Monday, August 19, 2013

Bathroom Redo - Part Two

Day Six (Wednesday):  Tile day!  But not until mid-afternoon, so the crew will have to return tomorrow to lay the tile.  Today they prepared the floor by scraping up the remainder of the thinset from the old tile, cut some of the baseboards so the tile would fit under it, trimmed the bottom of my closet door so it would close over tile (we are having the tile extended into the little area between the two closets - previously, carpet was there, but it's a high-traffic area, so tile should be a better option), and they put down (with thinset) the Ditra underlayment which is supposed to prevent the cracking issue that we had with the other tile.  They did get the tile placed on the side of the tub, so at least I got a taste of how it's going to look.  I like it - it's hard to imagine what an entire area of tile will look at based on just a couple of sample pieces, so it was nice to some laid out.
The orange stuff on the floor is the Ditra underlayment. 

Jeremy also worked on repairing the board that was warped when the hot water valve leaked under my sink - I was pleased that he took responsibility for that, since it was caused by his crew, and also not noted by the granite guy, who had to have seen it when he installed the sinks.  Problems can happen with any job; it's the way they are handled that makes me happy we went with this contractor.

Things that are frustrating me a little:  DUST.  Every day, each new project brings new dust.  I can't even keep up with it, and I feel like it's penetrating every crack and crevice in the house.  All part of the process, but I sure will be glad when this is done.  Also, the shower enclosure has been ordered, but apparently the tempered glass for it comes from Timbuktu, and it will be approximately 7-10 days before it come in.  Sighhhh.  And the carpet, which was tentatively scheduled for installation on Friday has now been pushed back to Tuesday.  Have I mentioned I am ready for this to be done?  I want to put everything away and get my house back in some semblance of order!

Day Seven (Thursday):  The tiler arrived a couple of hours later than was scheduled, and it was only one person.  She worked for a good five hours and made what seemed like a gazillion trips back and forth from the bathroom to the driveway, where she would cut the tile.  But by the end of the day it was all done and looked really, really nice.  We changed up how the tile was laid - went with a "brick join" this time, which is off-setting the lines.  Figured as long as we're making changes, might as well do something different from the previous floor.
Left:  freshly-laid tile; Right:  grouted and finished floor!

Day Eight (Friday):  The tiler came back in the morning and grouted the floor.  It looks great!  She was able to communicate to me via hand gestures and broken English to not let Paco walk on it, lest his toenails accidentally dig into the grout before it hardened.  No problem - I just shut the door in the bedroom and locked him out.  Later on, the plumber returned to finish the shower with the special cartridge that he had ordered, and he reset the toilet - woohoo, no more toilet in the shower!  Everything looked good.  Another worker came and replaced the board in the bottom of my cabinet - this was the board that had been damaged when the shut-off valves leaked after they removed the countertops and faucets a week ago.

Then Jeff came home and broke one of the new faucets.  Well, it wasn't his fault, but he turned on the one in my sink and it wouldn't turn off all the way!  I could not believe it...this brand new, NOT CHEAP faucet, and something was wrong with it???  Arghhhhh!!!  Jeff went to turn off the water valve under the sink, and there was water dripping!!!  Double arghhhh!!!  While he got a towel and  mopped up the water, I texted Jeremy.  He sent the plumber back (this was after 5:00 on a Friday, poor guy).  The plumber checked out the faucet and connections, and saw that the leak in the cabinet was coming from the underside of the faucet and not the hoses or shut-off valve.  So, apparently the faucet is bad.  The brand new faucet.  That had to be special ordered...arghhhhh!

Things that are frustrating me:  The bad faucet, obviously.  And knowing that I can't even get in touch with the plumbing store until Monday morning to have them order another one.  I realize that there are going to be glitches with every home renovation, but to have a glitch on a brand-new, fairly expensive item?  I am not a happy camper about this.

Day Nine (Saturday):  Surprise!  We didn't have anyone scheduled for today, but the carpenter showed up around 12:30 to install the knobs onto the new drawer fronts and cabinet doors.  They look so finished now, even with a bit of paint touch up that is still needed.  He also brought back my kitchen drawer - the one that I had asked him to put the dividers in.  He took my Pinterest idea and made it even better by making the dividers toward the back of the drawer vertical - since the drawer doesn't pull out all the way, I can easily reach everything this way.  Check it out:
This thrills me to no end - I absolutely love these drawer dividers!
Grouted tile; cabinets without and with hardware.  It's looking more and more like a bathroom now!

I also couldn't stand the mess one second longer, so I cleaned the bathroom.  I realize that it will get a bit messy still, as the quarter-round floor trim still needs to be installed, but the construction dirt was making me crazy.  The bathtub was covered with such a layer of dirty dust that came off in waves when I first rinsed it...fascinating, in a disgusting sort of way.  I cleaned the window and Jeff helped me to hang up the curtains - I figured I could slide them over to get out of the way when the shower glass is installed.  We still aren't using the bathroom yet, but it feels a lot better when I look at it.

