Calendar Of Posts
Over the past week we finally had the tile in the pink bathroom re-glazed. We need to let it set for a few days before we can put the toilet back in or do any real work in there. We couldn’t be happier with how this turned out. On Saturday the walls were done, and the fumes in the house we terrible. We had to leave all the windows open, fans running, etc for about 8 hours before it started to smell ok. On Monday they did the floor, and that thankfully didn’t smell as bad. On Tuesday they came back and took down all the paper and caulked. I am so glad I paid someone else to do this. What took them three days probably would have taken me at least three months, and I’m not even sure I would have been able to finish it after smelling how strong this stuff was.
The new floor. This is a beige stone fleck pattern. It’s fairly similar to the counter top, although we didn’t realize that when we picked it out using a small 1 in x 1 in sample.
The new walls. I’m going to re-paint the actual walls to give the room some color, and hopefully putting the shower curtain back up will hide the difference in the two shades of white from the shower and wall tile.
The finished lights re-installed. I am so happy with how these turned out, and am planning on doing the same thing to the pendant lights in the other two bathrooms.
Here is a close-up of the light.
The only thing left(besides painting the walls which is fairly easy and straightforward), is to finish sanding down the off-white trim and paint it white. You can see in the above picture with the window how yellow the trim looks next to the white walls. Here is what it looks like around the doors. I’ll need to get rid of the flaking paint, and then also paint the inside of the closet and the shelves in there. The goal is to be done by the end of September at the latest, but hopefully much sooner!
We(and by we I should say Justin) have finally finished the electrical work and are making progress again that we can see. The electrical was slow and tedious, with something always seeming to come up or go wrong. Justin has a lot more confidence now in some of the other electrical projects we want to do later such as add a ceiling light fixture to our living room. Compared to this, things like that should be really easy! We have a deadline now, the cabinets will be in on December 1, and we still have to finish the floor, hang drywall, and fix the ceiling. The new light switch and dimmer for the light fixtures:
All of our new outlets:
Monday was the longest day we have had since we started this project- we were up at 5am. Justin got to work finishing the electrical and running the plumbing for the ice maker since we are moving the fridge. I headed to the gym, and when I got back around 6:30 I helped him test and finish the plumbing. After work, we grouted and cleaned the tile from 5:30-10pm straight. Unfortunately it wasn’t even completely clean after that. Getting the majority of the grout up is easy, it’s the last bits that get stuck in the tile and look hazy that take forever. Here’s what the tile looked like on Tuesday morning
Last night we took paper towels and sponges to the tile and scrubbed. We also sealed all the vertical joints. We need to go back and scrub some more tonight and seal the horizontal joints. I have the day off tomorrow for Veteran’s day and Justin is taking the day off so that we can get started on the drywall. Hopefully after tomorrow we’ll have some of our walls back!
We finished putting the tile down last night! It took over 3 hours, 1.5 bags of mortar, caused us to miss Big Bang Theory, and left us with a 5 minute break in between mixing the second bag and starting again to scarf down a frozen pizza for dinner; but, it’s done. And now we’re moving on to the electrical work because neither one of us wants to do any more work with the floor at this point. Before we started we had to cut a hole in the floor for a vent that we are moving from behind the fridge to inside the cabinets. Sawing through mortar proved to be much more difficult than we thought. After 5 saw blades and almost two hours of work the hole was done. Here is the finished product.
The only real problem we ran into was the last tiles on the wall along the dining room. Because we had to start in the middle of the room to line up with the tile already in the laundry room, we were left with about 3 inch wide tiles next to the dining room. Most of them will be covered up by the bar height counter top base, but the ones in the doorway will be visible. Hopefully once the molding is in between the rooms it will look fine. Otherwise we’ll be looking for some sort of solution!
