Starting from dirt- literally! A basement bath DIY Adventure pt2

hunziMay 19, 2014

Ok, since Garden Web puts a limit on the length of a thread, it's on to part 2 of this DIY Adventure!

Here's part 1 - the Saga of the Dirt, and the Slightly Imperfect Powder Room!

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/bath/msg011820583002.html?150

Next up is the finishing of the Starting From Dirt Basement Bath!

More to follow! ;-)

Always ;-)
Hunzi

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enduring

The official name and a link for that fun thread on dirt, basements, and Mr. G.

Hope you survived the weekend with two graduations!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Starting from dirt- literally! A basement bath DIY Adventure

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 6:53PM
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hunzi

We interrupt this bathroom project for life in general!

Ok, I'm back from graduating 2 girls, putting them on planes back to China, plus taking a cruise to Bermuda to celebrate our 30th anniversary!

Now we resume our regularly scheduled programming!

Progress report - we're framing up the bathroom - and figuring out all the small details so the tile will look good and the paneling won't look funky. Choices of baseboard vs cove base, and how to transition around the tub side/wall edge (tub has a concave section - looks great, harder to tile with the bullnose as planned - grr!) I think we've found the right solution.

Next up, we'll be installing the Kerdi board and tiling the tub, plus I think he has the final plumbing changes mixed in this stage (we're adding a water softener!)

In small good news - we noticed the HWH was cranking out super hot water - 170 degrees - yikes! - changed out the thermostats (plus updated the drain cock and pressure relief valve) - reset the temp to 120ish, and the electric bill dropped $43! In this energy sucking house that's a major victory! (Energy bills top out around $7500/yr!!! - more energy improvements are on the horizon) Not sure if we would have been able to save a little more if we had actually swapped out the HWH, but when you have a 60+yr old HWH that looks like it might run for another 40+yrs without the bat of an eye, you really don't want to anger the plumbing Gods. ;-)

I'm just about at the point I have to actually buy tile! So far, I think it's going to be cheapo HD subways (hey, they've looked great on some of the projects I've seen here!) and I'm getting the hex plus squares from Nebraska Furniture Mart (yay for employee discounts!) One of my next projects is probably sitting down with actual graph paper to figure out the tile layout - that art deco detail is going to take a little thought.

Almost all the plumbing trim has arrived, just waiting for a call from Lowes for one last bit, then I can lay that all out and be sure it looks like what I want! Still need to dismantle the vintage sink valves so we can update those - personally, I'd just install the sink and see if the original valves are working, but DH wants to just change them out now, and skip having to re-do it if they're leaking.

Seriously love Hansgrohe shower heads - love the one we put in the 2nd floor bath clawfoot tub, and they even had them on the cruise ship! Ohh they had a fancy dancy shower panel with a shower head, 6 body sprays, and hand shower - nice! Can't wait to put them in this bathroom - I may even walk to the basement for showers lol!

So, progress has resumed - photos soon!

Always ;-)
Hunzi

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:11PM
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hunzi

Questions! (Hopefully Mongo hasn't given up on me yet!)

So we're saving actual tiling of the floor for last!

Got the SLC and RFH in, and it's level - only had one or two hairline crack develop in the SLC. Yay us!

So we've been framing up around the tub. We're using 1/2in Kerdi board.

We planning to use a Hansgrohe Ibox for the valve - I had purchased one of the Kerdi valve seals, (the one with a 4.5in diameter hole) but the Ibox is bigger than that - 4.75in (unless it stretches an awful lot!). Ibox also came with a seal that was intended to bond to backer board I think.

I have the smaller Kerdi seals for the pipe protrusions (tub spout & shower arm).

Here's a question:

1) what's the proper way to seal around an Ibox when using Kerdi board? I have Kerdi band and Kerdi Fix available too.

Thanks again for all the advice!
Hunzi

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 5:30PM
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hunzi

I think we've decided the best option is Kerdi Fix around the valve box ala a very large pipe protrusion.

