Monday, October 3, 2022

A Tile Bargain and A Sunday Drive

We were getting ready for flooring! Making decisions on flooring finishes should have been fun. We had one flooring decision that I think was fun, but the tile floor was turning out to be a chore. Perhaps that was because there is so much to choose from!

Hmm, too marble-y.

Rather plain. 

Too much like concrete. 

Long and skinny?

Tile places close earlier than most stores, so just about the time you have seen the tile selection, and want to go back to the first store to consider a purchase, they are probably closed. Then you wonder if, when you go back the next day, you ought to check out the 5 other tile shops in the area.

My husband took some time to jump in and help me make tile decisions. We went to a tile store or two, and managed to look pretty normal when the salesperson told us the prices. Or maybe salespeople might be used to some pretty strange face contortions.

We chose tile for certain rooms because it was a more natural choice than chemically-made flooring like vinyl. As usual the more "organic" you go the more expensive it is. (What do you think of this stone tile? We liked it but it didn't make it into our finalists)

Some of us went to the ReStore(s) and saw what they had. Wow, lots of good deals! Expensive brands of fancy tile for fifty cents a square foot. It was so tempting, but those shopping trips turned out to be a waste of time as there was not enough of one kind to do a room bigger than the half bath. 

After bringing home too many samples, we decided we were looking for gray. Who knew that gray could be so many colors? And then when you bring it home, it changes colors to things like purple.

We usually ended up at Lowe’s. Still there was some doubt as to whether or not we had found “IT.”

But this ongoing hunt for tile was wearing on me: I started dreaming about tile and that was disturbing! In the meantime my painting job at the house was delayed because of all the driving around!

Finally something happened: an ad on Craiglist popped up from a tile shop that was not usually open to the public. They had a clearing-out-the-warehouse sale and we picked up plenty of a larger gray tile for $1/sf. It looks kinda like a cement sidewalk, and that concrete look was not what we were going for, but surprisingly we have been very happy with it. It has it's own "look" but it seems to "go" fine with the house. It is very good quality, I've been amazed at how durable it is so far. I have dropped things on it and dragged things over it, and haven't seen any marks yet. 

So the laundry room/mud room was provided for. Next was to find tile for bathrooms. If I thought that laundry room was hard to shop for, I was in for it with the bathroom tile selection (just warning you, whining about tile might feature in a lot of posts...)!

One of the boys was interested in trying his hand at tile, which would be a huge money saver on labor. He borrowed a tile cutter and practiced a bit. 

We let him start in the water heater closet. We figured it was a good place to use to learn from any mistakes. 

And now a little bonus.... after all that gray how about some green? It was springtime, and a favorite drive is a couple hours east up a steep, winding road to a beautiful high prairie. 

At just the right couple of weeks, this prairie is bursting with wildflowers. I thought we were a bit early for the most abundant flowers at the time of these photos, but we still saw quite a few and it made a nice afternoon break for us. 

What a beautiful place to rest our eyes. 

The prairie is privately owned but bordered by forest service land. Because of the wild horses grazing around it, the area looks like a mown park. (Hmm Forest Service... have you ever thought of using wild horses elsewhere to keep the fuels trimmed?)


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