By Kathy | February 20, 2011
The tile guys invaded my home today. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, although a little earlier than what I had imagined.
I had talked to the lead guy, John, last Friday, and his exact words were: “We’ll come by on Monday morning to do some measurements.”
Well, they were here, but not to do measurements. Somehow it had morphed into, “We’re starting the job RIGHT NOW.”
And that would have been fine, except that they were tearing apart my bathroom and I hadn’t taken a shower yet.
John is a good guy, and so is his friend Julio. The pair of them had already completed tile work in another bathroom in the house, and had done a wonderful job. So I shrugged it off and thought, “Well, tile work bright and early on a Monday morning. How bad can this be?”
After all, I had already made up my mind to get it done, and that John and Julio were the guys who would be doing it. It was just a little bit sooner than I’d planned.
John and Julio are two of the group of Helpful Men in my life. I have appropriated this term from Dominique Browning, an author who wrote about renovating her garden in a book called “Paths of Desire.”
Browning wrote about how, when you are a single woman, you develop a network of Helpful Men who can fix plumbing, replace windows, trim trees and install tile, among other things.
I have Helpful Men too. Not that I am not handy, because I am, to a certain extent. It’s just that sometimes it’s easier to hire someone than to try to do it myself — I could do it, sure, but it would take three times as long and wouldn’t come out half as well.
So that’s where the Helpful Men come in. I have Jim, my doors and windows expert; Carl the tree guy; and others who have dug, lifted, toted, hammered and painted over the years.
I depend upon them greatly, and am grateful for their help.
So when John and Julio arrived and began setting up their saws, there wasn’t much I could say. After all, I needed them to do the job, and didn’t want to turn them away when they were ready to get it done.
There was just one other little problem. Whenever you have someone working on your home, it’s difficult to get much of anything accomplished. And since I work at home, that is definitely a problem.
Since the upstairs bathroom was being renovated, and I work downstairs — almost directly underneath said bathroom — I was subject to all kinds of ripping, grinding, tearing and chiseling uproar today as they took up the old flooring and prepared for the new tile.
And that wasn’t all. Then they had to cut. First a layer of board to go underneath the tile, then the tile itself. The saw was directly outside my window. Noisy … very noisy. And the dog didn’t like it either.
Of course, this is all part and parcel of home renovation. There is noise, dust, trash, commotion, upheaval and so forth. There must be chaos before there can be order. Only in my case, the chaos was extremely inconvenient to me completing an article that was due that day.
John and Julio are such nice guys, and there wasn’t much I could say. They had to do their jobs. And I had to let them.
Luckily, laying tile in a small bathroom really doesn’t take all that long. Although it seemed like forever, it took just a few hours. They’ll be back tomorrow to do the grout and to finish up.
And that will be much, much quieter.