Always ;-)
Hunzi

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 12:33PM
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enduring

I know nothing about Kerdi Fix. On my iBox I used the circular "facing" piece and set it with thinset. Then covered it with Hydroban up to and onto the iBox for total coverage. I would think the Kerdi fix would work too.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 10:35PM
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hunzi

So there's progress!

Almost all the plumbing and electrical is done and we're almost ready for drywall.

We sorted out our biggest challenge - the door to the hot water closet. It was an odd size opening and we offset the toilet rough (now set in concrete!) to accommodate a bifold door - but the odd size was causing headaches - so we've opted for a sliding panel - think barn door. It will actually slide over in front of the tub when open - but it won't open often.

The track for the door means no curved shower rod - I may go with the recessed track.

Of course the bummer is we offset the toilet to make room for the door and now we don't need it! And it may affect my tile design - because I think we'll notice the off-centeredness if there's a border. I'll play with the tile before final decisions on that.

Lighting - I'm struggling a little with this. We installed a light over the shower, have a fan/light combo midroom, and have a vintage single sconce over the mirror/sink. I put 3 100w equivalent 1600 lumens LED bulbs in, but when we put the shades on it still feels dim (it's enough light with the shades off).

I'm hoping once the surfaces get in, that there's enough reflection to balance the light. We popped the medicine cabinet in for a minute and it did help. The door will have a full size mirror (but no light directly in front of it), and the tile is white (subway on shower walls (with black trim), mostly white hex on the floor with black accents, 2 walls will be semi-gloss white (the other two walls will most likely be coral), and the ceiling will be flat white - so I'm hoping it's enough. It has to be, because I can't find brighter bulbs and there's no place for another fixture!

I thought I took pictures but I guess I haven't yet - nothing on the phone! Soon!

Always ;-)
Hunzi

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:55PM
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hunzi

At some point in time, I swear I'll post a progress photo!

Progress IS being made! But not without major sidebar distractions!

Progress - the plumbing is in! All rough is done. The kerdi boards are up. The "what do we do to make a door for the hot water closet?" issue has been decided.

Electrical is in. To MrHunzi's credit, he didn't even blink when I came back from staying in a very nice hotel in Dallas and declared I needed that makeup mirror. Happily the walls aren't up yet, so adding another power box wasn't a huge issue - ordered the mirror, waited until it got here this time before placing the box!! (See, we learned from the Slightly Imperfect Powder Room debacle!)

Next up is getting to finishes - we're buying drywall tomorrow, and we've hammered out the board and baton plan.

However - the sidebar distractions - we've decided that the kitchen and pantry (you know, the MrG's 1950's bathroom from hell) needed a facelift beyond desparately! Just a quick flooring update (no really those 5yr guarantee stick-on vinyl tiles just don't last longer than 20 years!! Shocking, I know!) , plus a rework of the 1950sBFH into a much less bathroom space and more of a pantry space. Plus I GET A DOOR FOR THE SLIGHTLY IMPERFECT POWDER ROOM! Yay!!!

This little sidebar job will be done in a week or two, then we'll be back to the grind on the Started From Dirt Basement Bathroom! It's almost time for tiles!! Yay!

Always ;-)
Hunzi

This post was edited by hunzi on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 21:27

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 1:05AM
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enduring

You are busy! I really do look forward to seeing all of these improvements.

How is your dog that you had been bringing to ISU for treatment? I hope all is well.

You have kids going to college too, right? That will be busy too.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:57PM
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lotteryticket

My favorite thread comes to life! Nice that you're making progress. And finally, so are we. Would love to see your pictures if you have a chance, but no worries since you sound super busy. Hope all is well.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 6:32PM
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hunzi

Hi enduring and lotteryticket!!!

Let's see:

1) The dog is doing great!! We are officially finished with chemotherapy and now only need monthly follow ups at the local vet. We beat it! Eff off cancer.

