Treasure hunts

Do you guys know how difficult it is to find the same tiles for your bathroom that you (or the builder) originally chose when you first built your house? Well, let me tell you that it is bloody difficult, especially if you don’t know where to start.

The fortunate thing actually is the tile shops always have one person who has been with them for 20 or 30 years who remembers every single tile that shop imported. No joke, they really do! Once you find that person you can save yourself a lot of heartache.

Frances and I have been on treasure hunts to try to find the tiles they used for our master bathroom, I can honestly say that I never realised how many of these shops there are, and how affluent they all are! It must be a real fast track to riches to have a tile and bathroom fittings shop, shows how people value their “private time” I guess!

Anyway, we have been to a few and we were going no where. So I exerted more effort to corner the developer to look into their 3-year-old files and tell me exactly where they bought the tiles from, which they finally did and I went to have a look this afternoon not expecting that they would be the right ones, but wouldn’t you know it? They were! And wouldn’t you know it? They no longer carry the style!

The waterproofing is done and the pipes are connectedWell, the bright side is that they have something that might match so we’ll have a funky design in that bathroom with not two, but four tile colours! Ah well, I don’t want to replace the whole bathroom at the moment, costs too much, so we’ll have to live with it for a few years and we might actually grow to love it! (or loath it, as the case may be… I’ll let you know how we feel about it in a few months ;))

Our house is still in turmoil, but things are progressing. They found two cracked outflow pipes and they replaced all the pipes, done the water-proofing and they’re about to fill it in and hopefully install the tiles within the next few days.

The ceiling fixing crew are scheduled to start their work on Thursday, they’ve already removed 1/3rd of the ceiling in the living room, recreated the the gypsum cornice by manufacturing a new die that matches our pattern, and hopefully by next Thursday, our house will be ours again. We are SO looking forward to that.

Ok, it’s bed-time now, I hope the server survives the night. It looks like there were heavy linking going on to some of the articles and also thousands of spam emails being directed to nonexistent users. Those problems have been looked at by the excellent support guys at Rackspace and they’re still monitoring the server. I hope it will be okay before too long.

Thanks all for your patience.

  • M
    22 August 2006

    That picture really says it all; what an unfortunate mess. BTW, I drive my husband crazy, but I always buy extra’s of stuff like tiles. We lay the tiles ourselves, and it usually is just one extra box but turns out to be a life saver. Of course sometimes, the color is alittle off because it’s sat wrapped for x years, but for the price and work of a tile job; I don’t mind a shade difference.

    Good luck, and if we don’t hear from you for a while, we’ll know where you are hiding.

  • Shachar
    22 August 2006

    Do you guys know how difficult it is to find the same tiles for your bathroom that you (or the builder) originally chose when you first built your house?

    It is not difficult at all. It is, simply, impossible. Even if you do, by some kind of miracle, find the exact same model, unless they were manufactured at the same time as your tiles, they will not match. Subtle (but important) tone differences will always happen, marking exactly which tiles are new and which are original.

    The only way to counter this problem is to buy extra tiles when you do the original job, and keep them in storage.


  • F
    22 August 2006

    I agree with Shachar and M….we did the same when we built our family home. Extra tiles is key. Tiles market will not maintain the same color/pattern for very long.

  • Ibn
    23 August 2006

    Sorry Mahmood,

    I am still working on a neural-network meshed water pipe that will easily detect or “feel” any loss of integrity along itself. 🙂


  • Will
    23 August 2006

    Thats your bathroom floor? Looks like some sort of brain scan. Is this a typical framed house with hollow walls?

  • Pamela
    23 August 2006

    I come from a long long line of builders and did tile setting as a teenager for summer work. The tile master always recommended buying 2 or 3 extra boxes of tile for repairs etc… but your bathroom looks like it will take more than 2 or 3 boxes.

    No one room in my house that I grew up is the same. My old room, only changes were paint and new windows, but every room is different. Lived all my life in some construction mess of some sorts with plastic sheeting up to protect us from dust.

    Good luck with the bathroom, keep us informed how it goes.

  • Anonymous
    23 August 2006

    This way off topic Mahmood, but am just curious,does the new weekend system means some banks will have their employees work half a day on friday?? or half a saturday?

  • mahmood
    23 August 2006

    That’s the major regret I have for not building the house myself, but buying an already built house. Although the company which designed developed the property is one of the highest regarded on the island (AAA Homes), there are niggly things that we would have done differently ourselves.

