Archive for the ‘downstairs’ Category

baseboard, how low can you go?

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Since the beginning, I’ve been on a mission to put an end to this business…

window trim



















trim around the doors



















stupid trim on the stairs





















Trim. Mouldings. Baseboard. Whatever you call it, I’ve broadcast my distaste for it more than once. I hoped to eliminate its evil existence in order to visually simplify our small spaces and reduce opportunity for dust collection. But… well, sadly it has reared its lascivious head downstairs. Luckily, David and Joe found a way to minimize its profile so that I can live with it. (Not that I have a choice.) Such thoughtful boys.

Do tell, David…


So. The question is why do we need baseboard down here?

Well, the makers of our new cork floor specify a 1/2″ gap between the cork and the wall, because cork needs room to expand and contract with fluctuating temperature and humidity. That’s a gap we don’t want to look at, so it has to be hidden by something: baseboard. Ordinarily trim is an opportunity for decoration but not at our house! We want it simple, plain, and rectilinear thankyouverymuch. That meant we had to customize our own.

Joe and I held the sheetrock up from the floor for two reasons…

where the baseboard will go




















By running the cork underneath the sheetrock, the 1/2″ gap can be between the cork floor and the studs instead of between the cork and the face of the sheetrock. That allows us for more minimal baseboard, as we can move the face of the baseboard inward a full 5/8″. Sweet.

Our test piece of baseboard worked out alright…

baseboard test












Check it out — instead of 1/2″ like the trim we pulled out of here when the remodel began, the baseboard now steps out from the wall only 1/4″…

baseboard now 1/4"




















Here’s how we did it: that L-shaped rabbet at the top of the board wraps around the bottom edge of the sheetrock…

so, this is the new baseboard


Then there’s a gasket on the bottom of the board to seal it against the floor but still allow the cork to expand. It also gives a slight reveal, hides any waviness in the floor (oh yes, the cement floor beneath the cork is slightly wavy), and makes it easier to paint the baseboard after installation without getting paint on the floor. That’s a plus.

Once it all tested out we made up 150′ of it, primed it, and started installing…

baseboard going in




















So that’s the story of the finishing detail on the walls, almost finished. Next comes the part where Brook and I wrestle over what color to paint it. Heh.


what happens in the shower

Friday, June 1st, 2012

… stays in the shower. Pretty sure that applies to the fancypants aluminum edging that now divides the tile and the cork ceiling, because I can’t imagine it escaping its new confines…

aluminum edge between tile and ceiling




















Looks good, no?

aluminum edge in the shower too




















There’s still more to be done, so don’t be too judgmental yet. The niche will be tiled soon and there’s more metal edge to come. And grout, of course. But I’m loving how it’s coming together so far!

in the bathroom, again

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Overdue for a check-in on the tiling progress. Let’s see how it’s going down there…

Mark and I figured out the placement of the niche. Actually, the placement of the pipes in the wall figured out the placement of the niche for us…

niche placement




















I really had my heart set on a long, skinny niche like this one, but the pre-made offerings were laughably short… we would have had to lay our shampoo bottles on their sides. Once again, had to settle. Sigh…

pre-made niche goes in




















niche gets mud




















However, it is mudded up and ready for tile, so there’s that.

Meanwhile, the tiles on the end wall almost reach the ceiling…

bath is tiled almost all the way to the ceiling now




















And did you happen to notice the aluminum edging?

crisp aluminum edge on the white tiles




















Will make a nice, crisp line between the tile and the mirror above, and between the tile and the walnut built-in going to the right of the sink.

The sink, if I can remind you, looks like so…

our duravit sink




















Speaking of which, I suppose you haven’t seen the rough layout yet…

layout of sink area




















We probably have a nicer scribble than this somewhere… I’ll see if I can dig one up.

Anyway, the top of the white vessel sink will be on level with a walnut box/countertop — the wood will get a heavy-duty coating of something you’d see used on boats. Green? Unlikely. Impervious to water? Most definitely. The box/countertop will be open on the end next to the toilet, so we can stash magazines and toilet paper rolls where no one has to look at them. (No more toilet paper holder like in the drawing.) A walnut shelf will stretch from underneath the counter to the corner of the room where it will also serve as a bench. Behind the bench is a floor-to-ceiling wall of walnut with a few hooks up high for hanging clothes. Built-in storage is planned for the intersecting wall — details later.

So that’s that. Did I mention that the wood for the bath built-ins arrives TOMORROW? Woot!

so how’s it going?

Monday, May 21st, 2012

With the tile, I mean. Like so…

measuring where the tile will fall




















And thusly…

tile now wraps around another wall




















The tile now wraps around another wall — the wall opposite the shower where the wall-hung toilet will be. The yellow bits in the back corner are plumbing related. Above the yellow bits, that square will be the flusher. In the foreground, the pipe is where the wall-mounted faucet will go above the sink. Trying to maximize our space here wherever we can.

tile check-in

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Mark was back at it yesterday, tiling those walls in the bathroom downstairs…

mark at work




















That shot doesn’t really show off his handsome side. I apologize for that. By the end of the day, tile stretched across the full width of the room…

tile by the end of the day












Eventually it will meet the ceiling and this will really start to look like a bathroom. Thanks, Mark!

tile time!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Not too much to show yet but this should give you an idea of how the downstairs bath is coming along since we last checked in. First, Mark “mudded” the walls of the shower — mud is basically a sand and cement mix used for setting our porcelain tiles

walls with just mud




















I’m sure there were steps that I didn’t catch on camera through most of this time-consuming and exacting process. It’s a tiny bathroom with tiny tiles that require a bit of concentration… I don’t like to interfere too often.

After the mud dried, the first tiles went on…

walls not too far along yet




















And by the end of the day yesterday, a roughly 3′-band all the way around was set…

walls at the end of the day




















Nowhere near finished but it’s well begun. Thanks, Mark!


Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

The painters are here again! The painters are here again!

paint in progress




















Rejoice! For the problem is being corrected.

the highs, the lows

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Want to see something that turned out perfect? The floor and ceiling, finished. TA-DAAAA!

the highs: floor and ceiling look fantastic!




















the highs: still looks great from this angle




















It’s so great when a project turns out the way you hope it would.

And now that that’s out of the way, want to see something that turned out craptastical?

Sure you do…

the lows: paint peeled off




















Yup, when the plastic held on by the paint-friendly blue tape was pulled down, it took the brand-new paint job with it. All. the. way. around. the. room.


Why did the paint fail? Who knows. But one thing is for sure: it’s not a simple fix. It probably means sanding and another full coat. Kill me now.

progress report: floor finishing

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Well this is going quickly! David and Joe are putting four coats of finish on the cork flooring downstairs. The first two coats went down yesterday. This morning there was sanding, vacuuming and dust mopping…

get that dust off the floor!





















And now the final two coats are going on…

Joe adds a finish coat to the hallway into the downstairs




















More later!

floor finishing is happening

Monday, April 30th, 2012

There may be only one in this shot but I assure you there are two swarthy dudes laying down the first coat right now…

first coat going on!