Cement – Beware!

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I have a love/hate relationship with cement/concrete.  It’s a super great invention, used by humans for 1000’s of years.   I think it is the most prevelantly used construction product, by tonnage.

But, the stuff is sort of dangerous, in the wrong hands.  And yesterday, my hands were just those.

I’ve had issues with concrete ever since I first used it.  Originally, I wouldn’t wear a proper mask with I was mixing the water in, so I would breathe some of the powder.  That powder would chemically react with the water in my lungs and burn them.  I would eventually end up with Strep throat.

Yesterday, I didn’t have that issue.  I exposed my hands to the wet grout so long that it literally burned the skin off the tips of my fingers.  And let me say, you don’t want to do this.  Especially if you plan to use your fingers to lay more tile, or even just type.

I am kind of surprised by the whole occurrence, I’m pretty sure I’ve exposed my bare skin to cement longer than this before.  I think it might have something to do with an additive I used with the grout that makes it water resistant from the get-go. It must have been pretty bad, because my finger skin is pretty thick.  I guess the chemical reaction can get worse and worse.  I’m thinking this is going to get worse before it gets better.

I finished up the shower and we decided to lay another floor in Vincent’s new downstairs office.  It was porcelain tile that is made to look like wood.  It went pretty quick, only took a couple hours after we got going.  It is sort of weird that with two of us working, it seems like it went more than twice as fast.  Probably just a time perception, but whatever the reason, it was quick and painless.

The upside to all this is I plan to do a lot more concrete stuff later in the future and I learned a lesson here.  Hopefully it wasn’t too hard of a lesson.

I think I might try to grout the floor when I’m done with this.  I’ve been wearing gloves with Vaseline type stuff covering my finger tips.  It is pretty painful.  Maybe I’ll wait for Vincent before I start this.  It might not work so well.

The picture was from yesterday.  Today my fingers look much worse.

The picture was from yesterday. Today my fingers look much worse.

 

I wore these to bed last night.  I didn't sleep much.

I wore these to bed last night. I didn’t sleep much.

 

The shower looks pretty good.  Vincent is getting a glass wall and shower door custom made for the exposed side.

The shower looks pretty good. Vincent is getting a glass wall and shower door custom made for the exposed side.

 

The accent trim on the floor was sort of a hassle since it wasn't the same width as the mosaic tiles.

The accent trim on the floor was sort of a hassle since it wasn’t the same width as the mosaic tiles.

 

Starting the new room.

Starting the new room.

 

Vincent and I working together.

Vincent and I working together.

 

My knees don't love me too much right now either.

My knees don’t love me too much right now either.

 

Finished floor.

Finished floor.

 

I don't use tile spacers so much on floors, but Vincent wanted super thin grout lines and it would be easy to get off pattern with each of us working sort of indepently.

I don’t use tile spacers so much on floors, but Vincent wanted super thin grout lines and it would be easy to get off pattern with each of us working sort of indepently.

 

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Cement – Beware!

  1. Kim CHANCE

    So impressed with your skills. My father and brother are like you. It makes me so grateful. I wish i could do that stuff.
    Sorry about your fingers.

     
  2. peter k

    I like the floor you poured that immitates wood. Can we have some more informationon that product please?

     
  3. Throbbing Sprocket Velo

    Are those Marazzi porcelain tiles? Looks great, almost purchased that same color myself.
    Take care of your body though dude!

     

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