a little surprise

March 1, 2010

So all along this project has been nothing but smooth.  I’ve said on numerous occasions, “and there have been no ugly surprises!” HA  HA  HA.


As of this morning we’ve had one ugly surprise – though in the grand scheme of ugly suprises, it isn’t terrible.  But it’s a $1000 ugly surprise and I’ll just throw out now that if anyone needs a babysitter or odd job girl then I’m the one to call, ’cause this wasn’t in the budget.

ANYWAY – the contractors laid down concrete-board about a week ago and the kitchen tile has been sitting in boxes ready to go since then.  The concrete-board (or whatever it’s called, I’m not sure, but that’s basically what it looks like) is serving as the new sub-floor over the beat to hell old wooden floors that were unearthed when Chris and the crew ripped out the old tile.  This morning Chris called and he asked me to come watch him bounce up and down in the kitchen doorway.  (Actually, this isn’t what he said, but that’s what he did.)  For the record, this was the first time he’s said “we have a problem,” that wasn’t followed with “and that’s why you can’t put in a pedestal sink.”

So I go over and Chris bounces up and down in the kitchen doorway and all we hear is squeak squeak squeak.  And the board is moving a little, tiny, smidgeon of a bit.  He explains to me that this is caused by a weak supporting something-or-other under the sub-sub-floor and it’s not a big deal but it’s an old structural beam issue that can’t be fixed (OH! that’s why the floors aren’t totally level) and if they tile over it then the grout will crack on a regular basis and the tile in that section will continually pop and “I can’t warranty that.” I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t warranty it either.  So it came down to “what should we do?” Answer, lay down hardwood floors.  Hardwood floors will squeak but they won’t pop or crack.  The floors in the entire place are red oak and even though they were probably put in sometime in the 1930’s you can still buy identical boards.  How much will new boards cost for the entire kitchen? $750 approximately.  Add in a few other things needed for the job, and add in the clearance sale tile that can’t be returned and I just blew out my kitchen floor budget.

OUT.  Blew it OUT.






  1. Our contractor was able to get hardwood flooring on sale at Home Depot, of all places – is that where Chris is looking? Or is there a Habitat for Humanity Restore somewhere within reasonable distance? They might have something. And they would probably be glad to take the tile off your hands and maybe that’s a tax-deductible charitable donation. Not that that helps the cash flow any.

  2. Sorry about the tile. On the plus side, hardwood floors in the kitchen will be beautiful.

    Can you use the tile in the bathroom? Or, is there anything in your condo that needs re-tiling? Maybe you could sell the tile on eBay or Craig’s list. Or, maybe Chris would buy it off of you for another project. If I lived closer, I’d buy it off of you and put it in our kitchen or bathroom. We could really use new tile.

  3. This entire apartment has come from the Home Depot. In fact, when Home Depot stock goes up in the next quarter, it’s going to be because of me. Do you hear that, America? BUY NOW.

    • Oh good! Mark has stock in Home Depot and complains that it should be doing a lot better than it is. I’ll tell him to expect some good returns next quarter.

  4. This strikes me as nearly as much fun as building a house with the difference that a $1,000.00 error can be disastrous in the same way that a $20,000.00 can be in a larger project.

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