Yesterday I made a flying trip to Saskatoon – flying in the sense that I was flying low in the Lincoln. While I was up there I stopped at my favorite quick lube place and let them talk me into flushing the diff and refilling it with synthetic. I’ve been meaning to get that done and it probably doesn’t hurt to do it before I head for Vancouver Island. Today I’ll help Marilyn with her tile project; tomorrow we’ll move the bus to Buchanan and winterize it; Monday should see me and the idiot cat headed west.
If all goes well my next post will be from the boat. I think our slip neighbour misses me – I got a text from him yesterday that said “Bite me, prairie dog!” The fool is a BC Lions fan so my earlier comments regarding the Riders may have motivated his fond reply. The Rider’s performance (of lack thereof) prompted a taunt from him this afternoon.
While I was in Nebraska Marilyn started laying ceramic tile in the hallway and bedroom. She ripped the carpet out back there last winter while we were in Texas but she hadn’t got around to replacing it until now. Its early going but its going to look really good. We struggled to decide what we wanted to do for floor covering. The only thing we were certain about was that we did not want carpet. I don’t know what fool came up with the idea that carpet in an RV was a good idea. Clearly he never actually used the RV.
We knew we wanted to get rid of the carpet but if we had any doubts the winter that we spent along the west (wet) coast convinced us. Quite aside from the cleaning challenges that carpet creates, the constant wet conditions on the wet coast caused mould growth under the bedroom windows. Last winter when Marilyn pulled up the carpet back there she could see that even though she had the mould under control in the carpet and on the lower walls, it was lurking beneath the carpet waiting for the right conditions to reappear.
Beyond not-carpet though we struggled to decide what we wanted. Ceramic tile was always pretty high on our list because it is impervious to moisture and durable. We worried though that it might crack and it is harder to install – in fact we assumed we would have to schedule a trip to Nipawin in order to hire Phil-the-flooring-guy to do the installation. We considered a variety of laminate systems but always came up against the moisture problem. Some of the manufactured flooring claims to be water resistant but when we brought samples home and soaked them in water eventually they would swell, even if only slightly. That ruled them out. We didn’t want lino because it always ends up looking like lino so that brought us full circle to ceramic.
This fall Marilyn decided that she could lay the ceramic tile herself as long as she could find someone to do the cutting. Both Home Depot and Lowes offer that service so she figured she was good to go. Then for some reason she brought home a tile saw, tried it out and discovered that it actually is pretty easy to do. Today I was the cutting boy while she finished up laying the tile. It turned out to be a much bigger job than she expected because the walls aren’t as straight and square as we thought they were and because its a really complicated hard to access area.
When she’s done the tile will go down the hallway and around the bed – its likely only 35 or 40 sq feet of actual area but its a difficult shape. Its additionally complicated by the fact that she has to keep a work area accessible. In a house you can start on the furthest away wall and work your way back out of the room. She had to start on the hallway because it was the visible straight area. But she could only do half of the hallway at a time because she couldn’t walk on the wet tiles. The same restriction applied around the bed. I’m very impressed with how she was able to make it all work out. Several times she had to start from a far away point and work back to align with tiles where the adhesive was already set. The adhesive will have all winter to set up and she’ll have to grout it in the spring.