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Bummer. I intended to take some updated exterior pictures of the house before work and post a long-overdue update, but this morning’s rain clouds prevented me from any hope at getting the right sunny shot.

So instead, I decided today to tell you about my experience at my first ever “Do-It-Herself” workshop at Home Depot. It seemed like the perfect fit considering this month’s class was about tile installation, so I figured I’d go in case there’s anything I haven’t read about yet.

And you know what? Totally worth going to. Sure, I found myself smirking at a few references to “not getting grout in your hair” or mixing grout to “the consistency of cornmeal” (only southern gals would be told stuff like this in a DIY class), but amidst the obvious effort to feminize the instruction, I found the entire experience very informative. Some of the stuff I already knew about in large part thanks to some excellent instruction from some of my fellow bloggers (like the DIYdiva), but there were a few things I didn’t know – like if you’re putting cement backer board on top of plywood, you’ll want to screw things in perpendicular to how the plywood was installed. Or if you’re snapping chalk lines and you don’t want the dust getting everywhere, spraying hairspray down will help to keep it from taking flight.

Please forgive the cloudiness of my phone pictures; it was raining last night and I think moisture got into the lens.

I especially liked it when the instructor went around to the supply aisle so we could see where everything usually sits (I like spatial relation when it comes to learning) and identified what tools are really needed versus stuff we didn’t need to waste our money on (for example, a backer board scoring knife is a waste of money if you have a general use utility knife).

The benefits of the “female friendly” environment is great for beginners who feel intimidated about the project they are undertaking. The classes are informal, there is plenty of time for Q & A, and no one looks at you like you asked a silly question (even if it’s something along the lines of “So do I need to sponge the grout off the tile surface immediately, or do I need to let it dry first?”). And both the instructor and the other ladies in attendance were very friendly.

When it comes to DIY projects, I appreciate that there are ones specifically made for women to feel less intimidated; Home Depot’s definitely got a good thing going here for its intended audience. But I don’t necessarily think of myself as  Lady DIY where I need a class that’s specific to women in addition to being a class for beginners. There’s just something about it that made me feel like I was purposely isolating myself when I didn’t need to.

I think in the future I’ll probably take one of the more gender-nonspecific workshops that Home Depot offers each weekend (this weekend’s activities that are piquing my interest in particular are Winter Weatherization and Fall Planning). As always, I’ll let you know how it goes if I wind up stopping by.

Have you ever taken a workshop at a home improvement store? What about one specifically for women? Did you like it?

P.S. I called The Tile Shop this morning as well to find out definitively if the tile I chose on my trip there was suitable for flooring. It’s not. Wop wop. But I’ll be stopping by Floor & Decor Outlets this weekend (where I found my laminate floors) to see what they have in stock!

P.P.S. Now the sun is out. Damn. Oh, and HD didn’t pay me to post about this; I just wondered if one of these classes would be helpful or not and thought I’d share the experience.

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  1. My mom had the same issues with a tile she found and loved. They told her it wasn't a floor tile, so she bought it anyways and used it anyways. 5 years later, it's still looks like day 1 and is beautiful!

  2. Every month is a new topic! This Thursday is a cool new topic, pinterest inspired mirror frame with mosaic tile. sounds fun!!