Friday, February 1, 2013

Bathroom update & more

Well, again I have been slow to update the blog. A lot has happened recently and I thought it may be a good time for an update.

I supposed I should start with mentioning that the bathroom remodel is complete. Pat and I are quite happy with the results of all the hard work and have been enjoying the new space for several months. Here are some photos of the end results.

From the entry
The wall mounted vanity

The bathroom is the last room that needed to be redone so my major indoor projects are finished. I just have a few small lingering projects. Pat is already planning major landscaping projects for this spring.

Unfortunately, I have sad news. Our beloved coonhound, Chelsey, passed away suddenly from cancer just before Christmas. We miss her

Chelsey loved hiking...
and posing for pics.
 We also have some exciting family news. My brother got married last week. He and Grace decided to have the wedding in Miami Beach at a very nice venue. It turned out be be a nice break from Janurary Ohio weather. We also enjoyed seeing the whole family in one location and catching up with long distance relatives. The wedding was beautiful; Pat and I had a great time and it was terrific meeting and getting acquainted with Grace's family.

Dave & Grace

I also have a new project. I usually ride my mountain bike in the autumn to enjoy the outdoors and get a break from road cycling. Now that I'm getting older, after riding my hardtail frame for a few hours my back gets very sore. I've decided to made the jump to a full suspension bike. I'll be building this Santa Cruz Heckler up over the winter. I'm looking forward to getting it out on the trails.

The Heckler

Also, check out this crazy race that takes place at Alpe d'Huez in July in France. I will warn you the video has bad Euro-techno music. I wonder if I can talk Pat into letting me try it this year....maybe with a vacation to France?

I'll post progress updates of the bike build. Thanks for stopping by and please leave comments or feeback.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Queen's Throne

Today is a big day...I mean: B-I-G. I installed "The Queen's" new Throne. The Queen has been waiting for this day for months. I'm not sure what it says about my life that I am this excited about installing a toilet, but there it is.

The Throne
Now no more accidently using the cat's litter box during trips to the basement in the middle of the night.

I'm happy with how the floor turned out. Still need to get the accent tile that will go in front of the tub and vanity...minor details.

New floor tile
The plumber is scheduled to come on Friday to install the bath fixtures so tomorrow I will hang the vanity and install the sink. If all goes as planned we'll be able to take showers again. Very exciting, I know. This will be a short update so thanks for stopping by my world.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tub is done!

Made good progress last week; finished hanging the bamboo planks, grouted and caulked the tub, repainted the walls, and started tiling the floor. Finally getting close to having a useable shower in the house again. Pat will definitely be happy! 
Clampimg the last corner!

Really not enjoying this. Can you tell?
I'm glad this step is done. After much thought, I made the decision to go with white grout. Easier to match the caulk. Getting neat caulk lines around the tub was tough. I do not like caulking. I'm not good at it and tend to make a mess, so it took a lot longer than necessary.

After grout and caulk.
New paint color.
Since the previous color choice didn't work with the tile color, I tried some other colors that included a couple shades of green and an off-off white. Ended up selecting another shade of blue. It's a milder grey-blue. Funny how we ended up back there. It's better, but I may still change the color in the future. For now it will work.

I'm excited to be tiling the floor; means I'm getting close to being done. For some weird reason, I like tiling floors altough cutting tile outside in the garage in the snow is not fun. Anyway, we selected a grey 12"x24" tile. This tile size is testing my saw's capacity. I ran into a cut that it can't make. May have to use the grinder tomorrow.  

I'm trying to get the floor done by this weekend so I can get the vanity hung and the plumber back to finish the fixtures next week. We'll see how it goes. Time will tell. Until next time, thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year!

I took off work last week and between travelling for the holiday weekends, I put in three long days working on the bathroom. Pat and I drove to St. Louis for New Year's weekend. Friday and Saturday we spent at a Buddhist temple getting in touch with our inner zen. We wrapped up the trip with a short visit with my brother and his fiancĂ©.

I didn’t get to grouting the shower yet, but I still have a long list of things to get done before I can get the plumber back for the finish work. I’ll dig into it again later this week. The majority of the work last week was getting the bamboo wall element up. I’m tired of looking at the plywood so I’m happy to be making progress on this. Installing the bamboo pieces is slow and tedious work. Seems that bamboo flooring is quite hard and my "HF special" pneumatic finish nailer can't quite drive the nails flush so I needed to go back to manually finish driving the nails in each board. Makes for time consuming work. To maintain a clean look and minimize the amount of trim, I decided to miter the outside corners. That involves careful measuring and cutting. Three corners done, two to go!