2) Kids - one finishing his Masters, one junior in college, plus the 3 bonus kids - one is working on a fashion degree at Parsons, the younger two will be freshmen this year, one at UNL, one at Wooster in OH. LilMissHusker flies in next week, and we'll get her settled down at school in Lincoln, LilMissOhio is on her own but she'll be fine. Plus we have two new Chinese Sons on the way in as well, so we'll have 2 high school boys in the house, one a sophomore, and the other a junior (hence the frantic fix the kitchen work).

Plan was that the Basement Bathroom would be finished by the time the Chinese children began to arrive, but it's not going to happen. Adjusted timeline has the finish date before Thanksgiving hopefully, as I expect we'll have both freshman girls home for the holidays, plus the two boys, plus our CollegeJr girl will be home (MrMaster's no longer resides in the basement, so he's got his own place).

3) photos - as soon as I figure out where they go when I synch the phone with the network - I think I changed some setting, and I can't find them to save my life. Are they uploading to a cloud site (icloud or dropbox), or someplace in the vast array of local drives, or failing to move because my storage is maxing out and DH has been a tad too busy to upgrade the network - I seriously don't know! All I know is they no longer neatly load under dated files. Exasperating.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:44PM
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hunzi

So we're not dead yet!!!

We took August to do a few small projects - the LONG overdue kitchen floor replacement, and prettied up the pantry - no more evidence of Mr.G's 1950s Bathroom From Hell. Oh and we now have a REAL DOOR on the Practically Perfect Powder Room! Yay!

Oh and we now have two new teenagers in the house, boys! 17 & almost 14. (Mama has had to do some serious house training with them about lids down on toilet seats.)

Photos are still giving me grief - I can easily post to Facebook etc. from the phone/icloud, but have a dickens of a time finding them when I want to post from the laptop - I just can't figure out where they synch.

I've given MrHunzi a month to rest his poor hands (carpel is but one of the gifts from his 20yrs of military service), and am now about to begin nudging him to get back into the basement until it's DONE! I want a working, finished bathroom (plus laundry and bonus room would be fabulous) by Thanksgiving when the college girls (1 Jr, 1 Soph, 2 Freshmen) return - we'll definitely see at least 2, possibly all four.

Always ;-)
Hunzi

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 2:38PM
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enduring

Hi there Hunzi, glad you are making some progress and DH is resting up. While he's at it have him figure out your computer/cloud/photo connection, lol.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 7:24PM
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nancyinmich

I have been reading along, found this thread for the second time recently. I can't wait for the photos, either! Loved the Powder Room and want to see the rest.

Really not liking a single exit from the basement, though. Can you do an emergency exit door that is simply a hatch in the center of a room upstairs and have one of those emergency ladders for second storey windows that can be deployed from the basement ceiling if someone needs to get out of the basement and the stairs are on fire? You know, like in the middle of the kitchen floor? That nice pine flooring is glued to a hatch that rests on a frame. From the basement side, there is a handle to turn to disengage the hatch and raise it up as you climb the little metal ladder. It can't be worse than living with Mr. G's "inventions" all these years.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2014 at 3:21AM
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hunzi

For the record,

Progress is being made!

DH has been fiddling endlessly with his electrical/network/computer closet. He's close to being finished.

The floor tiles and the Nobel CIS are here, and I just have to work out the accent patterns. We're still debating if the tub/shower combo is all white subways or black accents too. I haven't quite figured out how to mix in the blacks and have it look good/come out even.

This is one of those times I wish I could just show a photo to a tile guy and say "make it so".

Nancy, there are two exits from the basement - one interior staircase up to the kitchen, and one exterior staircase that leads to the porch. As we have divided the basement into separate spaces (bathroom, laundry, tv/center zone, storage (potential exercise space) and boiler room) , not every space has two exits - only the central zone does, but we never intend this to be a permanent bedroom level (there will be times we overflow into the basement - holidays etc. DS slept in the center zone during his year of BoyInTheBasement.)

I can not add any egress windows - the basement is dug out and trayed inward nearly 3 feet from the foundations and the front half of the house has a wrap around porch to boot.

