First Floor Bathroom Update + A Tool Rant.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

That first floor bathroom!  Aw boy!  It's a project all right.  But it's on!

I mean, it's not as intimidating as the pocket door was.  Or wait maybe that's not entirely true -- it was intimidating enough hence me never starting it, just blathering on and on and on and on and on and on about how I should start it and then I did the pocket door and now everything seems so much easier.

Heh!  Sorta.  I should watch what I say, right?!  Yes, I should.

Slowly little itty bits of progress are happening here and there.

I got the sill plate out!  Ken, Mike's boss with the cool tools, kept forgetting to bring his reciprocating saw back to work so I cut it out with the lone hand saw I have.  Jello arms yup however, I got it.  Rawr!!


I need the assistance of a plumber to get the pipes capped, the handle and tub filler off.  Messing with water, nope, draw the line.  Best left to professionals.

I need Mike's help to pick up some drywall.  Two four by eight sheets, half inch.  Can't do that by myself unless I want to shatter them into a zillion chalky bits.  Hmph.

Once those two things happen, the ball will roll faster.

Hm, but then too I need Mike's help getting the toilet out in order to get the floor tile out.

I'm noticing a theme here.

Assistance.  Need some help.  Being a solo home improvement DIY'er does have its limits.  Being a solo female home improvement DIY'er has more sometimes.  And that "sometimes" tipping point can be very very frustrating for me.

See, ok, here's what bugs me.  Along with too often getting the wtf brow from hardware store sales guys because I'm a female therefore I must lack all knowledge which infuriates me immensely

I love tools.  I use tools.  I own tools.

I am also a chick.  A female.  A woman.

Tools are, for the most part, designed for use by guys.  Bigger beefy hands, long strong arms, ya know, guys.  Unless you get that ludicrous pink tool set* or whatever which is insulting.

Here, so....

I chipped out a few floor tiles to see what was going on, see how and what and figure and plan this ugly floor's demise.

Instead of standing and scowling about the removal of the evil mortar, I poked through the internets to see how fastest and easiest to accomplish, as one does, right?  Right.

So I discover this electric scraper gizmo.  I check both Menards' and Home Depot's websites and they have them for rent.  I also see they have unpowered (ahem, manual) floor scrapers.*

So I stop by Menards, right, inspect their electric floor scraper, flip through the manual.  I get concerned that this might rip up like, well, everything as it doesn't specifically refer to mortar on cement board on top of OSB, just mortar on concrete or wood.  Hm.

So I walk away, find the manual version, hem and haw wondering how I, not particularly burly strong, will be able to make this thing work.  In a small room.

So I go back up front, try to lift the electric version and wouldn't ya know, much too heavy.  So a.) I wouldn't be able to get it in the car, b.) out of the car, c.) up six steps into the house, and d.) operate it all by myself.  Because I'm a girl and this tool was designed for a guy to use.  Irked, I went back and dubiously grabbed the manual version.

Yes, so.

I get home, stare down the nefarious mortar, there's only three feet of space to the brick wall behind me, but I give it a whirl anyway.

The uh, unnelectrified floor scraper. 
Ka-chunk.  Nothing.  Ka-chunk, plink.  Ka-chunk, chunk chunk chunk plink plink grrrrr.  I get three wee crumbs up.  Irked more so.  Another tool designed for guy-only usage.

Look, I'm not saying tools should be choked down, dumbed down; not at all.  There has got to be a way here in 2016 with all these technologically advanced people around to make tools that not only function properly but that are usable by more than just guys.  C'mon people.  Seriously.

And look, I know there are tools and actions that require tools that I, ...look, I know I as a woman have physical constraints in comparison to a man.  I know, I'm not as strong, not as tall, my hands are smaller, I know, whatever.

But that does not mean I should be excluded from accomplishing anything because of it.

In fact, isn't the whole entire sum total point of a tool, its very definition, to assist and make easier the task at hand for the user?

Why is it perpetually singularly assumed that solely guys use tools?  Because it's "always been that way"?  Pfffftt, screw that.  Y'all do realize that half the 700 billion people on this planet are women, right?  Capable, adept, smart women, some of whom would like to use tools.

Actually.  I'm willing to bet there are plenty more women out there than one might suspect who would very much like to use tools.

Tool manufacturers are remiss in not finding ways of designing their tools to be more inclusive (ugh that sounds unintentionally annoyingly PC), manageable for most folks rather than some.

Maybe not install the weightiest parts in the world into an electric floor scraper?  Maybe not make tools so cumbersome, so unwieldy, so unnecessarily heavy, too hard to start (glaring at you mower manufacturers)?  Maybe incorporate physics a lil' better?  Not design solely for use by guys with big hands.

It just cannot be that hard.

And designers and engineers, they get paid to design things innovatively, smartly, to solve dilemmas.  That's their job.  I should know.  Tool manufacturers could benefit from designers and engineers who design things shrewdly and encyclopedic.

I know.  I know though.  I know they don't care.  I'm just a girl in the world.  I am but one tiny squeaky unimportant-to-them busted plastic caster.

Chicks use tools too, dammit.

Ugh.  Ok, now that I've blown that rant out.....

I guess though really, in a long roundabout way, I should instead thank tool manufacturers for making their tools useless to me.

It compels me to think creatively and figure out how to accomplish a task without using the tool they sell.  So they lose a sale, I save money, and I exercise my brain.  A three-fer, who woulda thought?!

Looks like I am the winner after all then.  Ha HA.

Enough mortar popped free from my hammer and pry bar and guy-tool frustration that I unearthed a screw.  A drywall screw mind you.  Uh huh, nice, right?

Ah ha.  Light bulb!

Sneaking that same wee pry bar under the edge, since the cement board is a mere quarter inch thick and the flipper's nitwits didn't mortar it down, I was able to pop the board, mortar and all, off the screw, plink,

Eeeerrrrrttttt, pop.
Problem:  solved., I can smash the tile, pry up the cement board, zip out the screws, start fresh anew with brand new clean and clear underlayment.  Not have to worry, not have to struggle, and all for far less time, effort, and cash than struggling with a tool I can't use or waiting for Mike's help or renting a tool I can't even lift then destroying everything.

I felt much better.  Much better.  ::kisses fingers all chef style::

Gather yourself up and laugh it off.
I win.

Jump to the next bathroom tile floor post here!

*The pink tools are an Amazon affiliate link which I have provided solely for amusement purposes only.  The floor scrapers are Amazon too.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


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