Day Ten (Tuesday):  Carpet!  Finally, after living with water-damaged carpet since June 6th, we have beautiful, clean carpet!!!  We had to empty out the smaller things from the bedroom and my office (the closets were still empty from being painted, otherwise we would have had to move things in there, too), but the carpet installers moved the furniture for us.  Then they ripped out the old stuff, cleaned the floor and pretty soon, the magic happened:
Paco next to the swept up dirt that was underneath the carpet pad...yuck!
The new carpet!  It's so soft and squishy and clean and pretty!  The first couple of days, I alternated between wanting to walk on it, and wanting to stay off of it to keep it perfect.

Day Eleven (Wednesday):  The painter came back and did some touch up, and Jeremy also came by to check everything out.  He went over a punch list with me (mostly small things that need to be done), and took some paint back with him to the shop, where they'll get the quarter-round painted up and ready for installation.  I went ahead and moved all of our stuff back into the bathroom - it was fun to set my things on the new counter...I kept stepping back and oohing and aahing as I brought more and more stuff in.  I also cleaned the mirrors, which means that I really inaugurated the new countertops by stepping on them - they're truly mine now, haha.

Day Twelve (Thursday):  The quarter-round was installed - it really made the tiled floor look finished.  I also got everything sorted out and either put away, or in the garage for a charity donation.  My dining room looks like a dining room once again...if you ignore the paper runway that's still nearby.  But it is clutter-free and clean!
Quarter-round installed where the tile meets the baseboards and bottom of the cabinets.

Day Thirteen (Friday):  New brushed nickel door knobs and hinges were installed.  After 13 years, it's nice to get away from the shiny brass round knobs - well on one side of the house, anyway.  Even just buying the fairly inexpensive Kwikset knobs, the cost added up pretty quickly, so we'll wait to do the rest of the doors (I think I counted up that I still need 18 more knobs!) until we recover from this, financially.
Brushed nickel and lever handles - we're stylin' AND ergonomic!

The plumber also came and installed another faucet, replacing the brand new one that was leaking from a week ago.  He put on our shower head and we are good to go...except that we are waiting on the glass shower enclosure to arrive.  Which has now been delayed until Wednesday.  I know earlier I said the tempered glass was coming from Timbuktu, but now I believe it's actually coming from Mars.  

Thing that could have gone smoother but will end up being OK:  The door knobs on the French doors to my office are "dummy" knobs (meaning they don't turn).  A single dummy knob is $15, but a pair of turnable door knobs are  $20, and since we needed four of them, it made sense to us to buy the turnable ones.  Except that there aren't holes cut in the French doors for the door knobs - they were just screwed into the solid wood.  So, we have to buy the dummy knobs after all - bah! 
The before shot - the lever is on the outside of the door and the round is on the inside.  Don't you love how I closed one door and Paco sat on the outside, like I'd locked him out of my office?  Such a silly dog!

Next time, I'll post the final pictures of the completed bathroom - hopefully on Friday!


  1. It is already looking amazing! Construction frustration, even when things go swimmingly, is pretty inevitable, but the glitches make for great stories later on! Can't wait to see the final must be thrilled to getting this new breath of life into your home!

    1. It IS thrilling, for sure - and I confess, I find myself wandering into the bathroom just to look at everything!

    Id be about as much help as paco---but Id happily loll in the dirt:)

  3. Everything is just beautiful, even with all the frustrations. I have a touch of bathroom envy between your granite and your tile!

  4. Reasons to visit Shelley:
    - Run with Shelley
    - Hug Paco
    - Shower in Shelley's awesome bathroom after our run!

    Looks fantastic girl!

    1. All very good reasons! And hopefully the shower glass will be installed one of these days - I haven't showered in this bathroom since late July.

  5. Squeeee!! Almost done! I'll bet you can't wait to get back to normal. And what a beautiful normal it will be :)

  6. I'm stuck on you having EIGHTEEN MORE doorknobs in your house!! I only have one doorknob in the entire cabin--the front door! Which, of course, means I have no door on my bedroom, and the bathroom is a pocket sliding door. Oh, and the closet in the bedroom is one of those folding things. Well, on the bright side, I'll never have the expense of buying a lot of doorknobs!!

    It all looks so beautiful and NEW. And squishy.

    1. I about cried when I realized how many more dang doorknobs we still have to replace...the closet doors in each of the other three bedrooms are double swing-out doors - yes they look nice, but that's two knobs per door. Don't even get me started on the amount needed for the Jack and Jill bathroom...I think the builders of this house got a deal on doors and went hog wild!

  7. Almost there Shelley, and it's looking great! Love Paco pictures!!!! Have a great day.

  8. Wow lots of progress! Looks great and I LOVE Paco pictures always!!

  9. Wow, SO beautiful! Fresh paint, fresh the wall color, & tile color! So pretty. The way you staggered the tile is cool.


    1. The staggered tile idea was our contractor's - so far I've been really happy with everything he suggested. :)

  10. Love home improvement stuff - love!! Yay! It looks great, too. I used that orange ditra stuff on a flip house under the granite tile countertop. I hope it worked and never shifted for them :D

  11. You inspire me, and you've been nominated:

  12. Love the bathroom re-do, and belated congrats on the CNN article, that is so cool! Sorry I didn't catch that earlier, I've been offline, busy snapping blurry photos of Toronto and buying t-shirts and stopping for cappucino or beer every few blocks. Sheesh, I wonder why CNN didn't ask for MY diet tips? :)


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