Tuesday, 5 June 2012

We make a start

When the shower room was built, the floor - for some reason I have never worked out - was raised by about one and a half inches. But instead of leaving the normal type of shallow step, the builder made a slope from the hall floor to the new, higher, shower room floor at an angle of forty-five degrees, presumably on the grounds that it would be safer as people were less likely to trip over it. Then, at the end where the toilet pan sits, the floor is at yet a higher level, again by about an inch and a half. And again the builder made a slope at an angle of forty-five degrees. At least, we thought that had been his intention. Unfortunately the angle was nearer sixty degrees at one end of the slope and thirty degrees at the other.

So, as well as one of us having to twist like a contortionist, we had to cut tiles to fit the corners, the edges, round the wash basin pedestal, round the toilet pan - oh, and round an air grill which had been set into the floor for ventilation, there being no outside wall to the room. And then there were those two funny little slopes to contend with.

Chris being bigger than me, it was decided that I would lay the tiles while Chris would cut them to shape. I slapped a generous layer of adhesive on the only place on the floor where I could lay whole tiles and put the first two in place. We congratulated ourselves on having made a good start and went to have a coffee.

The next tile to be laid needed to be cut down. I took great care in marking just where the cut was to be made, remembering Chris's maxim, "measure twice, cut once", before handing the tile to Chris, who had set up the workbench in the courtyard. Chris followed the instructions which had come with the cutter, pulling the diamond wheel along the line of the cut, then inserting the tile between the upper and lower bars and pressing down on the handle. The tile snapped in completely the wrong place.

I had anticipated that we might have the odd accident or two and had deliberately bought more tiles than I should really have needed, so it was no problem for me to mark up a second tile. But when I gave it to Chris to cut, the same thing happened. It happened with the third tile as well.

We decided that there must be something wrong with the tile cutter, but as I had bought it in England there was nothing we could do about that. We had another coffee, and then went off to Mr Bricolage to buy a replacement.

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