In other news - BoyNoLongerInTheBasement just received his Masters degree this weekend, and my dear sweet German Shepherd died 2 weeks ago. I'm still randomly bursting into tears.

Two years ago I joked the bathroom might take a year or two to be done - looks like I was right! We should be done in January or February. Two bathrooms, two years. Right on schedule! ;-)

Always ;-)
Hunzi

    Bookmark   December 22, 2014 at 1:24AM
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hunzi

Oh and photos!!! Let's not forget the dirt from whence we came!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2014 at 1:46AM
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hunzi

Best dog ever!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2014 at 2:50AM
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enduring

Oh is this your dog that you took to ISU? So sorry. Beautiful pup.

My DD has a German Shepard and he is a very good boy. He is just about a year and a few months now. BIG.

Got to go get ready for work, Ill be late (again :/

    Bookmark   December 22, 2014 at 7:55AM
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nancyinmich

Sorry about the loss of your Dear Dog, Hunzi, but glad to hear there are indeed two exits from your basement. He is a handsome, regal fellow. I can imagine the hole he has left in your lives. Congratulations to your son. Was he the one studying Physics?

I am considering white tile with black accents for my bathroom. If you need more inspiration, there are dozens of white with black bathrooms at Houzz. I have been in the planning stage for about two years, so I know about long projects. When we do ours, it will be our only full bathroom, so we are hoping it will get done FAST. I recently bought a vanity - the third and last - for the remodel. Now I need to sell the previous two!

Looking forward to your pictures, but not the end of your project, as I enjoy reading your writing so much!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2014 at 1:35AM
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hunzi

I'm slowly becoming used to not having my shadow. He was seldom more than a few feet away from me for 11 years. He left a 130lb hole in my heart for sure.

It is the same son - he now has a BS in Physics & Math, and a Masters in Math, and he's currently applying for Ph.D. programs for Physics.

Progress is being made - his electrical closet has been way time consuming - getting all his network stuff etc, situated. We had to relocate a few conduits, and clean up some sloppy work (hello Mr G!) and then he's framed up that and my ironing board cabinet. It's all slowly starting to feel like finished spaces.

Next up for us will probably be a smaller job - we need to pretty up the dining room and the front/upper halls. Those are mostly demo old plasters, new drywall, adding a pair of pocket doors. Messy, but nothing we haven't tackled before - once that's done, we can refinish the oak floors on the main level. With luck it will be a summer job (plus fall, winter, & spring - given our track record!)

After that, we'll tackle the final bathroom! That's the 2nd floor 1925 original bathroom (remember the first 40 years in this house's history, folks just got to head over to the outhouse. I'm sure that was a thrill in the Nebraska winters!) I'm keeping the tub & toilet, we're adding a shower, doing some rearranging, and putting in a vanity. (It had the wall hung sink now in the Slightly Imperfect Powder Room until we stole it for that project. Currently it has a cheap temporary pedestal). The huge part will in the 1925 Bath will be the floors - we plan to tear out to the joists so we can sister and level things up - you can roll a marble on them - right towards the center of the house! (the structural issue has been resolved, but the sloped floors are now a feature/bug). That one will be a big project - lots of tile in a 10x10 room! And while it's under construction, the only working full bathroom will be the StartingFromDirt bathroom 2 floors down in the basement!

Once that's finished, we'll tackle the final big project - the kitchen. I'll be someplace on these boards for decades to come! ;-)

Always ;-)
Hunzi

    Bookmark   December 24, 2014 at 3:18AM
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hunzi

So we are slowly crawling towards the finish line - the electrical/network closet is nearly done. I swear that thing has more structure in it than most bomb shelters. Working around some existing stuff, making it all fit etc. Our current mantra is "it's just a closet". (Meanwhile, we do more work on it!). He's painting it now - oh happy day! Then he'll take a few days punching all the wires into his network stuff.

Then it's on to building a cabinet for the laundry room, and then we'll pull the laundry machines out and drywall the laundry room, paint, and finally, we'll be moving on to tile. The joys of interconnected projects.