Bamboo planking almost complete

Ran into a few challenges that slowed me down a bit. One of which was the last box of bamboo floor planks did not match the color of all the others. The color difference was significant enough for me to need to return the box.  I thought the color would be more consistent. Anyway, I was lucky to find a box today that closely matched what is already installed. Now I can finish the dozen or so remaining pieces.

I started this hanging the planks without knowing how I was going to finish the edges. I think I have figured out what how I am going to work out the trim. Luckily, there is a premade edge trim that can serve as the chairail. Bamboo baseboard is another story, however. For now, I am planning to make my own using 5/8" bamboo floor planks. If you know of a source for bamboo baseboard I am open to suggestions.

I assembled and installed the cabinet frames that will serve as the linen closet. Nice to get these out of the garage; hopefully I’ll be able to park a car in there soon…

I elected to use IKEA cabinets because I like the ability to select the style and ability to customize our storage options. Here, I chose IKEA tall kitchen cabinets because they are 24” deep and will provide lots of storage. Many of their bath specific cabinets are only 12” deep. I modified the cabinets to fit my built in space and added a custom plumbing access panel to one. I also built a simple platform using their feet. This allows me to level both cabinets at the same time.

Adding a side piece made from plinth

The cabinets in position
For another step back, we decided we don’t like the color I painted the walls. It works OK with the bamboo but not the shower tile. Today, Pat and I selected a couple more color samples to try. Although I'm professional designer, I still find selecting paint color tricky. Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tile and other things

A trip to "Newalens" two weeks ago slowed my tiling progress. I didn't have time to take photos this time, but here is a shot from a trip there last summer.

French Quarter musicians.
I burned the midnight oil working on the bathroom last week to make up lost time. Progress was slow and tedious, especially the storage niche. I discovered using large tiles requires making accurate cuts because mismatched grout lines are very noticeable; so I'm taking my time to get the measurements right. I'm glad to get this step done. Now I just have to make a decision on grout color; not as easy as it seems. Trying to find a color matched caulk makes it more challenging because retailers don't carry all the caulk colors that they have in grout! Sort of reminds me of the hot dog/hot dog bun conspiracy...
Shower tile progress. No grout yet.

While I try to track down the grout color, I painted the walls and started installing the bamboo wall paneling.

Bamboo flooring on the wall where the vanity will be installed.

I'm off work all next week so I am hoping to get allot done. Pat and I made a decision and purchased the floor tile. That will go down after the walls are finished.

That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Made some progress this weekend. I finally started tiling the bath/shower surround after a lot of planning and measuring. Anticipating all the surface transitions takes some thought (for me anyway).

I selected a 12"x18" tile. I like the look of large tiles plus it's less grout to maintain. Placing large tiles is actually  more difficult than smaller tiles. Maintaining flatness (preventing lippage) is a challenge because it is very difficult to press the tiles into the thinset due to the amount of tile surface area. This makes the progress seem slow. Anyway, I am pleased with the look and am looking forward to completing this step. I anticipate late nights this week since I will be in "The Big Easy" all next week.

Just getting started tiling the bath/shower walls.
I decided to purchase a used tile saw rather than rent so I can take my time tiling. When I have rented them in the past I feel rushed because the clock is ticking so to speak. I found a decent one on CL. What I didn't realize is that this type of saw cannot accommodate cutting large tiles lengthwise. I had to make a larger bed attachment. I had plenty of scrap wood left over and it seems to work well so far thought I have to flip the tiles to get all the way through.
Tile cutting station with custom bed attachment
I anticipate allot more tiling and cutting this week. It will be interesting when I have to go around the plumbing openings. I suppose I'll figure that out as I go. I'll post more later this week. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quick update.

So, I am going to try a new strategy; more frequent short posts. Hopefully this will prevent one year passing between entries. For the past several days, I have been working on finishing the walls and the tub surround. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just need a bit more sanding and one more coat of Redgard. Next step is to prime, paint, and then tile.

Tub surround with Redgard waterproof coating painted on.

Westerly view showing new door entry and the toilet area.
 I ordered the vanity faucet yesterday. It was a tough choice between these two designs. There is something about faucet/fixture designs that I find intriguing. Maybe it's the design nerd in me, but I think a nice faucet provides a makes a statement; smilar to how fine jewelry completes an outfit.   

Option A
Option B

I stumbled on another great blog of 'old home fans' documenting their home reno. Impressive work with fantastic results. The whole house is amazing and the kitchen is superb. Enjoy. 

