House Stuff

December 31, 2012

I hate tiling with the firey, burning passion of a million suns. I tiled the floor, then spent a month getting the oozed up mortar out of the grout lines with a dremel - modified thinset is too flexible for the normal grout removal tool to touch, especially when it's in narrow grout lines. But now? It is grouted and done.

September 16, 2012

So I finally have started putting down tile in the upstairs bathroom.

August 25, 2012

I never updated after getting the second kit installed. Apparently I was too demoralized. Stuffing 2 pieces of Romex into a conduit proved to be too much for the _conduit_ to take, and it came apart inside the wall. So I had to rip the wall out to fix the broken conduit. As long as it was out, I slid the cables through it out on the mezzanine, THEN put it back into the wall.

This afternoon I poured the self-levelling cement stuff all over to smooth around the wires. Once it sets, I can start putting down tile.

August 7, 2012

I gave up on waiting for their 24-hour tech support group to get back to me, either by phone or email. I ripped out the one line I had through the conduit, and slowly mashed two lines in. Needed more snot, preferrably less blood. Blood is a lousy cable lubricant. Tonight I'll see about getting the second kit installed, and if I'm really ambitious I'll see about mashing the two lines from that kit up the next conduit. That'll give them a day or two reprieve before I need an answer about cutting the power leads.

August 5, 2012

Well, that was a nice plan. Turns out the in-floor heating has incomplete and contradictory instructions, and the power wires may not fit in the *3* conduits I installed in the wall. The instructions insist on conduits, 1 for the power and 1 for the temperature probe. Since I was installing 2 kits, I added another power conduit. But the kit uses Romex (in-wall, explicitly NOT in-conduit) and I have to mash 2 pieces in each power conduit. I think what I installed was just too small. I'll probably end up pulling out the one feed I've installed so far and try to mash them 2 at a time with liberal use of "elephant snot" (lube intended for the purpose). Also, the instructions say nothing of the electrical installation itself, but a label on the wire says to not alter the length of the power leads... which are 4' too long. I'm waiting for a call back from tech support, and I'm now 2 days behind schedule. The instructions say that the installation can be done in an hour.

August 4, 2012

While everyone except me is off at Pennsic, it's time to make progress. I pulled the tile out that John had dry-fitted for the floor in the upstairs bathroom, carefully sorted it so I can put the puzzle back together again later, swept 47 times, and have started working on the floor for real. The first step involved a special primer for the in-floor heating, followed by (today) the heating system and the self-levelling mortar-like stuff to fill in the gaps between the wires and under the tile.

Somewhere in there was were I realized that a heating system sized for as 8'1"x9'4" room is not the same as when you subtract out all the fixtures that you can't run under. I can cob together a good system from the parts I bought for the downstairs bathrooms, but then I have nothing for those and a spare system that turns out to be big enough for the kitchen. I had no intention of doing this to the kitchen.

The rest of the floor plan (heh) is to buy the fastest, most expensive materials - modified thinset (reqired by the heating system anyway) and the epoxy grout. Yes, the epoxy stuff costs 5x as much per square foot of coverage. But it takes 20% of the time for me to apply. And given what the stuff costs relative to how I value my time... this just got expensive and cheap at the same time.

July 21, 2012

Really? January? Argh.

Did a bit of work in the kitchen recently, finally boxing in the counter with the dishwasher in it. I should have done that ages ago, since it cut the noise of the dishwasher noticably.

We're now scheduled for late this month to have someone come in and fix the plaster ceilings in the living room and foyer. It was starting to get noticably worse, so it was time.

The shower upstairs had to have all of the tile grout cut out of the floor and re-done. Best guess is that something in the floor flexes just a tiny bit and the unmodified grout didn't like that. So now it's redone with epoxy grout, which is the most flexible you can get. Also, the epoxy grout is scary to use, and everyone warns about how touchy it is, but it is MUCH easier than the "real" stuff. The only downside is that it's 5x the price.

When John and Amanda go off to Pennsic in a couple weeks I'm going to take the opportunity to do the upstairs bathroom floor. I'll be the only one inconvenienced.

January 12, 2012

There has actually been some progress recently, but since I haven't been doing it, I haven't been able to remember to post. John has been working diligently on getting the mosaic tile cut and dry-fit in the upstairs bathroom for the entire floor. It's probably 95% there now. Once that's done, I need a couple day stretch where we can't use that shower to put down the heating system, pour out the self-levelling stuff on top of that, then mortar down the tile. Once that's good and cured I can schedule another 2 day outage to grout.
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2007 Archived Commentary
2006 Archived Commentary
2005 Archived Commentary
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2003 Archived Commentary
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