Saturday, October 9, 2010

I'll be gone 500 miles when the day is done

Note: I wrote this Friday, October 8. Sorry for any confusion!

Well friends, the Melton Point is a point divided (or rather, two points…?) for the next 10 days. I am heading to D.C. to embark on a nine day bus tour of the southeastern United States with about 75 DAR members, and J will remain at home working on the bathroom. Yes, we are all in agreement that I get the better end of the stick on this one! Hopefully, J will make a few appearances here with updates on bathroom so that we are all in the loop!

On with the Thursday update (fair warning, it’s a doozy, so you might want to refresh that cup of coffee before you get started)!

October 7, 2010: I started the day bright and early by returning the Hilti to the rental place, and had a quick conversation with one of the owners about our subfloor issue. Up to that point, I had assumed I would have to cut out the existing (sub-standard) subfloor and start over from scratch. He suggested that instead of removing the floor, I simply add a layer of 5/8” plywood over the top of the ¼” plywood subfloor. I laughed when he suggested that I get other recommendations rather than simply taking his word for it, as I was already compiling a mental list of potential experts to weigh in on this one!

I left the tool rental and headed towards Lowe’s, quickly dialing my parents to get their advice. My dad joined the list of incredulous folks who couldn’t believe I was working with a ¼” subfloor, but quickly agreed that with the help of the thicker wood, Liquid Nails and some screws, I would be okay.

At Lowe’s, I ran the idea past the guys at the Projects desk and a pretty knowledgeable man in Flooring. I think they all thought I was crazy with talk of my ¼” subfloor (especially the Flooring guy), but they agreed that my plan would work. Thanks to the saw they have on site, I was soon on my way with my new subfloor ready to install. I have to say, the trip home (less than a mile) was by far my most nerve-wracking experience using Sandy as a pick up. The largest piece of plywood was 4’ x 5’, and Sandy is just barely four feet across the back floorboard. Remember when we brought J’s TV home on Man O’ War? This time, I drove even slower (20 mph was my top speed, and I really preferred 15 mph) and used my hazard lights. It was such a relief to pull into our driveway!

I quickly realized that the floor wasn’t quite smooth enough (it looked so much better Wednesday evening!), so went to work with our trusty hammer and chisel again. Satisfied, I carried in the wood to do a dry fit, where I learned that my 5’ x 6’ bathroom is actually just shy of six feet long. “Measure twice, cut once?” Yeah, more like “work from memory, cut, realize it’s still too big, measure, mark, make the second cuts with a jig saw and be grateful your curvy lines won’t show!”

After that came liquid nails…

And the drill to firmly attach the new top layer to the old bottom layer to the joists below… While I learned that I’m pretty darn good with all of the steps up to this point (well, maybe not measuring, but I problem solved that one pretty successfully), I am not good at using the drill to drive wood screws. Even with pre-drilled holes, I managed to strip out the heads on most of the screws I tried to put in.

Now, the few I got in successfully were great—there isn’t much like the feeling of the entire board beneath your feet tightening down at the end when it grips the floor joist and tells you it isn’t going anywhere! The quest for that elusive feeling kept me going longer than I should have, and I left J with a bunch of screws to fix somehow…

Now, you may be wondering why I’ve been pushing to get to this point if I’m leaving on a trip. Well, after the plumbers dismantled my toilet, they told me that they would need to come back two more times: once to reinstall the pipe from the basement into the bathroom, and then again after we install our tile to install the flange and set the toilet. I knew the J would have enough on his hands with me gone next week and likely wouldn’t want to take time off work to deal with the plumbers, so it was important to me that I at least get their first trip back complete before leaving. So, at 3:00 Thursday afternoon, the plumbers arrived and installed the new toilet pipe. I must confess, I was rather proud when they expressed how impressed they were with all we’ve done to the bathroom since they last saw it. Also, I took advantage of the fact that the pipe needed to be reinstalled anyway to have them move it over a few inches (thus, also moving the toilet over a few inches. This will center the toilet between the new vanity and the shower, which will look nicer and hopefully feel nicer for our guests, too.

My last bathroom related project before I left was to sort through the marble tiles we picked up last Saturday and choose my favorites, then lay them out for J. I started this project mid-afternoon, but quickly realized that one of the boxes we purchased was the wrong size. So I ran to the tile shop, swapped it out, ran some other errands (like picking up the drycleaning I needed before I could begin to pack), attended an event at church, and finally got around to arranging tile at about 11:00 last night. I even labeled each tile and made a little map for J to follow!

So that’s the very long update for Thursday, October 7. I suspect that there will not be any work done today (Friday), as I stayed up all night packing and prepping to leave (at 3:00 a.m. this morning), and J didn’t really get any sleep, either. I am hoping that he gets a great night’s sleep tonight and is ready to move forward tomorrow!

Number of trips for pick up Sandy—one
Number of injuries—none requiring immediate medical attention, but general muscle aches from running the Hilti, knuckle aches from a few too many misses with the hammer and chisel, and microscopic slices and dices from clearing the floor and installing the new subfloor are starting to add up.

Title: City of New Orleans (but seeing as Lexington is 500 miles from D.C. and I’m taking a train to get there, it seemed appropriate.), by Arlo Guthrie

1 comment:

Becky said...

I am SO impressed with all your skills! Way to go, JE :)