Sunday, September 18, 2005

Basement Renovation, Parts 6 & 7

Saturday was an easy day, when it came to the work on the basement - all I had to do was paint a bit more of the white trim and then the second coat of the waterproofing paint on the floor. I'd have done some more of the main color, except I don't have all that much, and it's the basement so it doesn't seem as if I need to take the time necessary to really make it look perfect. After that was finished, the floor needs a long time to dry, so we went to Sears to order the new washer and dryer. We also picked up the new Hubbarton Forget table lamps I ordered a couple of weeks ago. They're really pretty, they take up less space than the cheapo Home Depot lamps, and they're bright. Almost too bright, really - I thought they were 3-way lamps, but they're only 1-way. That's the only real problem with them. I have to figure out what to do about that. I'm hoping I can find a three-way switch to insert onto the power cord.

Today was vinyl tile day. Duane came over to help. First, he did a little more painting while I started figuring out how to approach the tile. The room's a little bit of a strange shape, and I wanted to make sure that it looks good from the outside. Most of the edges will be under or behind things, so the entrance and the main floor are what need to look good. I remember at some point in the process thinking about doing linoleum again. somewhere I read about a number of different types of flooring... when I got to the section on vinyl tile, I decided I was finished thinking about it as soon as I read the part about how vinyl tile is by far the easiest type of flooring to install.

It turned out to be even easier than I expected. We put a chalk line down from the entrance to the back of the room parallel to the edge of one of the whole tiles in the hallway. We were going to start from that side as well, but Duane had two good ideas - start from the other end so that we'd be sure not to have to cut any, or at least not many, tiles along that whole side of the room, and push the tiles toward the foundation wall to make sure we don't have odd gaps against that side of the room either. It seems as if that probably helped; if we'd started at the entrance, we'd have done 2 tiles without cutting in that direction, the tiles along the wall parallel to the hall wouldn't have lined up (lots of cutting), and the tiles along the far wall might not have lined up either, which would have meant yet more cutting.

We put all the tiles in that we wouldn't have to cut down first, leaving us with, basically, three sides of the room unfinished, along with a tile at the far wall under the sink. Duane started with an odd point where he'd basically have to cut off about a quarter of a tile with a round corner & some other oddities. I was going to start at the opposite side of the room where we'd be using most of the tile, but wound up starting up near Duane on some small pieces. I was able to do two pieces from each tile that I was cutting, which seemed great... until I did the other side, where I was leaving fairly small pieces behind.

All in all, it took us only about 3 hours to get all the tile down and cleaned up. Then we went for lunch before going to Long's where I picked up a couple of new shelving packets. Also discovered, thanks to Duane, a very cool toy to go with our new lamps - a touch-dimmer that lets us plug the lamp into it and if we touch the metal, the unit goes through low, medium, and full voltages and then back to off. It's quite cool. I found this one on

Lessons from this project? Mold is a bitch, but it went away fairly well. I probably would have been better off cutting out the linoleum in pieces and trying to get the backing (if not the adhesive) up at the same time. I'd have had more leverage that way, and more material to work with. The heat gun might well have done the trick in that case... Not much to say about the painting, but I could have done more of that. Ideally, I should have arranged for Dawn and Rachel to be out of the house for a few days so that I could yank the water heater and take care of the floor under it and the walls behind it properly. And, as I suggested earlier, always cut tile for the largest spaces first so that you can use the small remnants for the small holes. I don't think we really wasted much tile, but we could have saved at least 2 that way.

The new washer and dryer should be here tomorrow... and not a moment too soon. Having done all our laundry (every stitch) before the insulation went in on the 9th, we're all getting close to running out of clean laundry...

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