I'm guessing before Easter. Maybe. ;-)

Always ;-)
Hunzi

    Bookmark   January 2, 2015 at 1:43AM
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enduring

How wonderful :) You're posts are great to read. When is Easter this year - early, late, in the middle? Find out so you know if you need to work faster.

I still have some odds and ends to finish in my second bathroom. I'm embarrassed to mention it. But, they are:
1) mount the shower hand held bracket, it lays on the shower floor currently.
2) Mount the grab bar in the shower.
3) tile a small wall that is about 22" wide, to the ceiling.
4) Cut one 4" length of baseboard and mount. Then I think I'm done.

I haven't worked on the room since early summer. I'd challenge you to a race, but I'm so far ahead of your project, it wouldn't be fair. On the other hand, you might win, as slow as I've been.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2015 at 9:06AM
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hunzi

A few befores - the laundry/electrical zone

    Bookmark   January 2, 2015 at 4:04PM
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hunzi

Just a glimpse of the network mess (washer & dryer had been moved by this point to their new location) - there were wires strung all over the place - and it was worse during construction when he was moving the systems out of the way for work. (the fun of being married to a programmer/computer geek).

Oh and we decided we didn't like the location/orientation of the stack clean out, so that was moved during this phase. (replaced/turned it to face the walkway wall - easier access if needed, but now the cleanout cover will be seen vs in the closet - but the trade off is worth it.)

This post was edited by hunzi on Fri, Jan 2, 15 at 16:22

    Bookmark   January 2, 2015 at 4:17PM
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hunzi

Oh happy day! The network/electrical closet is finished! And it looks pretty darned good too!

DH has now framed up the storage cabinet for the laundry room and his friend is due over tomorrow to help haul out the laundry machines and put up the drywall.

I need to make the hard decision of which laundry sink - I had my heart set on finding a huge old earthenware sink - but there appear to be none to be found in the Midwest - so second choice is a stainless steel scullery sink.

Always ;-)
Hunzi

    Bookmark   January 15, 2015 at 9:32AM
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hunzi

Progress is being made!

Photo - the electrical/wiring closet looks a little neater than before!

The sink is being shipped for the laundry room - ended up picking an apron sink. Hopefully, it will work out well! It will be installed probably last - because after we have a look at the sink (due this week), we need to order the custom laundry sink cabinet (one thing we won't do ourselves is make a cabinet) and that will probably have a 30day production time.

DH is working on the finish sanding of the drywall (The laundry machines have been out for 2 weeks). Then we're on to the big adventure - tiling the floor.

We're going to put down Nobel CIS (thanks Mongo!) then fiddle with the layout of the tiles to be sure we get the design right. - It's hex - mostly white, but black accents - it's the black that will be a little fiddly - we are sorting out a border pattern.

And then we still have finish carpentry (there's quite a bit), painting, installing the fixtures and the tub/shower tile to do.

But eventually - soonish - the Starting From Dirt Bathroom and Laundry room special will be finished!

Probably 2 more trips to the laundry mat! But I still think that's better than moving the machines in and out several times.

It's getting there! It feels like rooms now!

Always ;-)
Hunzi

This post was edited by hunzi on Tue, Jan 27, 15 at 1:02

    Bookmark   January 27, 2015 at 12:37AM
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hunzi

photo - the electrical side of the closet.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2015 at 1:10AM
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crl_

Yay for progress! Fingers crossed on the laundry mat trips being over very soon.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2015 at 9:21AM
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enduring

Can't wait to see your setup. I think the sink sounds good. And as always ;) great thread!!!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2015 at 9:10PM
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hunzi

I'll give y'all a little work in progress photo!

The door (to the wiring closet) doesn't have the jambs in yet, and the cabinet to the left will be the built in ironing board. The clete to the right is a support for the counter over the laundry machines. Just to the left is the entrance to the bathroom.

