No trip to Home Depot is complete without at least two more trips to Home Depot

Our story so far: I laid out the tiles in dry format for my tile rug to be set in the hardwood between my stove and the sink in my future kitchen at the old Methodist church.

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tile rug subfloor
That’s the basement you can see through the sanctuary floor there! (And You-Can-Call-Me-Al, hard at work.)

My tile rug prompted You-Can-Call-Me-Al to poke around the subfloor where it would eventually be tiled between the stove and sink. He determined that the 126-year-old subfloor wasn’t up to the task of supporting the tiles which could mean they would flex when someone walked on them and then crack. This meant I had to make another trip to Home Depot, No. 4 just for that week.

I was now what you’d call a regular at the local Home Depot, the nearest Big Box home improvement store. Before this project, I would have told you Big Box clerks were flunkies who weren’t well informed, but that’s not true: The clerks at this particular Home Depot were awesome. The cashiers always tracked down someone to help me load whatever I bought (which I’ve repeatedly mentioned was invariably heavy). One of the flooring guys once saved me after seeing only my behind sticking out of a pallet of tile on the floor. The paint mixer and I were on a first name basis. But it was the guys in the lumber department who I really appreciated. Tyler would give me a list of wood and/or screws to buy, and they would help me find it and usually load it onto a cart.

On this trip, Tyler told me to buy three-quarter-inch plywood with a cement board underlayment. The helpful clerks in the lumber department (I had two this day!) told me it didn’t exist. I had long since given up on trying to translate, so I called Tyler and handed my phone to one of the clerks. Turns out, I needed two things: Half-inch plywood and quarter-inch cement board.

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Tomorrow: The work gets harder. Read about it here.

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