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Posts Tagged ‘Flooring’

It’s well documented on this blog that I’m behind in my posts.  So far behind that it doesn’t even make sense to make excuses anymore, so I won’t!  Instead, I’ll just post pictures of the master bedroom put back together after the new carpet earlier this year:

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The most obviously unfinished part is the closet:  like all of our bedrooms at this point, our master bedroom doesn’t have closet doors.  The old luan doors were sliders, and that was a pain for two people sharing a closet:  you can only get into one side at once!  We’ll be replacing all the luan doors in the house eventually, so this seemed like a good time to get rid of the luan sliding doors.  Sliding doors require a cutout in the carpet for a small track/guide in the middle of the door frame, so we pulled out the old track when we ripped up the blue carpet, pitched the doors, and put down new carpet without a hole for a track.  Eventually we plan to put in bifold doors, but that day hasn’t come yet.  In the meantime, gold stars for Marcy and Guinness for leaving our shoes alone.

Another project still on the list is the windows.  Eventually we’ll paint the trim around the windows white.  We skipped it in the first round of trim painting because the carpet installers had us on a deadline.  Any trim that didn’t touch carpet was deemed non-essential.  Plus, the previous owners installed the blinds and curtain rods directly to the trim.  Before we paint, we’ll want to take those down and fill the holes, but that means we need to have the new window treatments ready to go.  I’m over the mini-blinds that came with the house, but still undecided on what I’d like to put up.

DSC_0038The new carpet looks so much better than the old jewel tones, but even better is having new carpet padding underfoot instead of almost 30-year old padding.  This post is not so belated that the excitement has worn off!

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We have really big news around Guin’s Yard this summer:  we are officially jewel-tone-carpet free!  That’s right!  All this:

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is GONE.  We’ll have to show you what’s here instead in installments, though, because most of the rooms aren’t very “finished” looking yet.  When you replace the flooring in this many rooms (plus the family room), there’s a lot of moving STUFF from one room to another, and some of the rooms have emerged from their awkward mid-project adolescence more gracefully than others.  So we’ll start with some works in progress and some finished shots of the rooms that are well on their way.

So the process.

First we chose the carpet.  We used the same color in all of:  the family room, stairs, upstairs hall, and all 4 bedrooms.  We chose it using the guiding principal of “what will match my dogs the best?”

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The final choice was “Treasure,” 2nd from top, right most column.  Shown here against our living room carpet which we like very much, but was discontinued since we put it in.  Otherwise we’d have just continued the same color.IMG_0780

 

We had the house measured, and the carpet ordered.  While we waited for the carpet to come in, we got the first two rooms ready for install, including:

  • emptying out the rooms,
  • ripping out the old carpet and padding,
  • removing the sliding closet doors and the doors’ track in the floor, and
  • de-glossing, priming, and painting (3 coats!) the baseboard trim.

We established a pattern over the course of about a month, where we’d prep two rooms on a weekend, and the installers would come during the week.  Week 1:  family room and green guest room.  Week 2:  Master bedroom, stairs, and upstairs hall.  Week 3:  Yellow guest room and office bedroom.  Week 4:  master bedroom closet, because the piece didn’t fit in week 3.  These were some mammoth work weekends, so we tucked the project into my couple of weeks of down time after my first half ironman of the season, and before I ramped back up (too much) training for the second one.

By the end of it, if neither of us ever saw another gallon of Sherwin Williams Pro Classic semi-gloss paint, it would’ve been fine with us.  Unfortunately that will not be the case:  we still have doors (lots of doors) and the trim around the windows to do.  Those will be projects for another day.  In the meantime, here’s a few pictures of the slog:

Green bedroom progression:

(Mostly) empty:

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Green carpet removed:

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Trim primed:DSC_0077and, sorry for the teaser, but that’s as far as I’ve got pictures of this one!  Since it was the first bedroom done, it was (and is) stuffed to the gills with stuff from all the other rooms while they were underway.

Master bedroom:  Before carpet was fully removed (edges cut away), white trim paint finished.

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and down to the subfloor:

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Hall and stairs:  carpet edges cut away for painting.  Note, this was a real problem when doing the hall and stairs, because we had to spend a few days like this with the carpet tacks exposed, and couldn’t close it off well from the dogs.  We ended up baby gating them in another part of the house, and at bedtime, we walked them straight up the carpeted middle on tight leashes.  Not fun.  At least it was short lived.

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More painting:

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And down to the sub floor for install day #2:

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DSC_0111Obviously we didn’t take complete pics in every room, but you get the idea:  tedium!  Anyway, I am pleased to show off the first and most-put-together room after this whole adventure.  The family room:

DSC_0153This room admittedly looks the least different, since the old carpet was cream colored.  But it was not, I don’t think, particularly good quality carpet, and it didn’t look very good up close.  It was showing serious wear patterns, and Marcy sealed the deal as a puppy when she chewed 2 or 3 holes in it.  We are hoping this darker, more tan, more flecked color will do better.

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DSC_0156Marcy asks you not to believe a word about this alleged chewing of carpet.  See this face?  This face doesn’t chew.

