Benefits of breakage

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Well, I’m not sure if it’s exactly a benefit. But hey. I’ve needed to tile the floor in the laundry / server room for a long time and avoided it for (at least) two reasons:

  1. I’d have to move the washing machine.
  2. The floor is unlevel and I’d been debating making it level(er).

But, the Haier Washer/Drier (still a great name) is dead. It’s not actually dead, but after 3 weeks Haier were still unable to provide the spare part and at over 15 quid a week in Laundry bills, it was time to consign it to the dustbin of history. I’m somewhat sad because the thing is built like a tank, and has tolerated an awful lot of abuse, including running at a somewhat jaunty angle for most of its time here. I’ve been trying to donate it, or give it away, but not successfully so far, and I’m beginning to fear it might have to go to the tip. However.

It being dead presented an opportunity, of sorts, to shift it most of the way out the way so I could tile the corner in which it lives. Of course, the problem with the course of action was it didn’t fix the floor. I spent some time debating it and concluded that making the floor actually be level would be a nightmare of unimaginable proportions. It slopes both downwards front-to-back and right-to-left, so the back left corner is a good inch below the front right. Which you might think is bad, but it’s actually way more level than it once was. It used to slope even more than that, before our builders attempted to level it…somewhat.


Now there were several (all painful) options for re-levelling it:

  • Take up the new floor, cut out the old joists and replace them with new, carefully cut joists that were level. This was not going to happen because the joists are actually built in to the structure of this strange little extension – as our builders had realised and cursed at the time.
  • Build a new subfloor over the existing one and level that off, making kind of a plinth for the machine to sit on. This was a possibility I considered for a while – and were we staying, probably what I’d’ve done. The problem is, there’s a bit of movement in the floor which would mean I’d be bolting things to the wall and I’d actually probably end up raising the washing machine up a good few inches to make anything sturdy enough. To cut / plane timbers to fit and fix to the floor was another option I debated, but the time required for that put me off fairly rapidly.
  • Use self levelling compound. Yeah, that was essentially not going to work because of the sheer vastness of the drop in the floor. It is ridiculous. Also, the movement in the floor would probably have led to crackage. As it is, I’m slightly worried about the tile.

What I ended up doing was… You guessed it… Nothing.

Not least because I was very reluctant to try and move the Haier washer/drier out of the room, because it weighs more than an elephant that’s had a very big dinner of high-atomic-number elements. I eventually shuffled it out of the room for grouting but actually did all of the tiling with the bloody thing in the way.


I didn’t think I’d be able to get it out of the room – and was leaving it until Kathryn got home – but when she was tied up at work I rapidly realised the machine needed to come out so I could at least grout before she got home to help lug the new one back in. So ended up pulling the machine out of the room – which I kinda wish I’d done earlier – it would have made it easier to level the tiles (one of which near the front is slightly proud of where it should be, irritatingly).

I did make the decision to attempt to make the tile adhesive somewhat thicker (nearer it’s maximum thickness) on the left edge of the room and thinner on the right – which – and you may not believe this when you see the picture – has improved things somewhat:


However, even still our charity washing machine is perched on three bits of wood of varying thickness to get it to the right height – within the lengths of the adjusters to get ‘level’ front and back – and took probably around 40 minutes of levelling with us adjusting each corner until we got it sufficiently close to level for me to give in and declare it good enough. I’d never realised how bad it was with the old machine – it’s no wonder the bearing gave out*.

On the plus side the new machine is A+ rated (the old one being B+ – mainly I think because of the drier unit). However it stinks having bit a bit stale smelling when it went in the car and then sat at 30+ degree heat all day, closed, until Kathryn got home and we could unload it.

Still, despite the not-great tile laying (it’s no where near as good as the kitchen) I’m reasonably pleased. I should be able to do the bit you actually see somewhat better – but need to take the door off to do that, because I need to trim the base off the door for it to clear the new tiled floor. I’m pondering if I need to replace the step as well, I’m trying to get away without, but it’s suffered a bit having had two washing machines dragged over it.

Still, it’s not bad progress, especially since I also (drum roll please) finally finished painting and refitting the door to the hall cupboard.


And let’s just take a moment to revisit the past…


And yes, I would have quite liked to salvage that wood, but it was covered with some thick, gunky glue.

It is, slowly, coming together.

* Although I’m very annoyed with Haier for wasting 3 weeks of our time, and for arguing that when they said 7-10 days that could extend indefinitely every time they had to re-order or back-order the part from somewhere else. That’s just f’kin ridiculous.


Kate's a human mostly built out of spite and overcoming transphobia-racism-and-other-bullshit. Although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, it's all good.