Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ten Truths That Nobody Tells You About Grout.

1. When Sweetie tells you he needs your help, he doesn't take into account that you are controlling about home-improvement projects and you will finally make him move and do it yourself. His only job will be sponging up your mess.
2. Make sure to wear some sort of latex glove when using dark-colored grout, unless you want your formerly semi-feminine hands to look as if you've been working on a carburetor for the last five weeks . (This is true no matter how much you scrub your hands...finally you just give up any idea of having feminine-looking paws.)
3. Yes sanded grout looks better with natural stone, but it's a real pain in the patootie to work with.
4. There is a warning on the box of grout mix politely telling you not to inhale any of the grout dust or you could end up with lung cancer. Do these people ever work with their product? There is no non-dust producing way of dumping the mix into a bucket to mix with water. They do not include a respirator with the box. And this is sold to the public--why don't they just make the stuff out of asbestos dust and just have it done?
5. When the home-improvement people try to sell you on the sponges made specifically for tiling projects, listen to them. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time cleaning up little tiny pieces of carwash sponge that deposit themselves on your project. The money is worth saving your time.
6. Don't start this project at 7PM on a weeknight when you have to get up for work at 4AM. If you do this you will be in trouble. No matter how easy the project looks like it is, grout is evil and it will fight you.
7. When you do not have them, those turtle-like kneepads that they sell for flooring projects sound like a gift from God about three hours into a flooring project. My knees still hurt this morning. Slate tile is not forgiving to your limbs.
8. When butting this tile up against your light-color, natural-stone fireplace, dark grout and tile is a beautiful contrast. Keep in mind though, that you will be scrubbing this grout off of the beautiful, light-color, natural-stone fireplace for three hours or more with a toothbrush to keep it from staining.
9. Keep one of those tiny little whisk brooms with a matching dustpan handy. You know, the ones that you see in the store and wonder to yourself "what would I ever use that for?", when you are working with sanded grout you suddenly know why that would be a crucial tool for the project. Especially as you attempt to sweep the grout crumbs up with your hand, you will wish for that nifty little household tool.
10. If you can afford to hire a contractor to do said project, hire one...and because you are well-off enough to do this, you also have the money to head to a spa and have a facial and massage while the project is in progress. It will be much more gratifying to come home to your finished tile project with tighter pores and loose muscles. Seriously.

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