Oh, I went with Option B.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Unbelievable. Has it been over a year since I posted? This year has gone by incredibly fast. Probably had something to do with work, home projects and lots of travelling in there, too.

I bought a new laptop earlier this year and still need to install my photo editing software so I will be light on photos until I can get that situated. I'll post what I can.

As far as home projects, it's been a busy year. I painted the remaining bedrooms late last winter and at the beginning of September I started a complete bathroom remodel. So that is still in progress and taking up my evenings and weekends. I hope to have it complete by Christmas. It is the last room to be remodelled and I will very happy to be finished with this project.
I almost don't remember what it looked like. These are some "before" shots. Terrible plastic wall tile, ugly shower tile, some weird wall covering, and lots of doors. Just bad all over. 
I think someone did a minor remodel in the 50's. I found a date on the pedestal sink from 1952, the floor tile is not original, and some of the plumbing, but not all, has been updated to copper.

I hate the shower. I'm tall. The shower head is way too low and soffit creates a clausterphobia inducing box.

Separate doors for the main bath and "water closet". There is also a connecting door inside.

After demo, new framing for the entry and linen closet. The old cast iron tub is in the background. Took three guys to get it down and loaded in my junk truck. It weighed over 350lbs. They certainly don't make them like that anymore.

A view of the throne.

I made a lot of progress in the last month or so. Dad, again came over to help out for a few days.  I definitely would not be this far if it weren't for him.

Today. Notice the height of the shower head spout.
Now that the walls are closed it is starting to take shape. I am putting bamboo flooring on the lower portion of the walls. I need a good surface to secure it to so that is what the plywood substrait is for.
All the new ceiling lighting is in. It is much improved. The old bathroom only had two wall sconces by the sink.

View of the new entry with just one door!

 My objective for the rest of this week is to finish installing the cement board around the tub, and finish the second and third coats of drywall mud. I want to start tiling the tub next week. I'll post more photos and progress next week. Hopefully, I will have some more progress to show. Thanks for tuning in.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On the road again...

I know, I know...too long since my last post. Usual story. It's been a super busy summer so far. Busy at work and lots of traveling.

A couple trips to DC in May and June. Then in early July, I went to France for a week for work. I was excited about this trip since I have never been to France. And also, as most of you know, I am a huge cycling fan and July is Tour de France month. I was hoping to be able to see a stage in-person, but the timing didn't work out. I was in Bordeaux all week (5th-11th) while the Tour was on the eastern side of the country. It wasn't scheduled to get to Bordeaux until two weeks later. Hopefully, some day I will be able to get back there and see the TdF.

Just a couple days after I got back home, I had to get back on a plane to head to Thailand. Pat's father was hospitalized and his condition was very serious so we needed to get there as soon as possible. Luckily, the outcome is positive. Her father responded well to treatment and is now at home recovering. He still has lingering health issues, but he is home and staying with Pat's brother and doing remarkably well.

I have lots of photos from my travels, so I'll share some here. First, a few photos from Bordeaux. I'll post photos from Thailand in another edition since it has taken me several weeks to get this post up.

I spent a Saturday afternoon wandering around the old part of central Bordeaux with my coworkers. Old Bordeaux is amazingly beautiful. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Making progress...again!

I know, I know...too long since my last update. Lots of stuff happening at work and home. Things at work have really picked up recently which is good. I have a couple new projects designing some cool stuff.

At home, Pat and I (mostly I) have been able to cross some house projects off our list. Pat has been working hard landscaping the flower beds. This spring the tulips that we planted last fall look great.

This is my most recent project:

A car hit the wall a couple years ago and I finally got around to working on it.


I also finished refinishing the wall leading down the basement stairs. I really like how it turned out. I'll have to post photos next time since I haven't taken any yet.
Other projects that were crossed off the list: final countertops, check. Lighting above sink...check. And the kitchen backsplash...check...finally! It only took a couple days to put it up, but about a year to pick out the tile! We're really happy with how it turned out. I think it adds another dimension to the kitchen design.  

During all this we also had to deal with some sick animals as well. Chester had radiation therapy last winter to treat hyperthyroidism. He is doing much better and is back to his old self. He looks much better and has put quite a bit of weight back on. He still has a case of the sniffles from an upper respiratory infection.

And two weeks ago, Chelsey suffered a case of bloat. Luckly I noticed it immediately and rushed her to MedVet. I am grateful to the staff at MedVet here in Columbus. They were amazing and got her into surgery right away. Anyway, she seems to be back to normal. She gets her stitches out tomorrow. I think I am going to have a problem getting her to switch back to dry food only...

Anyway, that's about it for now. More updates soon.