Posted by: greenpinkies | August 23, 2010

Pet Peeve #1 Doubt Sets In or “That’s Beautiful, Why’d You Get Rid of It?”

Pet Peeve #1: Well meaning people questioning your sanity.

Nothing can squelch initiative quicker than doubt.  Unfortunately, doubt usually shows up when a new project is being undertaken.  It’s the bonus that you get for entering new, unknown territory.

Well, today we set about chipping up the tile that covers practically all the floors in the house. We’re talking big, thick 18 inch pavers more suited to a patio, covering the entire living room, hallway, and three bedrooms. (Why the bathrooms and kitchen were not tiled and subsequently rotted, beats us).
Why do we wish to remove it, when it certainly is sturdy and doesn’t look bad?  We have a sneaking suspicion that the tile was placed to cover up the subfloor underneath.  Whatever is on the floor underneath, we believe, is the reason for the smell in the house and the mysterious dampening that appears in the grout lines every morning (see this in the ‘Photos’ tab).  Thus, we’re tearing up the tile.

Unfortunately, this tile is just horrible to tear up and will likely take the entire week to demolish.  Add to this the fact that tile is what most people want in rental houses and it’s actually kind of nice looking.  So, as we worked, we had these creeping doubts that kept surfacing.  “Should we really be tearing this stuff up?”  “Is it worth it?” “Are we working smart, not hard?”

And man, the minute those thoughts creep into your head, the work gets super hard and super slow going.  All initiative dissolves away and you wonder what you were thinking when you busted up that first tile in the corner of the room.  Now, you’ve managed to only move about four feet out from the corner in the last 3 hours.  You look around in dismay and think, “what am I doing?”

No sooner did that thought run through our heads, today, when a curious passerby popped his head in and verbalized that same looming question, “Well hey!  That’s some nice tile, what are you doing tearing it all up?” Now, we have to defend our actions when we ourselves are wondering the same thing! Already we’re physically tired, mentally in turmoil and loosing heart for the whole thing, and now we have to muster up boldness to defend our position? A sweet comment like, “wow, what nice work” or “things will look so nice when you’re done” would work wonders.  But no, they ask “Why are you doing this?”. …and just about sink the ship every time!

But, today, thoroughness paid off!  The subflooring is full of animal pee stains.  Yes, the tile was put down on top of the stains, probably while they were still wet. The cement board put down under the tile had grabbed onto the damaged particle board subfloor. Kind of gross, but for us it was a wonderful find.  It dispelled all our doubt and reassured us that our tile-chipping was not in vain.

So, here we go for the next week, chipping away at the reams of tile throughout the house.  But, we now have a renewed energy with which to go about the project with, knowing that we are unburying the source of the smell and can eradicate it!  Bring on a clean smelling house!


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