    There was no choice for building or buying for us, it was we have to buy an already built house because if we got involved in the building (1) I would have ended up dead from high blood pressure or a massive aneurism or on the gallows for killing someone, (2) I don’t have the patience, I really don’t. God invented architects and builders for me to go and buy a house which we approve by 95%, which is more than I can hope for really, that’s the major reason we went for this house: it’s well designed by one of the best architects on the island, well (enough) constructed and it’s got a nice space for a garden.

    So we’ll gladly put up with these “forced improvements!”

    We’ve identified the tiles (different, but at least from the same company!) and we’re buying them today, with a border we have chosen to create a natural “break” for the pattern.

    The way the bathroom floors were constructed like a (club!) sandwich:

    1. slabs at the bottom
    2. cement over the slabs
    3. do the water proofing (the white you see in the picture)
    4. put the pipes and support them with bricks and cement
    5. fill in the whole area with rock-crush sand and regular sand to act as an absorbent and lend a lighter support for the structure (rather than heavy cement)
    6. cement over the whole lot and tile

    No idea how the upstairs floors are done, but I suspect the same principle? No idea and I don’t want to break anything down to have a looksee!

    I’ll post pictures once done.

  • mahmood
    23 August 2006

    Anon, it’s up to them. The private sector are given the choice to go 5, 5.5 or 6 days as long as they compensate their employees accordingly and respect the law.

    The Chamber of Commerce’s circular states:

    قرار إداري رقــم ( 30 ) لسنة 2006 بشأن تعديل مواعيد الدوام الرسمي

    أولاً : تأكيـداً على استمرار العمل بنظام ستة أيام عمــل في الأسبوع المعمـول به في غرفــة تجارة وصناعة البحرين ( من السبت إلى الخميس )، فقد قررنا تعديل مواعيد الحضور والانصراف لتكون على النحو التالي:

    – يــــوم الســـــبـت : من الساعة 8:00 صباحاً إلى الساعة 1:00 بعد الظهر.
    – الأحد إلى الخميس: من الساعة 8:00 صباحاً إلى الساعة 2:00 بعد الظهر.

    ثانياً : تكون ساعات الدوام الرسمي خلال شهر رمضان المبارك على النحو التالي :
    – السبت إلى الخميس: من الساعة 8:30 صباحاً إلى الساعة 1:30 بعد الظهر.

    ثالثاً : يخضع موظفـي الغرفــة الملحقين بالعمل في مكاتب الغرفــة الخارجيــة الموجودة في حدود مباني ومرافق الوزارات والأجهزة الحكومية للأنظمة والقرارات المعمول بها في تلك الوزارات بشأن أيام ومواعيد العمل والإجازات والعطل الرسمية

  • Au
    23 August 2006

    It’s a drag that you have to put up with this tile problem Mahmood. I had never thought about matching the tiles twenty years from now but I will consider this now as I’m trying to decide what kind of marble to put down on my basement floor.

    You know it would be nice if the shops were open 24/7 and we had a world wide 3 day weekend, to accommodate all the religions. I wonder what we are going to do when mechanical robots do all the drudgery work? Yes, it seems that in a generation or two computers and machines will be able to do all the maid work etc. so, what are the people going to do, design tiles, art work, fight about God?

  • mahmood
    23 August 2006

    Fight about God is a certainty!

    Good luck with the marble spare. We were lucky enough to locate the very last remaining 12 sq. meters of matching tiles from the same original shipment! They’ve delivered them to the house earlier in the afternoon, and people will start working again tomorrow at 7.

    A bummer to get Frances out of bed that early on a weekend (the last ever Thu/Fri weekend! we’re starting the Fri/Sat from Sept 1st) and on her birthday!

    But there you go, we’ll sacrifice quite a lot just to get our house back in order.

  • Anonymous
    23 August 2006

    gcse results tommorrow…..

  • Johnster
    24 August 2006

    Well mahmood, here is your next business idea. An internet tile matching service because:

    1) Many tile retailers must have thousands of boxes of odd tiles that are just a pain to store and get in the way

    2) Many householders need to buy the odd tile to replace a cracked or chipped one.

    A website could be set up where retailers can input details and photo’s and where consumers can search by size, colour, pattern

    I’m sure people would be prepared to pay quite a lot for two or three tiles just to get them to match. The website takes 50% of the price and everyone’s happy.

  • mahmood
    24 August 2006

    Damn you’re good! 😉