Mar 13, 2008

Cheap Ugly Furniture, Part II

or "What Would Norm Abrams Do?"

Houston, we have a problem.

Last night we resumed work on our (previously) cheap and (previously) ugly furniture, and as detailed earlier, we're down to (up to?) finishing the top by laying those luscious tiles in the newly deepened inset where fake leather used to be.

But now we are dealing with another problem:

The tiles are too wide to fit into the inset.

The overlap is just small enough that I can squeeze the tiles close together and moosh them in, but that wouldn't allow any room for grout to go between the tiles. Obviously something has to give, and that's where the debate begins.

Here's a closer shot that shows how much overlap we're dealing with--note where the tile is laying on top of the tape. Not much.

My suggestion is for Morley to dip into his deep stash of power tools and use his router to widen the inset just a little on each side. For a "get 'er done" person like me, this seems to be the perfect solution: quick, easy, and with an element of excitement and suspense that something might possibly go wrong, what with power tools and all. And somebody else--i.e. Morley--would do the risky deed and I would get to sit to the side watching the action while sipping wine and offering encouragement and advice.

Morley thinks that is a bad idea because there's a chance the router won't make a dead-level straight cut, thus the inset might end up being a micro millimeter crooked (we are dealing with an engineer here, and they know from what about micro millimeters) and then for all eternity our eyes would instantly be drawn to the flaw each time we cast our gaze upon the TV table. And we would never enjoy owning the TV table or be able to watch the TV sitting upon it because we would be staring at the flaw, forever and ever, amen.

His suggested solution is to buy tile nippers and delicately nip away tiny amounts--we're talking about working at the subatomic level here--until we've removed just enough material from each side of each tile until they fit perfectly. For a perfectionist like him this seems to be the perfect solution: slow, precise, methodical, and with a low risk of something going wrong. And if it does go wrong--a tile might crack!--we can recover from the disaster by buying another piece of tile. Plus somebody else--i.e. me--would help with the slow, painful, er...precise, methodical process.

And that's as far as we got with the debate last night because my brother Bratley pulled in the driveway right about then. He's in Atlanta for a few days for meetings and he stayed with us last night.

By the way, Bratley's suggested solution to the problem? Buy a bigger TV for the guestroom.

1 comment:

  1. Use the router! Power tools, yes!