Sunday, August 25, 2013

Not Dissatisfied

I would have finished grouting on Saturday as planned had not my back loudly refused to do any more.

Inspired, emboldened, encouraged, cautioned, educated etc by what I learned yesterday, I finished the rest of the grouting (getting it in, that is) in record time this morning. To a certain extent, that's the easy part. The hard part is getting to this:
From this:
 Grout haze. It's annoying and insidious and they're right: you need elbow grease to get it off but it's not so bad really if you use those cellulose-type cloths, the ones like the sponges but configured like fabric. And oh yeah, lots of pressure with the wipe, and frequent rinsing and changing of the water.

Another thing I learned when grouting is that I'm not exactly excellent at the tiling business, specifically I'm not terrific at glopping on the perfect amount of thin-set, because this became my favourite and most necessary tool of the grouting enterprise:
 A dremel-type tool with a grouting bit used to remove excessive thin-set that had bubbled up between the tiles. Next time I'll get another charger for super-efficiency. In the unlikely even that there is a next time, that is.
 But the floor is grouted and (mostly) de-hazed, and I moved in a few pieces of (light) furniture just to see if I like it.

My friend and her son will help me move in the rest of it tomorrow and then I will take most excellent photos with which I shall display to the family in Australia my genius at home improvements. It's all relative, really.

So here's a weird thing.

When you work with thin-set and grout, it does nasty things to the skin or your hands (I'm not so good with the gloves, so sue me. Besides, they always leak) because it's very caustic.  I read on some manly-man tiling forum that if you wash your hands with acid, it balances the alkali of the other stuff and helps  prevent the skin on your hands from, I don't know, peeling or exploding or something.

Makes sense, so I've put the white vinegar at the sink, and have been using it to rinse my hands while I'm working. It has the added benefit of unsticking any thin-set that might creep under your finger-nails or stick in the cuticles of your nails.

When I vinegar-rinse my hands while grouting (I wash, rinse with water, dry, then rinse with vinegar) that the odour which first assails my nostrils is not that acetic acid punch as during a thin-set session, but is instead a sulphurous flatus followed quickly by the acidic hit. I'm guessing there's something in grout which when combined with acetic acid makes sulphur dioxide.

Or something.

So yesterday when my back went out I managed a little beading. First I made the other earring:
 Then I made another pair with different dangles
 To match a necklace.
I have a beading and knitting deficit which I badly need to balance!

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