I hate the ceramic tile in my kitchen and bathroom. It’s white, and shows dirt minutes after being mopped, usually because a dog or cat has zero respect for a freshly cleaned floor.
But more than that, the rest of the floors in the house are terrazzo, meaning there is a lip between the tile and terrazzo. I’ve been meaning to rip up the tile now for a while because Mom could trip. And yesterday she did trip, and fall (nothing damaged but her pride), but not on aforesaid lip. She got her toe caught in a grout line. We are talking millimeter depth.
So today is demolition day. I went to my trusty Ace Hardware around the corner for advice and tools. They said without a rotary hammer, which I don’t have, the only other way is to beat the living shit out of it with a regular hammer. That I have.
Labor intensive, hard work, time consuming. But I’m ok with that. It’s exercise, stress reducing, and I like beating the living shit out of something that won’t hit back.
Enter Mom and her impossible to reason with brain.
“You’re gonna kill yourself!”
“No I won’t, and I don’t mind the work. This is how they said to do it.”
“The guy at the hardware store. He removed tile like this for 20 years.”
“Humph! The guy at the hardware store! How do you know he knows? Did he go to school for it? Did you go to a tile store?”
“I went to the hardware store.”
“They don’t know! You have to go to a tile store! You should talk to some contractors for advice.”
“Why would they give me advice for free to do a job myself?”
“Isn’t there something you can put on it to soak it off?”
“I think that’s just for linoleum. This is tile.”
“You can’t do this. You need to talk to experts. I’d call about five different people. Isn’t there something to soak it off?”
“I’ll call Mike (nephew). He did tile work for years.”
“Oh! He did tile work for years! How do you know he knows? He was just the guy who worked for the owner! Can’t you soak it off?”
“He’s the guy who did the work.”
“No, no, no. You aren’t listening to me! You need to talk to someone who started from scratch and worked their way up, made all the mistakes.”
Then I showed her about six YouTube videos of guys beating the living shit out of ceramic tile.
“See. This is how they do it.”
“Yeah, but they’re big burly guys. I wish your father was here. He would have stacks of information on how to do this. Get the phone book.”
“What’s a phone book?” (I didn’t really say that.)
“I think I’m just gonna beat the living shit out of it.”
“Fine!!! I don’t know anything! I’ve lived in houses two, three times longer than you have!!”
Stomps off. And I’m beating the living shit out of it.