Always ;-)
Hunzi

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 6:11PM
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hunzi

Photo - The shelves (still need paint and finish trim) on the opposite side of the laundry - the entrance to the bathroom is just out of frame on the right. Apparently I haven't taken a shot from the laundry looking into the bathroom yet!

The shelves and the deep and a little low (it is over 6ft but barely) entrance into the bathroom is to accommodate a large bulkhead that holds a beam and the heating pipes (big diameter hot water pipes) and acts as a chase for nearly everything else - plumbing, electrical, gas. So the compromise was a deep lowish entry, and we built cabinets on either side of the door - one for the laundry, and a cubby for the bathroom. Just remember, this is a basement dug out after construction in a 130yr old house - I don't have the luxury of the headroom in a daylight walkout basement!

Always ;-)
Hunzi

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 6:25PM
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hunzi

I apparently suck at taking pictures actually in the bathroom!

Here's one standing just in front of the tub looking back into the laundry - the cubby will be used for towels and odds/ends, there are 2 shelves, all the finish trim is still to be done.

The two unfinished electrical boxes will house the thermostat for the radiant floor heating and the top one is a lighted makeup mirror - it's just to the right/90 degrees to the sink, so it's not as awkward as it might look at the moment.

This is the same view as the network wire mess (pre-closet) before!

Always ;-)
Hunzi

This post was edited by hunzi on Wed, Jan 28, 15 at 19:03

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 6:32PM
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hunzi

A couple of photos of the chaos! ;-)

Looking towards the toilet - hot water/softener closet to the right.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 6:39PM
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hunzi

Photo - obviously the sink, waiting to go in.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 6:43PM
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hunzi

Stuff in the middle! The joys of DIY!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2015 at 6:45PM
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hunzi

Progress!

So the drywall is nearly done, and DH will prime it all today I think (or soon - he had to clear 8 inches of snow today).

I've ordered the sink cabinet, and the sink has arrived.

Once the priming is done, we're ready to start the tiling!

It's getting there!
Always ;-)
Hunzi

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 4:48PM
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enduring

Stay warm! We got about 10" in our neck of the woods in central Iowa. You're Really making progress.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 5:45PM
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nancyinmich

Wow, Hunzi, copper stubs, proper electrical work, walls, and even a couple of closets! This is nothing like the dirt floored space you started with. Congrats on all the progress! I had to laugh at the big closet with tools on each shelf - it looks like every project that we have ever had. Except my DH is useless for doing any planning or work (but very good at making the money to pay the bills so my contractor, Jim, can do the work!). So the tools are usually Jim's. You must feel great to have real walls and floors and ceilings and know that the finishing is all that is left. Bath and laundry by Easter would be great.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2015 at 8:56PM
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hunzi

I know, it's amazing isn't it!

Ok, now it's time for some nitty gritty questions.

We are approaching the tile phase! Hopefully Mongo or Bill will help me out with a few questions that pop up.

We'll probably put down the Nobel CIS with Nobel EXT in the next week or so to decouple the tile from the concrete floor per Mongo's suggestion (since we can't use ditra with 1in hex). DO I NEED TO ROLL THE FABRIC afterwards with a heavy roller or can we just go over it with a flat trowel again? My thought is it's a tight space for a big long handled roller.

Our current debate is epoxy grout or not? How hard is it to work with really? Is it worth the extra money and work? As in will it really perform better than a regular grout? I don't have a specific color yet - but it's Daltile Keystones black and white full body porcelain hex, with some sort of light grey grout - probably Laticrete if we go epoxy, and I think Lowes has Laticrete for the regular grouts too. It's going on the floor of a bathroom & laundry room - and most likely on the shower walls - not on a shower floor as we have a tub combo.

I'm sure there are a lot more questions to come!
Always ;-)
Hunzi

    Bookmark   February 6, 2015 at 1:35AM
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enduring

I don't think Laticrete sells cementous grout at Lowes, only the epoxy. I bought my epoxy online at a good price. I can by Laticrete products at Kate-Lo tile, and it was comparable with the online, I believe. Don't go to Sunderlands cause they charged me an arm and a leg for thinset. But in your area the cost may be different.

