Finding a Need and Filling It


For months, I’ve been stepping on chunks of gray master bath flooring grout. The grout started making a jump for freedom only a few weeks after my husband’s “friend” laid the tile. When I asked him about it, he wondered out loud if I might have stepped on the flooring before it was completely dry — “even though I warned you about that very thing,” he said, accusingly.

I didn’t think I had, but I wasn’t too alarmed, because at first there was just a tick of grout making innocent appearances here and there — little bits that I easily could hand pick and toss with a flick of the wrist into the bathroom trash.

But then, the great escape began. The little grout bits became large nuggets, and I worried that my tile squares were going to make a run for it too. When I finally mustered up enough courage to ask my husband’s friend to regrout, he’d left town.

I often make the mistake of using nonprofessionals when it comes to general household fix-its. The guy who painted the exterior of my house turned out to be an ex-con with cancer who couldn’t finish the job. The just-on-the-cusp-of-adulthood teens who painted rooms in the house (and got paid by the hour) spent more time changing TV channels than changing wall colors. And the drug addict who swore that if he spread some white goop on the roof it would fix all leaks for 10 years only charged me a grand.

I don’t know if I’m horribly gullible, if I feel sorry for people who need money or if I’m just cheap — or all three. But last week, when I noticed that the tile in the bathroom was coming loose and one tile square was cracking, I finally made the decision to call professionals.

It turns out, my husband’s friend was supposed to put a subfloor in and not just tile over the concrete. Who knew? Well, I guess the professionals did. Plus, the professionals will lay the tile for less money than I already paid for the job.

You know what I think? I think I’m tired of the old stained linoleum in my kitchen and I’m going to have the professionals lay tile there too.

Eva Ditler, Managing Editor

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