Pennsylvania Limestone Farmhouse Renovations to an 1863 farmhouse built of limestone

November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Help

Filed under: Interior,Master Bath,tile — Duane Diefenbach @ 6:17 pm

With parents and my sister’s family visiting we took advantage of the help to get a big project started in the master bath – the shower needs to be tiled.  This has been a daunting task because I have never done wall tiles before and this is a custom shower.  And one of the design mistakes we made was to not pay enough attention to the area of the shower and where the bathroom door was located. As a result, to maximize the shower size I had to bring it right up to the bathroom door and the wall between the toilet and shower was too small. So…

In preparation for tiling the shower in the master bath I first had to build out the wall between the shower and toilet

And here it is painted and ready for tiling

I started with help from my mom to install the Schluter shower system waterproof membrane that seals the shower. You install the tile directly over this membrane.

We took a break from working on the shower on Thanksgiving Day (milled hemlock boards for the porch ceilings instead) and then Friday I tiled the shower with the help of Pete, my brother-in-law.  It took all morning to get the walls complete. “All” I have left to do is tile the shower floor and curb and grout (and install the fixtures).  Here’s what the shower looks like at this point.

During all this my dad finished insulating the basement (Thanks Dad!). Friday afternoon Pete and I cut down a box elder where the clothes line will be relocated and we moved the chicken tractors under cover for the year.

In case you’re not from Pennsylvania, it’s deer season on Monday so it will be at least a week before I have any more progress to report.

September 19, 2010

Making Boards

Filed under: Interior,tile,trim — Duane Diefenbach @ 9:43 pm

This weekend I tiled and grouted the laundry room. Despite input from friends and family on this blog who provided little evidence of much dislike of a light/dark tile pattern my parents got quite ill from the concept. So we bought 1 more carton of brown tile (Arizona Tucson) and completed the installation. The room really was too small to do any type of pattern. It will be mostly covered up with washer/dryer, sink and cabinets (and dirty clothes) anyway.

Last February I started making the vanity for the master bathroom. It will host a vessel sink that Lisa and I (mostly I) carried back from Spain several years ago.  Anyway, I have finished the top and base (still need to make the drawers) and started putting the finish on this weekend. Maybe by next weekend I can install the vanity (minus the drawers). I will post more pictures with the vessel sink and faucet after the finish is done. But the finish will take me at least all week because I have to apply several coats to the top and let them dry in between applications.

(One) of the other pressing items for the downstairs is more trim (baseboard and window). Before we even embarked on this project I acquired about 1500 bd ft of white pine (at about $0.30/ bd ft I might add) with the intention of using it for the trim in our house. At that time we thought we might be able to afford plaster walls. Not!  Due to my naiveté I had the pine sawed 5/4 so that it could be milled thick enough for applying plaster. Now that we can only afford sheetrock I should have had it sawn 4/4. As a result, I have to cut the boards to width, joint one end to make it straight, then plane one side so that I can resaw the board to about 7/8″ thickness (on a bandsaw). Then I can plane the board to 3/4″ thickness. The alternative is to simply plane each board to 3/4″ thickness and make many, many, many trips to empty the dust collection system.

So here is what is left of my 1500 bd ft of pine and today’s milling to create about 120+ linear ft of baseboard (6″) and 120’+ of window trim (4″).

All this effort does justify all my woodworking tools – but it would be a lot easier if I could just plane boards from 4/4 to 3/4″ thickness and then cut them to length and width!!!

In the meantime, our master bedroom has really become a laundry drying room. Since the remodel we lost our clothesline to the geothermal well field. That cost us a lot of money this summer in electricity drying clothes. In the meantime, our future master bedroom has become a clothes drying room (plus a storage room for various building materials).

September 6, 2010

What Do You Think?

Filed under: Interior,tile — Duane Diefenbach @ 8:38 pm

This Labor Day weekend we accomplished a fair amount even with my broken arm (but with help from one of my grad students, Jason, and his better half, Katie). The master bath floor is now tiled and the shower area has cement board installed. We also tiled and grouted the powder room floor (it’s too small to even take a picture of it). And we selected and cut a piece of slate that will go underneath the woodstove.

What we need help with is deciding what to do with the floor in the laundry room. Do we use up our kitchen and master bath tile and do a mosaic pattern or do we buy another carton of the kitchen tile and go with all brown. We’d appreciate some reactions to the patterned floor!

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