Let me tell you a little story about how I ended up with 1/2 a new floor.
If you haven't already picked up on it, I'm currently loosing my mind in the efforts to get my house listed. While most of the work is cleaning and decluttering, there are some bigger projects we need to tackle as well - and one of them is putting new flooring in the master bathroom. When we bought the house, this room was a sad version of what it should have been. It had ballerina purple walls with splotches of bright coral around the ceiling and floor boards, showing us not only that the previous color choice was hideous as well, but that whoever painted it did an absolutely horrible job. The builder's grade linoleum was in a sad state. There were water damage stains all around the toilet. The previous owners fixed the problem, and proved it, but we don't actually have that proof in our possession at this time (Aka, it would show up on an inspection, buyers may want it fixed and we have nothing to show them it already was). So, new floors are in order. We started by painting the walls a sunny yellow (called, butterfly bush...hmmm...), and touching up their horrible painting mistakes. Next step, new floor.
The whole family (minus kitty) went to Lowe's to get the floor. I was totally prepared - the floor was already washed & primed to go, and we'd previously brought paper work home to help us chose which flooring to get. The only thing left was to see the colors in person so we knew exactly what it looked like, and bring it home. We make our decision (Armstrong brand peel & stick tiles, Fieldstone is the "color" name), and discover that they only have one box of 30 tiles left. We needed at least 70. We ask a Lowe's employee for help....and I think this is where things first started going wrong. We should have found a different person. He was an older heavy-set man who was literally dripping in sweat, out of breath, and repeating things over and over as if he were trying to remember 10 different things at once that had nothing to do with us. He had us standing around with a cranky baby (whose bed time was coming up fast) while he ran back and forth to different computers, checking inventory, looking for it in "the back", searching for pallets of boxes high up on shelves. He was confused by the computer's unit of measure....apparently it said there were 90 in stock, and he originally took this for 90 boxes. It was actually 90 pieces, and the rest of the pieces were opened and being sold individually as samples for a higher price than a full box would cost us. SO. He checks a computer again, and tells us that another nearby Lowe's has 250 of the exact same thing in stock so we should go there.
It was annoying, but I knew that at least little man could snooze a bit on the ride. I wrote down the brand, color & number code of the tiles for Matt and he ran in to get them. He came out with 2 more boxes. So it seemed that we were all set. We got home, I fed Luke & put him to bed, and then I really wanted to see how the tiles looked in the bathroom. As soon as I did that, I got the itch to start working on it. I thought....why wait for tomorrow when I could possibly get half of it done tonight?! Matt even helped me. We got to work, measuring things out, peeling and sticking tiles, practicing cutting them. It was going so smoothly - we were impressed at how easy this was! We got through a whole box, which was the majority of the surface area, and we thought - what the hell! Let's open another box and keep going while we've got momentum.
So, I grab another box. Keep in mind, we just carried these in from the car and we had no idea which box came from which Lowe's. I pull out the first tile, go to hand it to Matt and I say, WHOA, HOLD UP! (He immediately started singing that song....."heeeeeyyyy", you know the one, right? In the moment I was happy he was making light of the very real SUCK that was about to hit us). I felt the new tile in my hand and realized (after peeling and sticking 30 of them already...) it felt TOTALLY different. The texture of the surface wasn't anything like the ones we'd just used! The colors were the same....the brand, color name & number code were all the same. But I was slowly realizing that not only was the texture different, the pattern of the tile was slightly different also. Both things subtle enough that you wouldn't realize it until you held one, but obvious enough when you install them that you've got two different types of tiles going on.
I checked the labels, and the ONLY thing different was a random number that I am assuming is a time stamp - when the tiles were made. The box we'd already installed had the number 082808, or August 28, 2008. The box I had just opened had the number 051309, or May 13, 2009. This is when my stomach flopped. The box we had just used was the OLDER version of this tile. In other words, we probably can't get more of it.
So, here's where it stands. Half finished bathroom floor. An hour of wasted time with "old" tiles. Two boxes of unusable tiles. No clue if we can even find the old ones in existence. Someone, probably multiple someones, are going to get verbally reamed via telephone as soon as 9:00am hits and I can start making calls. Nothing can ever go smoothly, can it?