The family room is probably also the room where the newly white trim is least noticeable, because there’s so much furniture along the walls.  The door frames are noticeable, though, especially the glass exterior doors.  White trim blends into the door much better, which I like.  The trim is not substantial enough to warrant attention being called thereto.

Hopefully I’ll have pictures of some of the other rooms soon!

 

 

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Sweet, sweet completion.  After 4 full months in various stages of being torn apart, it’s put back together again and ready for guests.  Without further ado:

Paint:  SW Interesting Aqua and SW Alabaster | Tile:  Tracce del Tempo in marrone 13x13s | Sink:  Mansfield Barrett | Toilet:  Mansfield Barrett, a discontinued version without concealed trap | Faucet, towel ring, and TP ring:  Moen Eva collection in brushed nickel | Mirror:  Lowe’s

We’ve worked on it most of the last bunch of weekends, and I confess I got so tired of the project toward the end that I wasn’t enjoying working on it, let alone taking pictures or writing about it.  So, I stopped blogging about it – this is supposed to be fun, right?  Besides, nobody wants to see pictures of “and then I did another coat of white paint!” or “and then we ran out to Lowe’s again!”

We did a lot of that – the running out to Lowe’s again.  It seemed like every step that could’ve had a hangup, required another trip to Lowe’s, needed a different part, or had 8 more steps than we thought, did.  Most parts of the project weren’t that difficult, but they were almost all things we don’t do everyday.  “One off” sort of projects always take more time and effort than you expect.

But finally.

After it was all finished, it struck me how similar it was to what was previously there – it was really just a nicer, more polished version of itself.  The layout is the same.  It’s still blue, and still has neutral colored, square-patterned flooring.  The shift from bisque to white fixtures isn’t dramatic.  The mirror and vanity light were things we’d had in there before.  But the overall impression, I think, is much nicer.  It’s the little things.  Looking at the befores:

There’s no more gapping between pieces of laminate flooring, no more vague smell of mold (the old toilet wax seal leaked), no more pinky beige, circa 1985, no more shreds of wallpaper that I couldn’t quite get out from behind the baseboard molding, no more shoddy finish carpentry, more floor space, and a cleaner, brighter look.  It’s warmer, with a forced air heat register that now opens into the room, and radiant heat in the floor.  It feels more like part of the house, not part of the garage.

We still have a few little tasks left to do:  we need to install a threshold between the tile and the family room carpet, just to finish it off.  I’m also thinking about what to hang on the walls.  A floating shelf over the toilet would provide space for extra TP rolls, etc.  I admit I will probably miss the vanity storage space a little.  With the heat vent where it is, I think we made the right decision to use a pedestal sink, but it always pains me to sacrifice storage space.

We’re also going to replace the lauan door – which looks so orange against all that white! – with a solid pine 6 panel door that will be painted white to match, with a brushed nickel knob.  I am ready to give that up for now and call it a separate project.  I need a little break where I’m “done” for a bit.  We’ll eventually be doing all the interior doors in the house, and they’ll all still be there next month.

Just for funsies:

2008:

and 2012:

I’m pretty proud of that!

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It has been a busy week+ in half bathroom progress.  I haven’t had time to update, because I’ve had to choose between doing the work and blogging about the work (and, well, catching Olympic swimming), and blogging was a distant third.  But here we are.

Last Saturday, we grouted the tile floor.  Grouting is just kind of tedious, but it’s gratifying to see the floor going from looking obviously in-progress to DONE in an afternoon.

Sunday, when the grout was dry enough to walk on the tile, I primed the ceiling and walls so they could be painted.

We also went to Lowe’s to buy the beadboard and molding.  4’x8′ sheets of beadboard don’t fit as well into a Subaru Forester as one might hope, but we got them home.

Monday I got up early and painted the ceiling white before I went in to work, so I could do the walls that night when I got home.

Tuesday the beadboard started going up:

The hole saw was nobody’s BFF, but we got the job done.  Since this is the only piece with holes, the hardest one was out of the way first.  We adhered it to the wall with Liquid Nails and actual nails into the studs.

The beadboard + chair rail will be about 40″ off the floor.  That will be about 6″ higher than the top of the pedestal sink, and a couple inches below the light switches and outlets.

The pieces of beadboard were not as long as the walls were, so most of the walls (all except the door wall) have joints in the beadboard.  They’re about 1/8″ wide, caulked, so there’s room for the beadboard to expand and contract a little, and the caulk should hide it.  The goal was to make it with the beadboard around the corner where the toilet will sit, so we could put the toilet in and not have to take it back out again to finish the trim work.  We also needed to put in the baseboard molding behind the toilet.

The remaining days of the week were mostly spent painting.  Three coats of semigloss paint took some time.  Yesterday, I finished the third coat of paint in the morning, cleaned out the accumulated tools, washed the floor, and the toilet went in — just as weekend guests were arriving.

The bowl went in pretty uneventfully, but when we sat the tank on the bowl… womp, womp, womp.  The pieces don’t match.

