Sunday, June 15, 2008

A New Tiling Toy

The one remaining tile-free wall in the bathroom has a small challenge, and I have been happily In Denial about it for some time now.

It's the dreaded Wall Jog.

The last wall juts outward about 3", presumably to cover up the vent stack for the plumbing. And I am tiling it.

So.....How exactly am I doing this?

The cove base, pencil liner, and chair rail obviously all have to have a mitered corner at the Wall Jog. But what about the subway tile? I seemed to have only two reasonable choices - 1) order bullnose subway tile with the bullnose on the 3" side, or 2) miter the subway tile.

I'm chosen option #2, because I think it will look better to be consistent up the wall, rather than the miter, 15 bullnose, 2 miter program which would result from option #1.

Up until this point, I have been mitering my corners by carefully holding up the tile at an approximately 45 degree angle on my Super Burly MK Diamond Tile Saw, and hoping that I emerge from the experience with enough digits to continue to be able to deliver appropriate hand gestures in all circumstances.

I'm not up for that for 18 miters in a row.

So I broke down and ordered the MK Diamond Miter attachment, which conveniently showed up at the same time as my Cathedral Baseboard vent, putting me back in Tiling Business for the weekend.

And a lovely weekend it was, too.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Practicing Safe Hex

Before I advance to tiling the last remaining wall, I have a little mandatory hex tile floor patching to do.

You may recall that way back in the distant past (October 2007), I found a "close enough" match to my original Hex tile, which I could use to patch a small corner of the floor to the side of the toilet.

You might also recall, back in March of this year, my drivel about the usefulness of Ceramic Tile Adhesive.

I am just happy that after all this time, I could recall the location of both of these products. It was time to put them to use.
Where are the new tiles? Hint: they are clean. Ought to be a dead giveaway really.

But in case it wasn't are the newbies.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Retail Therapy

The bathroom project also needs a towel bar/paper holder set, requiring More Shopping. After perusing the selection online, I decided it was time to get out of the house and shop the old fashioned way, by burning off some of that $4.24/gallon gas.

First a trek to the Seattle Premium Outlets, which is quite Premium, but not in Seattle. They're not even in King County.

I had my eye on the Restoration Hardware outlet up there, where, sadly, I completely struck out on my goal of acquiring towel bars for my bathroom.

But....lest I have a wasted 30 mile trip (each way), I found something I didn't really need but couldn't pass up - an 8 quart, cabernet-red dutch oven from Calphalon. For $49.99. No, I didn't drop a leading "1" in that number. Apparently the shade of 'Cabernet' didn't come out in the right dye lot, so Calphalon decided to purge the lot. At $49.99. $29.99 for the 5 quart, but I wanted to have something to feed more people that I can seat at my dining table.

I'm feeling like Shopper of the Year. I could turn into one of those people who talks about "how much they Saved" at the end of each shopping trip (to which historically I respond "And how much did you Spend on Crap you Didn't Need?"). What goes around is coming around.

After driving 30 miles back home to my nearest Restoration Hardware store located in Seattle Proper, I found this quite suitable Asbury Collection , which the sales clerk informed me would be going on sale(!!!!) for 20% off during their bath sale, which starts June 23rd. And they allow pre-orders. So, for the slight inconvenience of having to wait until July 1 or so for my towel bars, I get to Save (!!!!) 20%.

I love it. Maybe I'll try Zappos next while my Shopping Luck lasts.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Stove That is Spawning Scope Creep

I’m sure you realize that purchasing a sofa off of Craigslist hardly equates to a “binge”. You may have thought I indulged in a little Title inflation in last weekend’s entry about the new-to-me couch.

The truth is, there was another purchase. A large, expensive, Ballardia-changing purchase. I just didn’t want to mention it before it actually showed up on my doorstep.

I bought a new-to-me range. Yes, from Craigslist.

Let’s talk about the old range. I feel a little wasteful, getting rid of a perfectly good sort of still working range. In theory, I rather liked it, or at least I didn't hate it. The old stove was vintage 1970 Kenmore, 40” wide, with a regular oven and a small side oven, and plenty of “warming” space on top.

In practice? It had both Functional and Aesthetic issues. On the Functional side, only 3 of the 4 burners actually worked. The oven was so poorly sealed that when I used it, I had to turn the fan on to suck up the steam rising from the burners when the burners weren’t even on (on the plus side, I could generally use the 4th burner if the oven was on). That “warming” space? I’m sure it was oodles of wasted energy. The oven had different climate zones in its interior – no doubt contributing to my Gluten-free vegan baking problems. The timer didn’t work. I was scared to even try the self-cleaning feature. And at 40”, it was too large for the 36” hood above it, which can’t be changed without Cabinet Surgery.

On the Aesthetic side, well, see for yourself.

But once again, Opportunity struck and just wouldn’t be ignored. Opportunity in this case was a 2006 Dacor duel-fuel range, “gently” used, with a rather dented left panel. The gas range can take advantage of the line I drew to the stove location last year. The electric oven will prevent me from turning on the gas and sticking my head in it during periods of excessive remodeling trauma.

Yes, I Know it's a $5000 range! For which, thanks to the miracle that is Craigslist, I paid $1500. Now THAT's a binge!

A big shout-out to Ballard Natural Gas, for being responsive, careful, ethical – they came to hook up the stove same day, and when they discovered that the stove – not the new gas line- was leaking in a way they weren’t comfortable fixing, they didn’t charge me for the visit. Amazing. Ballard Natural Gas Rocks! And City Discount Appliance, the vendor who posted said stove on Craigslist, was out the next day and fixed the gas line. So now it doesn't just LOOK good, it actually works, too!

