Hex tile disappears under grief

Category: Restore & Repair

Bad news.

The tile which we so carefully uncovered in the first floor bathroom won't work out. There are too many repairs, too many problems behind the fixtures where the PO's tightened them down and cracked the floor.

So it will have to come up and we will prepare a "bed" for new floor tile.


I rummaged around and found an old set of chisels in the basement (REALLY old). I set about prying off tile from its bed of concrete one at a time. My hope was to be able to leave the concrete underneath. We could use a leveling compound to smooth out the top and lay the new tile on that.

I found that approaching the hexagon-shaped tile from the flat side rather than the point yielded the best results. I was able to pop a whole tile that way versus create chips. Either way, sparks flew and safety glasses (plus a good glove for my hammer hand) were crucial.

Unfortunately, I didn't count on the tenacity of tile adhered to bare concrete. My chipping began to crack and then split the concrete underneath. Small boulders came up from the boards below.

So I took out my grief of the past few months out on the bathroom floor. After attending the second of two funerals in less than four weeks, I was ripe for some deep sobbing and lots of banging around. It was pretty cathartic. With each SMACK of my hammer, I found the pain in my heart loosening along with the concrete.

I had to stop because we haven't removed the fixtures yet, which we'll do in the next few days. Now we have a drop off about 3-4 inches deep between the wooden floor of the hallway and boards below the bathroom.

And so, the renovation of the house experiences bumps and bruises to its schedule that reflect the detours of our life. But it helps us over our personal hurdles as well.

We work on transforming the house and it works on transforming us.

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