1902 Victorian

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Monday, August 08, 2005

Learn from my Mistakes

I wish I'd known before this weekend what a good workout demolishing ceramic tile is; I could've saved myself the $39 a month for a gym membership. In fact, I'm thinking of hanging a sign on my front porch and charging people to help with the demolition. Learn real-world skills while buffing up your bod! A great workout for the glutes! Yeah!

Okay, maybe not. But I am willing to share my newfound tile-bashing expertise FREE OF CHARGE right here on the Internet. You can learn from my mistakes and have an excellent tile-bashing experience with these easy steps:

1. If you can afford it, hire somebody else to do the work.
2. Oh, you're not that kind of person? Me neither. Guess you better do it yourself.
3. Wait till your husband is outside doing something with a chainsaw, so he won't stand over you and critique your work.
4. Wear safety glasses. Darwin made me wear them, and I'm glad he did because I felt many shards of tile ping off my face.
5. Wear appropriate footwear. House slippers do not count. I've got a bloody shard of ceramic to prove it.
6. Long pants would help, too, if you plan to sit down (I always plan to sit down).
7. Don't try to just bang on the tile with a hammer, like your husband suggests. Pull up the air conditioning vent and begin there or at some other edge area. If you don't have an edge area, well ... maybe a sledgehammer would work? I wouldn't know because Darwin won't let me have one.
8. Use the appropriate tools, which I guess would be a chisel or crowbar of some kind. I decided to do this project on the spur of the moment (I know you're shocked), so after some trial and error we figured out that if you wedge the nail-puller end of one hammer against the edge of the tile and hit the hammer head with the head of another, heavier hammer, the tile will usually break loose. Sometimes you have to bash it about a thousand times.
9. Work on one square-foot area for about an hour because you really suck at this.
10. Take frequent water breaks when you get all trembly from the physical exertion because you are a giant wuss ... oh, is that just me?
11. Finally get into a rhythm and begin bashing out tiles with a fiendish energy.
12. Slice open foot and two fingers with shards of tile.
13. Feel elation every time a tile breaks free.
14. Look at the mess of a floor and try to picture how gorgeous it will be with the new pinwheel tile.
15. Wake up the next day with sore arms and legs (and thumbs and foot), just like after a good workout.

Sounds fun right?

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Greg said...

That stuff is surprisingly sharp when it breaks. It is like glass. The one and only time I did this I started in shorts and a short sleeve T-Shirt. Within no time at all I was bleeding and went and changed clothes.

5:27 PM  
Chris said...

Where did you remove the tile from?

6:45 PM  
Beth said...

Darwin won't let you have a sledgehammer? Well he just went on the list entitled, "No fun."

7:32 PM  
Kristin said...

Greg, I was wearing short and a T-shirt ... I don't recommend. :)

Chris, I guess that would be good to know! :) The tile is in the master bathroom. I've added a progress bar to the left column.

Beth, I think we're gonna have to get a sledgehammer anyway to open up the wall in between the two halves of the bathroom. Also to bash out the master bedroom closets when the time comes. Darwin is (rightly) afraid that if we have a sledgehammer in the house, I will get the idea in my head and start bashing stuff before we're ready. :)

8:46 AM  
halloweenlover said...

What about laying tile? Is it as dangerous? Chris says it is totally doable, but I have since determined that she may be superwoman. I am not, so I am a little concerned.

Poor thing. Are your hands okay today?

10:46 AM  
Trissa said...

I hope that the rest of the removal goes more smoothly. It sounds like you were getting a bit of a system in place. We don't have any tile, except for what I installed in the wine cellar, so that's one demolition project I'm glad I'm missing! Keep it up- the project will end. And stay safe!

11:51 PM  
deb said...

like trissa, we don't have any tile in the house either to demo... the tub surround is this ugly fake tile-board, a nasty colour blue to top it off... can't wait to see how the POs put that up... yikes!

2:21 PM  

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