I've checked both store locations and they serve the Omaha area, but I did not see any near Upper Elbonia ;)

I used epoxy on both my baths and you just have to be on top of the process. It is plasticy. I have the farm environment so wanted epoxy for the floors. We might get a calf in the bathroom, warming up with a heat lamp, (now I have warming floors too) This is a once in 10 years event mind you. We have other pets too, and wanted a location to contain a pet and not have issues with pet urine or feces. Then there is the other crap that gets tracked in.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 6, 2015 at 6:08AM
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enduring

Hunzi, I was in Ames today and visited that florist/antique shop I sent you to last year. OMG! I hadn't been there in 18 years and I think they had the same stuff in there. It is one big pile, right.

Somewhere you posted that you will not be posting pics anymore, I hope you do cause you know we all want to see your project. I am going to do a reveal of my second bathroom someday soon, and I think I'll put a watermark on all the images with "enduring" blazing across the pic.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2015 at 4:24PM
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J LeBlanc
I am so glad this thread is still kicking! Do post pictures if you don't mind. It's been fun.

@enduring - and please do post ones of your second bathroom. That soapstone vanity is one of my favorites ever!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 12, 2015 at 4:29PM
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Hunzi

We are alive and kicking.

Two months after losing my beloved dog, I decided I had enough of twitching on the floor in grief and withdrawal and got a new puppy. He arrived this weekend. So the chaos of having a 10 week old German Shepherd puppy has begun. Everyone say "awww!"

In actual renovation news - we are working on the door panels for the laundry room storage - it covers the deep foundation ledge - which gives me a spot to toss a half dozen plastic bins and not see them. Just realized we didn't order the brackets to go with the blum hinge - so that will set us back a week.

Once we get that solved - we'll paint the laundry room - because it will be easier to do that before we do the floors and install the sink and laundry counter.

Progress - made in fits and starts.

Always ;-)

Hunzi

1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 3:56PM
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enduring

AWWWW!!! What nice pup. My DD has a year old German Shepherd. He is a marvelous dog. Bless you and your new family member :)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 6:24PM
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badgergal

AWWWW!!! AWWWW! That pup is precious! Please let us know its name. I hadn't checked your progress in some time. Your bathroom is coming together nicely. I admire people who can DIY. My DH and I had a difficult time changing out a closet light fixture earlIer today.

1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2015 at 6:42PM
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Hunzi

He's a handful. Puppyhood is fun and exhausting. It's not much different than having a newborn and a toddler all at once. First two nights he cried in his kennel all night, last night he settled a little faster, so hopefully we are making progress. He's got me spending nearly all my time in the living room because I can close it off from the rest of the house - and put the two cats in there too, so he's acclimating to kitties, (they are much less thrilled with a puppy!) - Our older dog ruled the house but thought cats were vermin, so the cats lived in the basement most of their lives for their own safety, he nearly killed them at least once each - needless to say, they aren't big fans of dogs. This time we are working to handle the introduction a little better. So far, the cats are wary but will chill out, the puppy is enthralled, but intimidated by their reactions. All is good.

DIY rocks - it fits the adage, you can have it done well, done cheap or done fast - pick two. So we do it cheap and are mad perfectionists, but it takes eons to get anything done. DH works FT as a programmer, and we fit in the construction evenings and weekends we aren't doing something else (having non-driving teens in the house at all times is a challenge.) Plus DH has some disabilities from his 20yrs of military service that make working for any amount of time honestly painful (actually, he's in pain daily whether we work on the house or not) , so I try not to push him because he will push himself. So we take our time, but we like the end results.

Right now, we're busy priming the shelves for the laundry shelf unit, and soon he's going to have to mount the ironing board in the cabinet. Once we get these details handled for the laundry side, we can start tiling!

1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2015 at 9:22AM
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enduring

Great to hear your progress both with your basement and your pup!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2015 at 4:21PM
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Hunzi

So progress is being made!