We’ve spend the past two nights laying the tile in the kitchen, and hopefully we should finish the project tonight. This would work out perfectly since we have a lot of stuff going on this weekend and won’t have much time, if any to work on the room. We decided to start the tile where our laundry room and kitchen meet because we had put tile in the laundry room last summer and since we were using the same tile in the kitchen we wanted a seamless look. The laundry room was our first tile experience, and while it is only about 1/3 the size of our kitchen it took us close to 6 hours to tile. We were working until well after midnight one day after work, and I was not a happy camper, especially after I was told it would take 2 hours at most. Because of this I was adamant that we space the kitchen tile out over a few nights or do it all on a weekend. Since we were ready to tile at the beginning of the week we just decided to take 3 nights to do this. The one problem we had when we started is that we ended the hardi board so that we would have to use tile to bridge the laundry room and kitchen, rather than leave enough space so that we could bridge this with a full board. Once we got the boards down in the kitchen we realized the kitchen is slightly higher than the laundry room(maybe 1/4 inch at most), but since we have been obsessively looking at it I feel like it might as well be 6 inches. We toyed with a bunch of different ideas of what to do here and in the end we decided to do the best we could with the tile and then go from there. Here’s what the gap looked like before we put in the hardi board:
Here’s what it looks like now that the tile is in:
I know it will get less noticeable once the grout is in, and like I said I don’t think anyone not looking for it will notice it. Hopefully it won’t drive us crazy! After bridging that gap, the rest of the first night of tile went really quickly. We only had to cut 4 tiles the whole time and about an hour later we had this:
The second night was more work because we had to cut all the tiles that went along the wall by the window, and all the tiles that went along the wall on the left hand side of the room. We decided to cut them all first, lay them out so they’d be easy for us to put in, and then get started. All of that plus the tiling took about 3 hours. This was harder because we couldn’t both work at the same time. We have a system that works really well for us- I put the mortar down, comb it, make it even, etc and then Justin puts the tiles and spacers in making sure everything is lined up. Since we were working in a small space I’d get the mortar down for one row and then take a break while Justin did the tile. At the end of night two we had this:
Tonight we should finish the room, and then we’ll let it sit over the weekend. Next week will be grout and sealing, and the start of the electrical work. We’ve also met with our cabinet guy twice and have almost finished all the details about the cabinets. We’re getting white cabinets that will go to the ceiling(they are actually the same ones we have in our laundry room), we’re just ironing out some of the details about a pot and pan drawer, wine rack, and some shelves. He should be getting us some final measurements on countertops soon and then we’ll start getting estimates on those and hopefully decide who we want to get them from.
We’ve been really busy the past week, and even with getting a break from the kitchen for the past two days it still feels like we are working on it non stop. We took one night last week to finish nailing the subfloor down. Each board required over 20 nails, but I think we had a good rhythm going and managed to finish in about an hour.
This was my attempt to show just how many nails went into each board, but I had to zoom in so far that the actual size of the board is irrelevant. Just trust me, it was a lot of nails and a lot of hammering.
We spent another night and a half+ morning before work cutting and laying out all the hardi board, as well as numbering it so that it would be easy to put back into place once the mortar was on the floor. Cutting and arranging:
Before we mixed the mortar on the first night we labeled each of these boards, and then took them off the floor in the reverse order that we wanted to lay them down. It was definitely a pain then but it made putting the boards on the mortar so much easier. The first night was a little rough because it’s been a while since we had done this and it took us a few tries to get a good system going. We only got through two rows the first night because at that point it was 8pm and I was ready to eat my own arm for dinner.
The second night my parents dropped of their drill and dinner for us which made things go much faster. I forgot how many screws have to go into these boards(you have to place them every 8ish inches, and they have to be put in immediately so that they are in before the mortar dries). We were able to finish the floor the second night.
Since we can’t walk on the hardi board for 72 hours we have until Monday night before we can work again. We spent the weekend sleeping in and doing a lot of research on lighting, which I think warrants it’s own post. On Sunday night I think Justin got restless over not being able to make visible progress in the kitchen so he took the window to the garage out. Unfortunately he ran out of time before our dinner plans and had to put a fairly ghetto cover over it. When I saw it he proudly explained it was the ‘coon guard’ and I should be relieved that I wouldn’t be waking up face to face with any raccoons.
Over the weekend Justin set out under the house to reinforce the subfloor and patch some bad duct work that had left a large gaping hole in our kitchen floor. I have been worried for the better part of two weeks that some sort of animal(something much bigger than a roach) was going to climb through that hole and reek havoc on our house. Thankfully that never happened, and much to our surprise the subfloor did not need reinforcing. After a trip to Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Sears we finally got all the ducts we needed and got rid of the hole in our floor.
We secured the boards down with just four nails, one in each corner to start with. Last night we put nails along the edges of each board, 6 inches apart. Tonight we will start(and hopefully finish), putting nails 12 inches apart in the middle of all the boards. Owning something other than a finishing nailer would have come in very handy these past few days!
Yesterday we set out to at least begin removing the linoleum floor. I naively thought we’d finish this in one day with no problems. Since Justin had already removed the same flooring in the laundry room and one of our living rooms, he had much different ideas. The top layer of flooring is the green linoleum that you can see in the before pictures. That was glued to another layer of linoleum with was attached to luan with about a million staples. Under that, we have yet another layer of linoleum which is glued to the top layer of subflooring with the strongest glue I have ever seen in my life. Because of this, we actually had to pull all of that up, including the top layer of plywood subflooring in order to get to a workable surface. Four hours of work later and we were able to get about two thirds of the floor completely removed. At one point we even had to bring the tire jack in to get some of the subfloor up. Apparently the work is much easier with two people, but not nearly as easy as I anticipated. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow night we can have the entire floor out and get everything ready to take to the landfill. The best part of today? I got to use an electric saw for the first time!