Thursday, 17 February 2011

And the fun starts ...

When we built our first house, I was young and stupid more easily swayed by the opinions of my darling husband, so when he declared we would only go to the nearest tile shop to make our selections, I quietly acquiesced and then spent a considerable amount of time battling the buried resentment over his removal of choice.

Over the past 17.5 years of marriage, I have evolved into a pigheaded bitch become more comfortable with expressing my opinion, especially when it comes to things I will have to live with for quite some time. When the issue of selecting tiles for this new nest arose, I was adamant that we would look at all the options available to us and, after checking out the supplier closest to us and finding it lacking in choice, we went to Osborne Park to check out the other one (yes, we only have two to choose from).

Let me set the scene for you: It was about 35 degrees by the time we had driven all the way there (after dropping the children at school); we drove past the place twice before finally managing to swing into the tiny little parking lot and then, when we walked in to the showroom that resembled a dark little cave with hardly any air flow, we were thoroughly ignored by the numerous sales staff chatting around the water cooler. I should have known then that we were in for a fun day.

I approached the rather haughty looking woman at the front counter and asked for some assistance with a pre-start tile selection. After asking which builder we were with, she waved at the left hand side of the shop, told us that the builder's range was over there and turned back to her associate to continue their conversation.

Interrupting her, I asked what our builder's limitations on size and price were and was told that it should all be in our pre-start package. Trying to remain polite, I replied that I wouldn't have asked if it was in there so could she please look it up. She did (with a roll of her eyes at the other woman) so armed with the details I headed over to Peter who was trying to find things in the rather shadowy aisles.

We spent something like four hours trying to (and mostly succeeding) agree on tiles, laminates and accent tiles. When Peter realised we had been there for that long, he started getting a bit antsy and then we both started getting quite snippy with each other. Realising that he was probably just hungry, I suggested we come back another day to finalise things but he was determined to finish it then and there.

We found a slightly more helpful lady than the one at the desk and sat down with her to type up our selections. We were progressing quite well until she started throwing in questions like whether we wanted the shower hobs done in the floor tile or wall tile and which way did we want the skirting tiles laid in the laundry. Peter really started to lose interest at that point (as did I to be perfectly honest) so we just gave her some answers to type in and escaped while we were still married.

As she didn't give us any sample tiles, apart from a small section of the mosaic I liked, by the time the next morning rolled around, we had pretty much forgotten what we had ended up with. From what we could remember, we were quite pleased with it all so Peter went back to work happy that one more thing had been ticked off the to-do list.

Two weeks later when he came home, we both turned to each other and said that we didn't really like what we had picked after all. Having too much time to think things over can really suck sometimes! We ended up going back to the original shop and picking out all new tiles.

Luckily we agreed on most things but then the ensuite had to go and ruin everything. Peter decided to assert himself and fight for a black and white bathroom. It turned out that he didn't actually like any of the other things that I thought we had agreed on; he was just agreeing with me to get it over and done with. This is why I think that tile shops should have marriage or relationship counsellors on standby to prevent bloodshed (either literal or metaphorical) over tile/colour choices.

I offered to start all over again but he said he would be fine with all the choices we had already made as they weren't going to be 'his' (they were for the kids' bathroom/toilet, laundry and kitchen). He then picked out a perfectly revolting rather interesting accent tile which I promptly threw up all over vetoed. We finally compromised on white walls, grey floor and a multi-tonal grey mosaic accent tile. Slightly softer look than the rather stark black and white he originally wanted and just a smidge (or ten!) away from the beige/neutrals that I wanted.

Happy that we had managed to thoroughly confuse ourselves again agree on the tiles, we left with some samples under our arms (only the cheap tiles of course .. can't possibly give away the expensive accent tiles) and headed off to pick the boys up from school.

A week later, I was playing with the sample tiles and decided to go back and have another look at the accent tile I had selected for the kitchen, as I couldn't quite remember what it looked like. While I was at the shop, I purchased one of said accent tiles and scored a sample of a different wall tile for the kitchen. After much fiddling around at home and asking of opinions from anyone female who walked in the door, I changed my mind again (I'm allowed .. we haven't had pre-start yet!)

I have changed the wall tile in the kitchen from gloss white to something called Flute Crema (otherwise known as off-white or 'dirty white' if you're my husband) and am now contemplating changing the size of them too. I'm going to go back to the tile shop and try to take some pictures so you can all give me your opinions too. Stay tuned for photos ...

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