The bowl is white like it’s supposed to be, but the tank is bone colored.  We’d ordered white, and hadn’t checked the boxes to make sure both pieces actually said white.  What a pain.  So that is still to be resolved.  The white sink pedestal is also still on backorder, and will (really) hopefully be here soon.  The only positive that I can say for all this is that it makes me feel good about the decision to replace the old bone colored toilet in favor of a white one, rather than just buying a bone colored pedestal sink and being done with it.  I like the white with the white beadboard.  I think it’ll look great when the trim work is finished and the sink comes in.

In the meantime, we’re finishing the beadboard and baseboards, and will then do the chair rail over the beadboard.  New door casing will be part of that, again with lots of painting.  Eventually we’ll need to pick out and hang a new door, since the Lauan door that’s there has seen some better days (and even those days were not as awesome as they could be).  Solid pine is a possibility for the new doors.  Whatever we pick will probably become the standard for the rest of the house as we slowly replace the stained Lauan doors throughout.

The bathroom is far from done, but at least there’s been some significant progress, and it’s starting to look like a bathroom again!

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Some unmodified gray thinset and water, some time with the tile saw, and…

here we are!

We’re using 3/16″ spacers between each of the 13×13″ tiles.

The thinset is currently drying, so we’ll be able to walk on it to measure and cut the last couple of corner pieces in a day or so.  After that, we’ll just need to grout and then the floor will be finished and ready for toilet installation.  (Yay!)

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This weekend, we cleared out the half bath, and ripped out the baseboard molding, vanity, toilet, and the laminate flooring of horrible installation fame.  At this point it’s pretty much a closet with a drain!  The intention was to spend the rest of the weekend installing the electric heat mats and tiling the floor.  Unfortunately, that’s not exactly what happened.

The vanity and toilet came out ok.  The walls behind the vanity weren’t in fantastic shape, but they weren’t as bad as I was afraid of.

Once they were out, though, it became obvious that the wall that the sink & toilet are on, isn’t straight.  It bows out in between the sink and toilet hookups, which is why the molding buckled.  We also realized that, with the baseboard molding off, we could see daylight through to the garage at the bottom of the walls.  Gee, wonder why it gets so cold in the winter…?

When we pulled the laminate flooring out, there were more surprises.  There was vinyl linoleum under the laminate, which was sort of predictable.  Worse were the discoveries that the linoleum was laid down directly over the concrete slab, there was mildew all over the slab near the toilet drain, and, when the rest of the linoleum came up, we found a crack in the slab.

The linoleum came off only slightly better than the wallpaper did from the walls a few years back.  After that, C and his dad took turns using vinegar & water to soak and scrape up the glue to get the cleanest surface on the slab that we could get, and get the mildew up.

Since the bowed sheetrock was concerning, and the poor insulation in the walls was a problem, we cut away the lower portion of the wall to figure out what, exactly, was going on.

It was actually better insulated than we expected.  Not great, since it’s an exterior wall, but not egregious.  The real problem was the black drain pipe.  It’s set in concrete, so it can’t be moved, and it sits about half an inch proud of the studs.  The sheetrock was affixed to the studs, and bending around it.  Well that’s no good.

We cut the lower portion of the sheetrock away under the light switch as well, so we could fix a variety of electrical shortcuts that the builders had taken, and install a GFI outlet for the heat mat.  Then we screwed wood strips to the studs to build them out half an inch so the pipe could be tucked in behind the sheetrock.

We squirted foam insulation into the spaces where daylight was showing through, then hung half inch high-R sheathing on the two exterior walls:

then put up new sheetrock over it.  C’s dad came over today to start the taping, since that’s outside our repertoire of skills (among other things he’s helping us do with the bathroom!).

Here’s where it is now:

Talk about a high-maintenance 20 square feet.  We haven’t even started with the floor yet!  The pedestal for our sink is still on backorder until the end of the month, and I’m not too concerned.  I’m not sure if we’ll be ready to put it in until then!

Between the sheathing and the new sheetrock, the room is about an inch narrower and an inch shallower than it used to be.  The toilet measurements should still work, and we figured the real estate was worth it to have straighter walls and a warmer room.

Even though the project is turning out to be a lot more laborious than intended, at least we will know that we’ve taken it all the way down to the concrete and studs, and know exactly what’s there now.  No sneaky mildew (which we think was the result of a poor seal around the toilet), or shoddy insulation and construction.  That will be nice.

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We’ve finally arrived at a final decision on tile for the downstairs bathroom:

(The color on the right)

After starting out looking for something like this, then trying on a bunch of other ideas for size, we’ve come full circle.

We’re going to do 13×13 squares of Tracce del Tempo porcelain tile.  But instead of arranging them in a grid like we’d been setting them into the room, we’re going to orient them in a diamond pattern, rotated 45 degrees.  That way we get the unfussy look of a small amount of grout, without looking like we’re putting grid lines into the bathroom.  We’re hoping the space will look bigger that way.

I want to make sure we finish the hall and stairs before work on the bathroom starts, so that we’re not living in the middle of a long stretch of works in progress. This will provide more motivation to get the hall painting finished in the next week or so!

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