Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Loo, Part 2!

After I had recovered from my mind-boggling Home Depot fact-finding mission (makes it sound so serious and important, doesn't it? Like "toilet features" should be Code Blue Classified Information or something...), I bravely ventured out to another Home Improvement Outpost: The Tile Center. "How bad could it be?" I reassured myself, "all they have is one thing!" And in fact that turned out to be true. They just have ROWS and ROWS of that one thing...stretching off as far as the eye can see. Sigh. That whooshing sound was my "free morning" blowing away before my eyes...

Even here, in such a specialized store, the choices immediately begin to pile up (somewhat like the stacks of money that will be handed over eventually, when all the decisions have been made!) First: what material would you prefer? There's ceramic, porcelain, and something called "Travertine", which I gathered was a fancy name for "stone". Then you can focus on color (solid? light? dark? marbled? speckled?) and texture (completely smooth? slightly bumpy? bumpy enough that you feel like your bathroom is on a garden path?), and finish (shiny? matte? I didn't find the surface-type I really wanted: "self-cleaning, thoroughly hiding dust and hair"...darn it). 

But don't relax just yet; you're far from home-free (pun intended)! You must sift through each of these options several times, as you select tile for the floor...then the shower walls...and the shower pan (that's Secret Bathroom Talk for: the floor of the shower). All of these should of course complement each other--and work with everything else you tentatively picked out in Home Depot (relying on memory, since you couldn't exactly bring a mock-up of your model bathroom with you). Finally, your helpful Consultant will suggest an "accent piece" to make your shower "stand out". (Um...why? I don't plan to give tours of my shower, no matter how good it looks when this is all completed! And when I'm in there, soaping or shaving or whatever, I do not intend to stand around admiring my beautiful surroundings! But I chose one anyway; I figured at this point, "what the heck?")

And then, the Moment of Truth (or "Moment of Math" is more like it) when you sit down with the Consultant and his trusty calculator, and total up the final cost of re-tiling your wee bathroom...and discover (to your abject horror) that on paper you've spent: $700. So now I'm thinking maybe I WILL give tours of my renovated bathroom...$5 per appreciated! 

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