Thursday, October 19, 2006

finish paint / installed cabinets

Long time since I have updated things here.. but now I have the moulding all installed and primed and painted. The walls are also primed and painted. The cabinets are finished and now installed. They really look great and Dave did an awesome job putting it all together and also helping me install them. The material used was a Veneer called "Italian Ebony" Bascially this is a copy of the exotic hardwood called Macassar Ebony, but this is a much more earth friendly version. To create this veneer two types of wood are sandwiched / glued together.. then the thin veneer is cut off in sheets. This results in the two color look of the Macassar Ebony, but without harvesting the hardwood from environmentally fragile locations.

The recessed medicine cabinet is installed along with the light fixture just above it. The mirror is made by Robern and it's got a very nice defogging / door warming feature. The dimmers have yet to be installed.

Here is the vanity cabinet. Still have to pick out a stone or some solid surface that will finish the top of the cabinet. It also needs some drawer pulls to make opening and closing things much easier.

Detail of the crown moulding and the open shelved cabinet. The top piece of the cabinet is removable to have access to the light bulbs back in the wall. It's a very nice feature with a special clip to hold the piece in place, but also allows easy removal.

Here is the recessed open shelved cabinet that has adjustable shelving. The floor heating thermostat is installed on the wall just in front of the cabinet.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Beet Salad

The other day I made a mean Beet Salad. Here is the aftermath.

Glass door / Crown Mouldings begin / Some painting..

Ahhh... having a shower at home has been sweet.. but now lets take it up a notch! I've installed the body spray units and just today the Glass shower door was installed. The shower door was done by a company called Schicker. I must say that they did an amazing job. It's fun to watch people that have done something so many times that they don't even have to think about what they are doing. There is no time wasted in indecision or doing things out of order. The process is mangaged with as few steps as possible and things are done once. It's great when things work out that way.. it was a good day for Dave and the bathroom today.

I managed to get the body spray shower heads installed. The showering experience should be something like a carwash.

Here is the detail of the shower head and recessed ceiling element. This is my artist inspired angled photo.

I've started painting the mouldings around the windows... I'm going with the same moulding color as the rest of the house. I think that the color is going to work well.

The crown mouldings are started, but I won't be able to finish these completely until the recessed cabinet / shelf unit goes in. Hurry up Dave the cabinet maker!! :) Hopefully Dave is going to get things done in the next few weeks so that I can really and truely finish this project. Once the vanity goes in, then I can install the sink, faucet and toilet. almost.. almost.. almost.. really this time..!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Houston we have a shower!

I've managed to install a bunch of the fixtures for the bathtub and shower. The volume contols were a bit tricky to install as two different pieces of this fixture needed to be cut to different lengths in order for it all to be correct. yikes.. that was a bit tricky but I managed to get the job done with a bit of patients and being super extra careful. The big issue here is that if you get it wrong.. you can't just easily replace the valve. Tile would have to be torn out and then plumbing would need to be cut out and replaced.. pheeewwww... glad that it's done.

The body spray's are going to have to wait as the tile guy needs to come back. The holes in the tile are too large and leave a visible gap when the body spray fixtures are installed. :(

I've installed the rain shower head as well. This uses a Opella extension kit. It all conected up somewhat easily and looks nice.

The tub spout was the easiest one.. just keep turning it until it was just right!

A major milestone was achieve this weekend as the first shower was taken in this bathroom since early MARCH!! YIKES!

The glass shower door should be installed sometime this week!

Ceiling done.. Window and Door Mouldings...

The tile is basically all done... except that they need to come back and fix a small detail. The holes that they made in the tile for the body spray fixtures are too large. When installing the body spray fixture.. it doesn't cover the entire hole. :(

The ceiling is also basically done... I went ahead and put the final two coats of paint on it. Figured it would be best to just finish it up and try to install the rain shower, and all the lighting trims etc.. this way I won't have to take anything back down to apply the final coat of paint. Here is the picture of the recessed shower niche design element.

Here is a detail of the light slit element. I still need to find a small statue of the Mayan rain god Chaac! That will make it complete! The box in the center between the two slits of light will be the place where the statue can sit. I will also put in some small semi-opaque pieces of glass in the light slits to finish them off.

Here are some details of the moulding work that I have completed. The door and window mouldings are done.. just have to add the crown mouldings and that will be it for the mouldings in this room! :) Just primer white on everything at this point... still need to decide on the paint colors. That always proves to be a difficult challenge even though it seems like it should be really simple.Color is really difficult to get right!

