized steel would have been more spiffy).

So began my flooring project, which I took on initially entirely without the assistance of my husband, since I not only had both the vision and the free time, I didn't want to have to wait for his available time nor did I relish the idea of working for hours in close quarters on such a project with another person.

I started with my master bath, and sturdy utility knife in hand, managed to customize the tiling in there to fit snugly from wall to wall, so that it is basically impossible to tell that the floor wasn't laid in the traditional fashion. The cutting was difficult work, requiring alot of brawn as well as precision, but it ended up being manageable in the small and relatively uniform space of that room.

By the time I was ready to move on to the guest bath, which was not only larger but shaped much more irregularly, I began to think it was probably necessary for me to get some assistance. I laid out all of the even, straight areas requiring minimal cutting, and then on an ambitious day I took on some of the tighter areas, still keeping things in the square-ish department, as the curved and skinny strips proved to be the most difficult parts to do. Once I got to this part, I talked it over with my husband and he agreed to help me with finishing off all of the corners and everything in time for the upcoming arrival of some house-guests (which always seems to work as a motivational factor when it comes to household projects).

However, time got away from us and the floor fell to the bottom of the list, until the guests were about to arrive and it became impossible to get it done in time. We just decided it would have to hold. Then when our guests didn't even seem to notice, we thought, hmm, maybe this isn't as urgent an issue as we thought? So it was put on the giant household to do list. And there it has sat ever since. Every year, when it's getting close to say, holiday time when there are many guests in the house, I always renew my hope that this project will actually get done, but really, it very stubbornly has years of inaction behind it that seem to work against any and all actual completion of this project.

This was a relatively neutral situation until we one day ended up needing a replacement of a fixture. Turns out the new one wasn't at all shaped like the old one, as can be clearly seen in the picture above. This, and the complete ridiculousness of how it looked I hoped would now work in favor of our quick completion, since we couldn't possibly let it sit looking that out of sorts, could we? (Turns out that yes, we could...) And thus my hope has faded with every year for any sort of easy solution.

Then this past holiday season, I received a robotic floor scrubber for a present. While it performed perfectly in all other rooms of the house, the first time I tried setting it on its own in the guest bath, the poor little guy valiantly did the best he could, but the traps laid in every other corner, not to mention the odd unevenness around our fixture, left it stopping and bleeping desperately for help at every fifth turn. In the end, it needed almost as much assistance from me if I had just cleaned the floor myself. At this, I resolved anew to get this floor completed, if for nothing else, for the peace of mind that I could let my Scooba clean the way it was meant to.

So I post this here now, hoping against dark hope that this project may someday (maybe even soon...) be completed, for the sake of happy Scoobas and content Space Monkeys alike.

Things Left To Complete This Woggy Project
  • Find the stack of extra black floor tiles
  • Get some new sharp utility knives and work gloves
  • Find wax pencil or crayons for marking up tiles
  • Schedule a day or a weekend to complete this project
  • Recut and/or replace tiles around new fixture
  • Cut and place remaining tiles around other corners and fixtures
  • Stand back and contentedly look at lovely finished floor, victory beverage in hand

1 comment:

Kelly said...

ooooh tina. i know! unfinished things can be so frustrating! i wish you lots of luck getting that completed! it looks like a cool material, by the way!