We've been working on random details. The ironing cabinet has the hardware installed and he has primed the insides.

We hit a small set back with the panels for the wall - one is a door to the basement ledge - and it functions and looks great - we ended up deciding to leave the crawlspace unfinished (vs installing a cabinet box for storage) - this way we can see if there are ever any moisture problems with the exterior wall and if someone was super skinny and not at all claustrophobic, they could get into the whole crawlspace we've closed off. Plus it actually gives me a little more hidden storage for plastic bins. So that's the good part - the bad part is we made a 2nd matching panel to mound as a fixed panel on the wall so things looked more symmetrical. Problem - the joists weren't even, and DH didn't notice when he installed the drywall ceiling that it was out of level - it rises in the corner nearly an inch. So that means a paneled door hung on the wall in that location will make the uneven ceiling scream at us. Without it, it's not really noticeable. Alternative - we may just install a cabinet in that location instead of the false panel. I'll think about it and decide once we install the sink cabinet below. Bonus - it would be a little more storage, but I'm not sure I'll like the aesthetic.

I think today we're going to finish up any odds and ends, and then we will layout the Nobel CIS and get that glued down.

Started playing with tile layouts. I think we have decided which way to lay the sheets (1x2 sheets of 1in hex). Now we need to find the right spot to lay a reference line so they come out nice and straight and even. Can't trust the walls - we were working around all sorts of non-level, non-square, non-plumb posts, so the walls are a little off. I probably should have been a little more of a perfectionist and insisted on more truing up.

Puppy is 13 weeks old now - still a handful, but he's coming along.

In questions - I'm still pondering grout. Is everyone totally in love with using Spectraloc?

I like what I've heard, but I'm not loving the price of epoxy grouting 125 sqft plus a tub combo with it. Plus it looks like Lowes is in transition on what they carry in stock, so that means I'd probably have to get it from someplace that is more expensive, may require shipping, and less likely to knock off 10% for a military discount.

On the other hand, I really want a grout that's pretty bullet proof. This floor is going to have some sort of laundry products spilled on it, it will likely see dogs washed and possible held in this location until dry, there are cats in the house, and teenagers - plus future grand kids - all mess creators. The laundry room will become home to the primary utility sink - so who knows what will get washed out - or how much blood will get dripped on it from careless projects. (We totally believe in Blood Sacrifice here at the Shrine to Our Lady of Perpetual Renovation!) Plus it's not in a well ventilated space - yeah, I put in a decent bathroom fan, but there are no windows - and while its never felt too damp, nor have I seen any signs of mold or mildew even with a dirt floor for 10+ years, I'm not one to take chances.

So talk to me peeps - I haven't bought anything yet, but the time is fast approaching! I think we're hoping to set the tile this weekend.

Or at least start - which leads to another question - is it best to do the whole floor in one fell swoop (thin set & lay tile), or can you do half, come back the next day and do more?

This is the part where things get a little scary because it's something that really needs to get done right the first time - no going back for re-dos.

Always ;-)

Hunzi

    Bookmark   March 3, 2015 at 2:32PM
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nancyinmich

Wish I could help with any of those answers, Hunzi, but I can't. I just stopped by to say best of luck with your tiling and a big AWWWWWW! for your baby dog!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2015 at 9:30PM
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Hunzi

Mini Progress report -

We've cut and fitted the Nobel CIS - We'll glue it down this weekend!

Then the fun starts.

Always ;-)

Hunzi

    Bookmark   March 6, 2015 at 10:50AM
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Hunzi

The moment when you realize your moderately complex black and white pattern is going to require hand placing hundreds SINGLE 1 in hex tiles (the mesh is just glue dots vs full mesh backing so they aren't connected in rows!)

1 Like    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 7:50AM
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lotteryticket

ARG! I had a similar issue with basketweave. It had a border and I had to use algebra to get it all to work out right plus putting in dozens one at a time.

Be kind to your knees!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 3:32PM
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