Archive for July, 2010

Clean slate

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

This week has been fairly quiet on updates, since most of the work has been pretty unremarkable. My brother came for a visit on Sunday to help us get started taping and mudding the drywall, and I spent the next few days finishing that off. Once that was satisfactory (not perfect, but good enough), I skim-coated the walls with joint compound, followed by two coats of vapor barrier primer. Since we used moisture-resistant drywall, we had to skip the vapor barrier directly against the insulation and use the special primer instead. A few extra steps, but worth it. Then, the painting…


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Grrrrrout

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Saturday afternoon, with the recently installed floor tiles sealed the day before, we set about grouting them. Mixing the grout was simple enough, as was spreading it around the floor. Things started to get a little tricky when it came time to remove the excess. Since the tiles aren’t uniform heights, a lot of grout was left behind. No big deal, we thought, that will just come off with a damp sponge. Alas, it was not to be…


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Starting to finish

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

With all of the drywall pieces in place on Monday, we were able to spend the rest of this week focusing on the floor (and a little on the shower, too). Tuesday marked the installation of the cement board for the floor. While it is normally a very straightforward process, we had one teensy little obstacle: the radiant tubing. The cement board is secured with screws, and we obviously don’t want those going through the radiant heat tubing, so we had to devise some way to make sure to avoid it. After considering how I would transfer markings to the top side of the board to show where the tubing is, I came up with a much better idea…


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Just four walls

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

This past weekend, my brother graciously offered to help us install drywall for the bathroom. Since that meant that we’d no longer have access to any of the plumbing in the walls, it meant that it was time to test the radiant tubing to make sure everything was in tact and not leaking. I spent the better part of Friday trying to get the tubing to hold pressurized air, but it would not. After tightening all of the fittings in my pressure test rig, and using some soapy water to check for leaks, I was frustrated.
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Simply radiant

Friday, July 16th, 2010

We finished installing the cement board for the tub surround yesterday evening. This included the piece that covers the plumbing wall of the shower, which was by far the most difficult to cut, having a total of four cutouts, each with very minimal tolerances. I actually surprised myself by getting it right on the first shot, especially since we made all the cuts based off of measurements, rather than direct reference marks (i.e. holding the board up to the obstructions).


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Come on in, the water’s fine!

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

This afternoon, half of my order of tubing supports came in, which meant that I was able to work again on the plumbing. It didn’t take me too long to get the tub/shower lines routed and connect in the basement, which meant… testing! Since there was finally water to the shower fixtures, I could test both that plumbing work, and the tub and drain. So with a bit of trepidation, I started with filling up the tub…


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Plumbin’ and routin’ and strippin’

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Earlier in the week, I started framing in the niches for the shower. With the walls completely opened up, it’s trivial to add a bit of framing and get some nice custom-sized niches for storing all the various doo-dads that tend to accumulate in the shower. After spending a fair amount of time cutting, aligning, and leveling all of the lumber, I stood back to admire my work, and realized that I’d completely forgot to account for the thickness of the backer board and tile, so my finished niches would have been about 1 inch shorter than a shampoo bottle. Ooops! At least I figured it out now, rather than after everything was done, so it was trivial enough to fix…

A niche product
A niche product

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Simply radiant

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Since this week brought some abnormally pleasant weather, we didn’t manage to put as much work into the bathroom as I would have liked. But we did still manage to work through quite a bit. Early in the week, I got the tub drain plumbed into the drain stack. I also fished most of the hot and cold supply piping up from the basement and through the walls. Luckily, I found a spot that gave a good straight shot for three of the five lines I need to run, so it was pretty simple overall. You can see the end result in the bathroom, and also get a sneak peek at the last few days’ work…


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