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Tuesday, March 27

Thailand

Well well well. Here we are again. I have looked back at my blog for any descriptions of the last time I wielded the absolute power of a tiling trowel, but there's nothing obvious in there. The pressure is on now, though. I have to remember how to tile a floor and it all has to be done before I next do any sleeping. How did it get so urgent?

Well, I couldn't tile the floor before the radiator was in. I couldn't get the radiator put in until the wall was plastered. I didn't imagine that the bathroom would take so long and I kind of assumed that the floor would be boarded, leaving a piece of board out, for access to the radiator pipes, with everything else fitted and just the floor remaining to be tiled. The builder had other ideas.

Quite reasonably, he suggested not boarding over the floorboards, but using a flexible matting - Ditrimat. He also suggested fitting the toilet and skirting board on top of the tiles. This means that the radiator goes on midway through the bathroom works and then the tiles have to go down before the toilet.

I got a note this morning (I'd missed it last night) which basically said this. "I've stopped work until the tiles are down. Please leave me a big cheque and call me when you're tiled."

I knew that I'd be tiling today, but I didn't realise that I'd also be losing a day of the builder for not having tiled last night (which I couldn't do because the radiator only just went on this morning). So, not only was I suspecting that I was the bottleneck AND on the critical path, I've definitely been proved as a roadblock in the process.

You'd think that he could have put the sink in, and maybe the shower, and maybe the door for the shower, but no. Downing of tools - in the sense of stopping work, rather than swallowing a pint of them.

So, the pressure's on. I picked up four boxes of tiles this morning. The returns policy is excellent. They will take back any unused tiles. Individually. Brilliant! So, if I make efficient cuts and don't screw up too much, then this should go quite well.

The plan for tonight is quite scary. I have to do the following in order:
  • Screw down the remaining floorboards
  • Sweep out the floor to remove all detritus
  • Cut the matting to fit the floor
  • Mix some rapid-set tile-adhesive (once mixed I've 30 minutes to...)
  • Lay the matting on the adhesive
  • Wait 2 hours for that to set
  • Lay out the tiles without adhesive
  • Do all the cutting and notching of the tiles
  • Mix some more adhesive
  • Put tiles down as quickly as possible
  • Remember to work from the furthest point inside the room, outwards
  • Sleep
I'll probably not do the grouting until Thursday!

Hopefully tomorrow morning I'll be writing of my immense success and the joys of my wet-wheel tile cutter.

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