What's next?? Install all the shower fixtures, and get the cabinets done!! Hopefully Dave the cabinet maker is getting these done in the next few weeks.. saying with my fingers crossed. Once the cabinets are all installed, then I will get the plumber back to finish up on the sink hookup and toilet installation.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tile day three.

Mark and Joe started early as usual, showing up at my house around 7:45. They are really moving quickly now that the layout has been established.

Here is the current view of their progress. Shower surround and shampoo niche starting to look good.

Wall has field tile and base tile in place, just need to put on the chair rail cap. The holes are for the faucet.

I couldn't help but try to get an early preview of what the volume control knobs would look like against the tile.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tile starts.. hip hip something!

Mark, the tile guy started with the installation of the Nu-Heat floor warming mat. It's going to be totally killer to have a warm stone floor on those cold San Francisco days.... since that's about every day!

This is the detail of the thermostat probe installed into the morter bed. Nice job cutting a notch for the probe so that it sits level and the tile will lay nice and flat. The other wires are part of the heating mat and have already been installed and then morter applied on top.

Mark knows the in's and out's of all this which has been great. He even knew about the card for the Nu-Heat floor that needs to be signed at three steps during the installation. If you miss one of these checks... the warranty is void. yikes! Good to do it right the first time and have coverage just in case something doesn't work... which means pulling up the floor to fix it! Unlike my failed attempt with the contractor at the onset of this job.... in this case I finally feel like it's good to have a pro doing the work. That's about it for day one of the tile installation, not much else you can do except for waiting on things to dry.

The second day consisted of installing the floor tile. The first step is to cut and lay it all out.

Here is the floor after about a days worth of work. All the floor tile has been cut and installed. Not too bad for one day... this guy is fast!

Another angle of the floor. The blue ring is the "water closet flange" It's great that its official name is something so elaborate.. why not just toilet connector or something like that.... :)

One more shot for good measure!

Sanding Drywall.. it's can get dusty.. start to install moulding

Finished up the drywall with 3 coats of mud and then sanding. I have hear of dustless methods of sanding, or wet sanding.. but I just wanted to get it done. All the sanding only took about 1 or 2 hours, but the results are very dusy.. yuck I hate this part.

After the sanding I started the mouldings. It was necessary to get the moudlings done around the doorway and one of the windows to have something for the tile guy to butt up against. In the case of the window, I wanted to be sure that there was sufficient room between the bullnosed edge of tile in the shower and the moudlings around the windows.

I have done lots of moudlings already on the house so this is just a matter of matching what is already done in the rest of the house.

Here is the door detail.

and this is the window detail. Just one more window to go and then the crown. One of the most important steps to finishing off the mouldings is to fill all the holes with a wood putty and also caulk all the gaps to create a clean and solid look. It's amazing the difference that a bit of caulking can make to the overall look and quality of the project.

I splurged a bit on this buy purchasing a new miter saw. After lots of research and going to the store to try out a few models I decided on teh Bosch 4410L. It's a 10" slide saw with a laser guide. My old miter saw is just about dead and it's about as no frills as you can get. It does get the job done, but since it's just a 10" fixed miter, it doesn't do well with any lumber that it much wider than 4 1/2" in width. It's even worse when trying to deal with crown that should be cut at the installation angle in the saw. Flipping the wood and doing a double cut takes lots of time and usually yeilds an imperfect cut.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Went to NYC...

Jenny and I went to NYC so needless to say that status of things on the bathroom haven't changed in a while. NYC was great, busy, vibrant, fun, lots of great things going on everywhere... it was hot!! really hot!! yikes! When do we go back??

Some of the highlights of our trip included mayhem at the airport. We have mad mullet hair in front of us and behind was two crazy couples yelling to each other about how to use a cellphone and why men take less room in a suitcases than women. The guy kept saying "it's what you make of it... it's what you make of it..."

I did a bit more mudding and am getting close to 3 coats on the whole room. It's amazing how long the little details take. The little light slit area along with the recessed circle over the rain shower have taken so much time! So many corners and edges to detail out... The goal is to finish up on the mudding and sanding over the weekend and get all the drywall primed!