And now for the problem. I'd planned on replacing the one mismatched cabinet to the right of the stove when I got a right-sized model to replace the 40" Kenmore. I figured I could just stake out Second Use or Re-Store and find something that would work. But....I also should really get a 6" cabinet to go to the left of the range and hide that dented left panel. And there's no way I'll find a 6" cabinet from the 1960s. Which means that maybe, for the sake of consistency, I should buy two New cabinets to flank the range. And if I'm doing that, well, why not an over-the fridge cabinet? And then why not replace the cabinets over the range so everything will look consistent?

And Dorothy's vintage Nutone hood complete with June Cleaver manual? Much as I like it, it looks rather wrong above the stove.

And then there's the floor.....If I'm going to fix some cabinets, I really should replace the linoleum....

What have I done???!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Registering the Finishing Touches

With basically only one wall left to tile, I can’t help but notice that I am behind in my Shopping. And we know how much I love Home improvement Shopping. It’s right up there with shopping for shoes for my size 10 feet.

I still have a few hardware items left to procure – towel bars, a replacement doorknob, and a heat register. The most pressing item is the heat register, required to complete the cove base on the remaining wall.

What’s wrong with the existing register?

Does the picture explain everything, or do I need to spell it out?

It can’t possibly be original. It’s flimsy, ugly, has suspicious mildew-looking spots on it, and these are its good qualities.

It does not belong in my rapidly improving bathroom. Nor do its equally ugly cousins belong in the rest of my house, but that’s not currently on the to-do list, or in the budget (budget? What Budget? Oh, the one we blew through months ago….).

There aren’t a lot of options in period-appropriate wall registers in the appropriate size. I could get several different models of adequate and inoffensive floor registers and punch screw holes in them with my Makita, such as these registers from the Hardware Hut in the $50 range.
There are only a few Actual Wall Registers that I could buy, and all are in the three figure range (see lack of budget, above). The Hamilton Strathmore below, also at the Hardware Hut, is lovely, but a bit daunting at $105. Even more daunting is the Rejuvenation model at $132.
And then there are the baseboard registers. Mission Metalworks makes both a grid and cathedral-style register which seem appropriate, and are available from at a much more palatable $65. I like the Cathedral-style.

The real question is which is more authentic to a 1930 frame tudor, the baseboard register, or the metal louvered floor-or-wall type ?

My guess is that it’s probably the baseboard type. That’s what was in my last brick Tudor-esque house. You remember that one. It was DONE.

But to be sure, I thought I should do a little research. Google turned up nothing. I suppose there might be a book somewhere with this kind of detail, but I’m in a hurry.

Where else to check? Why, of course! I requested a search of all houses in Seattle built between 1929 and 1935, and scanned the pictures of Tudor style houses listed for sale.
In general, I was quite hindered in my progress by Realtor pictures which completely obscured the source of heating. Why weren’t they thinking of my needs here?!

Of those that showed the heating, by far the biggest number appear to have the baseboard style register. Some have the floor registers, and just a few use radiators.

This is a bit of a relief, actually, because it was looking challenging to find a chrome wall register to match my faucets, and we all know that white goes with everything.
So the baseboard cathedral-style register it is.....and I'm going to have to wait for it. Progress will stall yet again.

Oh? You say you want the picture now that the sink's head has been surgically reattached?

Here you go. But it's with the old camera; can't get a good zoom out on this one. Sorry.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Another Sunday Tile-A-Thon

The closer the bathroom gets to functional, the further the camera gets from it. In this case, the battery seems to have stopped charging. I can take pictures, but only as long as the camera is plugged in.

So today's progress photo features a close-up of our Kodak's power cord. Sorry.

What's with the two missing tiles? I hear you ask. Well, as you might recall, there was no possible tile formation that would possibly line up with my walls, and I'm paying the price around the receptacle, since My EE (Martin) informs me that the easiest thing to do is to pull the switches forward and rest them on top of tile. Only....well.....there's no tile to rest the top of the switches on. Nor is there going to be in the current pattern. So the two tiles slots will remain empty until my next Home Depot run, where I will be getting some 6'' x 6'' tiles to cut to size.

Craigslist Binge

Maybe life would be easier if I could bring myself to focus on one project at a time. And the rewards would be great at this point, since the novelty of brushing my teeth in the kitchen sink wore off on day one of the Sink Decapitation.

But Opportunity struck, and for a change, I was paying attention.

Craigslist opportunity, that is.

You may have noticed that on this blog, I have posted 23, count 'em, Twenty-three pictures of my side sewer, but Not One picture of my living room.

There's a reason for that. My 12 year old sofa.

All we can really say about it is that it's functional. And very, very Purple.

Eggplant isn't really Me. Wasn't even when I bought the sofa. And the couch has had twelve years of hard living - 5 moves, two cats, two humans. It's been a sofa, a guest bed, occasionally an office.

And now, thanks to Craigslist, it's been Replaced by a gently used couch much more to my liking.

My grandmother's Davenport was almost identical to my new-to-me sofa. Ironically, everyone (including me) hated it, which probably had more to do with having to sleep on it than its actual seating functionality.

So even though there's still Accessorizing that needs to be done to get my living room of choice, I'm now Ready to expose these areas for public viewing.