Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Grout is not cake

Do you know about grout? I know about grout. Let me tell you everything important about grout.

1) No matter how creamy and smooth you mix it, it is not cake batter. If it's like cookie dough, add water.
2) You can have a float, you can have a trowel, you can have super-elastic bubble plastic gloves, but there will come a time where you will put your fingers in it.
3) Unsanded grout is the bomb. See important thing 2.
4) If you mix up too much for the moment but know you will need it later, you can Saran wrap it and put it in the fridge. Remember rule 1.

Why do I know about grout? Well, in my living room at this moment is a large hunka board and plywood covered in "glazed tile dots" and grout. When it grows up, it will be the new hearth for our fancy ventless fireplace. Those glazed tile dots are the 2x2 squares left over from when we tiled our bathroom floor. They are a lovely low gloss dark blue, and we bought about a jillion more of them than we really needed because once we got going on the floor (which is larger white tiles with an inset of the blue on the corners) we decided that cutting the frigging corners off every single white tile was going to make us nuts, so we modified, which meant those blue tiles have been in the garage for about four years. When we did the floor, we used sanded grout. Sanded grout is like 40 grit sand paper, only wet and sticky. When it comes down to actually using your hands to get the grout to go INTO those little crevices (since the damn float -- why is it called a float? It doesn't -- won't do it no matter HOW many of those home improvement shows you've watched. The only way to make the float work is Not To Care like the professionals do) it's exactly like rubbing your hands against wet, sticky 40 grit sandpaper.

Exactly. I didn't need to touch hand lotion for weeks afterwards. Anything like a callus or rough spot was gone and my hands were soo smooth and soft. Of course, for the first two weeksI also didn't want to touch anything. Not even air.

However, in my little grouty paradise there is a snake. It is evil and it is hissing at me even as I type this. Why, oh why, someone tell me why, did I think a rosy pink grout would look GOOD with dark blue tiles? Did I want out of Home Depot that bad?

Actually, I blame The Husband for this. (That's what I keep him around for). He's a "Color Engineer". He went to school for this. He can mix and match up a color in no time. This does not -- and I must remind myself of this frequently -- translate into having any taste at all. And he likes pink.

I hate pink. Have I ever talked about my dining room? No? That's because it's pink. I tried, I really did, but it's pink all the same. I don't care if the paint can DID say "pale rose" or whatever the hell it said. I don't care if it WAS the only logical color to go with the dark rose and the burdundy. I have a fucking PINK DINING ROOM. I hate it.

However, it will remain pink until I feel like repainting it. Which I don't. I'd rather bitch and complain about it.

Which does not fix this grout problem. Pink and blue, oh how cute, how very adorable, except not in my living room. Rose -- rose is ok. Salmon can be endured. Pink is an abomination.

(And I am NOT weating a pink shirt right now. It's ROSE. Said so when I bought it from the catalog. The difference is so obvious. And it's got black, and it's a plaid. Leave me alone.)

So that pink grout is drying on my blue blue tiles right now. The box said "Rose Beige". Well, it better start beiging or rosing up something fierce as it dries or there will be some cement paint in Husband's future. And a very tiny brush.

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