Damn you, tile gods!
So Monday was awesome right up until it turned shit. The kitchen guys came about 8am and had the whole kitchen pulled out and stashed on our deck awaiting pickup by about one. Did I mention I’m excited? Because it’s exciting!
After they left we went to get the tiles. It took me a long time to find what I wanted. We’re going fairly simple with white cupboards and dark benches, so I wanted something nice for the backsplash. My tastes aren’t fancy; Pinterest is full of things I like – subway tiles, herringbone mosaics, that sort of thing. But I had the same problem with tiles as for every other bloody thing, namely stuff that can be bought for reasonable money in the US is either not available here or costs $$$$$$$.
(Also, do you know how hard it is to see anything on tile shop websites? Dear lord!)
After many hours I found one place which had a decent website showing interesting tiles, imported from Italy, and we found this:
We took one home and abused it to see how it would cope as a backsplash. Every time I walked past the kitchen and saw it propped up my heart beat faster. Cleanup was a breeze despite the textured surface. And only $44/sqm! I was so excited. And then Monday afternoon we went to pick them up—and they couldn’t find them in the warehouse. We went back inside and the guy who’d just processed our payment looked up and sort of gave us an apologetic shrug then said all he could do was refund us.
I tell you, I was NOT happy. I even started to cry in the car, I felt so frustrated. I’d found exactly what I wanted, I was so excited about them and now I had to find something else, and I had two days to do it in. I could see I was going to have to just pick something to settle with. But the thing that really frustrated me was the lack of customer service. This place had great tiles but their staff didn’t seem to give a crap about serving customers; I’d been there three times looking at different things and each time three or four of them had lounged around chatting even when I went to the counter. And this day? Things like this happen, I get that, but you know, I wasn’t buying them for fun! I had a project I needed them for, and what that guy should have done was get his arse out from behind the counter and say, “how about I help you find something else?” They had other stuff I liked, we could have made it work, but I was anxious and couldn’t do that on my own right then. But he didn’t give a shit, and that’s what made me cry.
(Well, that and my hormones, but that’s another story.)
So anyway. Things are looking better now. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours going around different tile shops looking for something – anything – I could have instead. I discovered I am completely invisible in just about all tile shops, which was really fucking frustrating. Beaumont Tiles had a sales guy who could actually see me and a reasonable range (but nothing like what I’d wanted originally, alas) but he helped me out. I thought I’d settle for a white subway tile and interesting grout but ended up choosing something slightly bigger and grey that should work well. (I think. They keep changing in my mind and now I’m second guessing the benchtop too.) Meanwhile we’re on day 2 of the kitchen install and things are coming along – cupboards nearly all in, the electrician and the plumber are doing their stuff. If I’m lucky tomorrow will be the end of it and I can start putting everything back again!
But I still want my old tiles.