Saturday, November 17, 2007

This Olde House - Part 7

Time to get back to the floors. I've been avoiding this part for a while. Part due to the work I'd have to put into it. Part due to the price. In the end, I accepted the fact: you gotta do what you gotta do. So I set to work prepping the kitchen floor.

As a recap, the floor used to have large Spanish tile with inch-wide grout lines. I put in six hours of labor to jackhammer it up (as well as having my spine surgically replaced!) And there were still maaaaany rough spots. According to my tile guys, I can't have rough spots. I have to get rid of them.

One method is to try to use the jackhammer, again. The other method is to use a "floor grinder." My new spine didn't need to be replaced, so I thought the "grinder" would be the path of least resistance. Oh, stupid, stupid me! As far as I can tell, the "floor grinder" is really just a floor buffer with thick charcoal bricks loaded onto the buffing wheel.

While using the grinder, three facts quickly became apparent: 1) This thing kicks like a pair of pissed off pack mules. (It actually got away from me once, swung around, and plowed into my ribs, where it left a distinctly painful and apparent bruise.) After I finished, I was completely drenched in sweat and felt as I had worked out for a couple of hours! 2) While brutal to use, it is muuuuuch quicker than using a jackhammer, 3) It leaves a major mess. It was easy to see where I had ground down and where I hadn't, because there was a blanket of powdered cement on top of the finished areas.

By the end, the whole process took about four hours. One to prep. One to grind. Two to clean. I like to think that I actually learn from my mistakes. So I made sure I wouldn't get a quarter inch of dust on top of everything in the house by walling off the kitchen with a plastic barrier. And I put a layer of plastic on top of all the counters.

I think the precautions spared me another verbal assault from Lady McD. Once I shop vac'ed the floors and carefully extracted all the plastic, there was almost nothing left to clean. Almost.

So it is on to the next stage...
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