Perfectionist Level: Pretty Particular. Kinda. Sometimes.

So yesterday I called my husband a perfectionist in reference to how particular he is about laying tile.

Also yesterday, this picture made me realize that he had laid two tiles with dark edges next to each other. The tiles are different patterns, and it is much more noticeable in the picture than in person.

bathroom tile

But I still hated it in person. Once I saw it, I couldn’t unsee it.

When he came in from work, I pointed it out and asked how much it bothered him. Not that much. Then I said, “okay, forget that it requires more work to tear it out and change it. Just as an individual issue, do you hate it?”

Meh. He wouldn’t have chosen it, but it wasn’t a big enough issue to him to change it. At this point, I was rethinking calling him a perfectionist.

But then I came to the realization that perfectionism has levels. He’s at the pretty-particular-about-some-things level, but he has not reached my OCD level. Obviously.

This was not a heated discussion (and if it was, I wouldn’t air it on this blog). He said, “how ’bout you take a Facebook poll?” I said, “this isn’t Facebook’s bathroom. I don’t really care what they say.” Either way the poll went, I already knew I’d be removing this tile if he didn’t. It wasn’t an option. It was just a matter of whether or not it bothered him enough for him to help me in the process. It didn’t. He didn’t.

I chose to remove this one, since it had an end that was easier to get to. Removing the other one would have definitely resulted in the edges of the surrounding tiles being chipped. And I didn’t want to replace three tiles.

remove tile

Thanks to that gap at the bathtub frame (for the tub apron to be added later), it was relatively easy to pop this tile out with a hammer and chisel. Had it been a few days, it might have broken. But since it had just been laid the day before, the mortar was hard but not fully cured. Hooray!

And then the hard part. The hubs suggested I not use the floor scraper.


If I slipped, which “always happens,” then I’d chip or pry up the surrounding tiles and that would suck.

So, I sat down and got comfy and prepared to chip away at this dried mortar with my tiny little masonry chisel and hammer.

hammer and chisel

That lasted less than 90 seconds. I would have been there three weeks with no food, potty, or sleep breaks. “Screw this. I’m the one doing this; I’ll do it my way.”

I didn’t slip. Not once. It took me probably three times as long as it would have taken him. (His legs are stronger, and you push this thing with your foot. Plus, I was being super careful not to slip, so I rarely used full force or long strokes.)

I didn’t get a pic of myself using it, but here are some old pics to remind you how you use it.

tile scraper floor scraper

Also, I wore flipflops. ‘Cause I’m lazy like that.  And apparently not scared of losing my toes. Always wear proper shoes and eyewear, you guys.

Here’s what it looks like now.

remove tile

It would be super easy if it were a full piece, but it’s not. See in the pic (from before I removed it) where it needs to be cut?

cut tile

Yeah. I’m kinda scared of the tile saw. Something about the water and electricity combo has always freaked me out. Throw in a spinning blade and I’m a total chicken. It was already dark by time I had the floor ready for a new tile last night, so I didn’t beg the hubs to cut a new piece for me. Cross your fingers that he will tonight. If not, I’ll have to do it. *Sigh*


    • The mortar, not grout, holds them in place. We butted them right up to each other like a wood floor, so the cracks are very minimal…almost not even there. We’ve had no problems at all.
      As for sealing, porcelain and ceramic are non-porous, so they don’t need a sealer like a natural stone would. You can seal them if you want a bit of shine, but they’re designed to not need it.

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