Wednesday, October 9, 2013

DIY + Library = WOW!

Do you have a tired old carpet that doesn’t get clean even when you use a steamer? Did the crazy people that used to own your home install carpet in food preparation areas and around the fireplace? Did the burner accidentally get turned on under your cooling ceramic pie plate, which then exploded and burned holes in your old and ugly linoleum?

Maybe not, maybe that kind of thing only happens at my house, but maybe you have some other reason to hate your floor. Or maybe you’re just ready to do some creative decorating. If you’re uneasy about the budget, or you just have a yen for a little DIY, the library is a marvelous first stop.

Not quite sure what you might want to do with your floor? The Complete Guide to Flooring might help. Or The Flooring Handbook. Or 1001 Ideas for Floors. Just search “flooring” in our catalog.

For my family, between the pie plate incident, children spilling food on a regular basis onto the rug under the dining room table, and the effect of many winters worth of woodpiles shedding on the carpet around the hearth, tiles were an easy choice. They promised attractive sweepability and a more spacious look in our little house: I could picture it, an elegant field of tiles stretching all the way from the entryway, past the fireplace, through the dining area, and into the kitchen. But there was one huge drawback: my husband and I had never tiled before.

Bring on the books:
 · Ceramic and stone tiling: a complete guide
 · Ortho’s all about tiling basics
 · Step-by-step tiling projects
 · Floors & tiles
 · Complete tiling
 · The complete guide to ceramic tile

And many more . . . (Check “Tiling” in our catalog.) We read, we learned, we rented power tools. We created a lovely new floor, for a rock-bottom budget.

This is not to say that reading a few books will make you an expert – at anything—overnight. I also watched some Youtube videos, and that did the trick.

Just kidding. There are those who would say my tiling looks kind of amateur in spots. (Hi, Mom.) There are a few places where the grout lines didn’t stay even, despite the spacers, and a couple spots where the grey mortar shows through the burgundy grout. But I don’t care. It’s a million times better than the old carpet. A million. Literally. I think it’s beautiful. And every time I look at it, and remember the blood, sweat, and tears that went into it, I’m amazed. The power of DIY, backed by—dare I say?—the power of the library.


  1. Yay! As a veteran do-it-yourselfer, I can attest to thatfeeling of pride in completing a job well...or even so-so done!

    1. Does your entire house count as DIY? I think you've definitely achieved Master status!