Another small issue that I ran into was with the rain shower extension. I ordered this from, the best prices with no shipping on orders over 75 bucks and no tax! Double check on all lead times when ordering. If you ask, they will tell you about how long things should take. They told me this item would take 2 weeks and it arrived in about a week. Wow! This was actually ahead of schedule.. that never happens! I went with the opella brand and upon it's arriving realized that it is a 3/4" pipe and not 1/2" uggg... I had roughed in the plumbing for the rain shower using a transition from 3/4" to 1/2" at the very top and finished off with a 1/2" ipc 90. The hans-grohe rain shower head is configured for 1/2" so I thought that this was the way to go. Opella also makes a 3/4" to 1/2" transition piece for the end of the rain shower extension kit. hmmmm.... I wish that I knew this earlier. I would have just roughed in the whole thing using 3/4" and finishing off with a 3/4" ipc 90. This would deliver the most water and the best shower. Now I have a few options to get this all working... will see how it goes and show the details later.

oh yeah.. the tile guy is really supposed to start tomorrow morning! for real!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

finished tub soffet and added the dot controller

Just had about a 1/2 of a day to work today.

I got the tub soffet done and also added the dot control for the jacuzzi tub.

Here is the tub finally installed with tile flange, caulked and sealed. I covered up the tub so that it won't get any scratches during the rest of the project. The shampoo niche is also installed.

Another angle of the tub / shower area. The soffet in the front of the tub is also now done and ready for tile.

Here is the detail of the dot controller for the jacuzzi tub. I should have installed this much earlier as it was a bit difficult to run the wires at this point in the process. I was thinking that it would be installed on the exterior of the shower, but then decided it would be nice to have access to the controls while in the bath.

Everything is really close to being ready for the tile contractor. I hope that he can start this coming week. He said that it should take about 5 days to do all the tile work. I think that it's going to take much longer, but we will see! I'm not doing the work, so they can take as long as they want. :) Part of the tile installation also includes a Nu-Heat floor warming system. This will be super nice to have warm tile in the morning!

drywall in... cement board starts... mud / tape starts..

This is probably about 2 days of work since my last post and now the drywall is all in, and the hardi-board is also in. Finally glad to get all this work done which means that the tile guys can come and start their work asap!

Here is the shower area, very important to put a layer of construction paper, or moisture barrier before installing the hardi-board. In this case I used the jumbo tex 60 min. just tack it into place with some staples. Always use a 4" to 6" overlap between sheets! Overlap in the correct order.... top piece over bottom piece.

I also added some construction adhesive between the drywall and hardi-board layers. This is probably overkill, but this really makes for a strong solid bond.

I got a jump on the mud and tape stage. Here is what the first coat looks like on the ceiling and part of the walls.

The tub is in! This is the last and final time... no more taking it back out. We installed a tile-flange around the exterior rim of the tub to add an extra layer of protection so that no water can get under the tile. A bead of silicon caulking was also applied to the tile flange to adhere it against the wall.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Drywall going in... and Ouch!

Took a few additional days off from work. Put in a few solid days of work and got quite a bit acomplished. Started the day off by installing the 5/8" drywall on the ceiling. Always do the ceiling first as the walls will butt up against the ceiling and help support it a bit. This was more work than anticipated due to all the recessed can lights. These take a bit to mark and cut out and ensure that they are in the right place. My technique for doing this is to use some chalk to mark each can light, then put up the drywall and put some pressure on it to transfer the chalk marking to the underside of the drywall. Just take down the drywall and you can see exactly where each hole should be cut. Here is the ceiling ready for mud and tape.

The walls are next.... The North and West facing walls require multiple sheets of drywall to ensure the correct thickness as well as keep the 2 hour fire rating adjacent to the property line.

There was quite a bit of shimming required to ensure that the studs are all correctly alligned. Here is Jorge applying paper furring strips in the shower area. This is a really important step in the process.. it takes a bit of additional time to make sure things are all lined up but saves lots of issues in the end. Installing drywall into misaligned studs can not only lead to things being not being straight, but also cause the drywall to break when screwing it in.

More shimming.....

The cutout in the center of the windows is ready for the installation of the mirror / medicine cabinet. This cabinet is huge and it's 4" deep so it will provide lots of good storage space.

The next step will be to install all the cement board which serves as solid backing for the tile installation. I hope to get that started later this week.

Best purchase yet! I got this Bosch18V hammer drill from a seller on Ebay. It was a really good deal and worth every penny. I started using it and immediately it made my DeWalt 12V drill feel like a little toy. This is heavy, well built, powerfull and holds a charge all day long. I'm looking forward to trying it out on the cement board installation as that will be a good test to see how much abuse it can endure.

Stupid move of the week goes to me! I cut my finger while using a pair of scissors! Be carefull space travelers.. even sissors can do some serious damage.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Weekend Continues... Acoustical ceiling installation starts.

Sunday Jorge is helping me out but I feel like my nose is about to fall off my face. I think that all this dust and stuff is starting to catch up with me... I can't breath out of my nose at all! YUCK!

Well, we have to start putting up the ceiling which is quite a bit of work, it's got sound absorbing materials and multiple layers / materials etc.. so that it helps reduce noise down here in the lower apartment. The good thing is that I have done this before so I know what I am doing. :)

Here is the plan:

Ceiling is already insulated.. that's one thing that we don't have to worry about today. YES!

Install the framing for the recessed circular detail above the rain shower. I added this detail to the drawings a while back. This should really nice as it's just a recessed 12" circular detail centered above the rainshower in the ceiling. Cut out a circle in a piece of 1/2" plywood and screw this into the ceiling joists. This will provide a guide as well as a place to attach the drywall. It's going to look ulta sweet!

Install Resilient Channel or RC-1. Bascially this stuff disconnects the joists from the drywall by attaching the drywall to the RC-1 and not directly to the joists. This lessens the sound transmission and impact noise from the upstairs condo. So this picture shows the RC-1 and keep in mind that it's upside down in the pic. It screws into the joists spaced approx. every 24". It always installed perpendicular to the joists. Sometimes it's not possible to space it exactly 24" and this is the case with my ceiling as I have lots and lots of recessed lighting. I got it close enough though...

Install a sound absorbing adhesive foam strip to the RC-1. Ok, you can guess that this is super easy! Please note that this is just a demo pic.. it's upside down and in my case, the RC-1 was already installed in the ceiling when I did this step. This product is purchased separately and is "supposed" to help quite a bit. What the heck, it probably can't hurt?

Put up the 1/2" sound absorbing board. This gets cut just like gypsum board, but not quite as easy as it's fiberous material that must be cut all the way through. Can't snap it...Not too bad though... really dusty so wear the mask and use a new matte knife to make it as easy as possible. Here is another demo picture just so no one is confused. This shows the correct orientation of the RC-1 Channel with the foam strip and the 1/2" sound absorbing board underneath. Now just use your imagination and see it all up on the ceiling.

Here ya go. Oh yeah.. use fine threaded drywall screws and make sure they are just the right length. Long enough to grab the RC-1, but not too long! If they touch the joists, the wholepoint is shot.

Here you can see the rain head shower detail, might give you a vibe on what I am getting at.

The square cutout is just the exhaust fan rough open.

That's it for today.. next day will be putting up the 5/8" CoreX Green board... and that stuff is heavy! Gotta get some rest!

Oh yeah... Thanks for the yummi sandwiches Jenny! The day always goes better when my girlfriend brings sandwiches for lunch!! Jorge says thanks too!

Another weekend... 1/2 day of plumber on Saturday

The plumber Phillip got drunk or something on Friday night which delayed his arrival on Saturday until much later than expected. Hey.. it can happen to the best of them and Phillip has totally kicked ass for me... so no worries.. it's all good. We are almost done, just need to hook up the trap for the tub and make sure that there are no leaks. Also need to fix one of the connectors to the volume control as it's leaking a bit. Here is the all waste lines and toilet closet flange, it's mostly all new stuff.

Note to self, or others who are interested: When connecting plumbing pipes that have threads, always adhere to the following rules. A. Use lots of tape on male threaded pieces.... about 5 - 7 turns of this stuff. B. Use lots of pipe dope on both male and female threaded pices. C. Tighten beyond what you think is tight! Use something to give more leverage like adding a long piece of temporary pipe. Failure to do this can result in leaky connections that are hell to fix once all connections are soldered.

Unfortunately this is what happened and we had to take some of the connections apart and fix and then solder again.

Phillip finished everything up in exactly 2 hours. Even with a hangover, he rocks!

In total, it took about 3 days plus an additional 2 hour day to get all the plumbing hooked up and all the waste lines run. Only about 1 more day to finish up and install all the fixtures and sink trap, but that's much later after the room is done and tile is all in.

Here are the finished connections for part of the shower. It was quite a bit of work and then more tweaking to be sure that it's all straight, centered, lined up.