Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Archive for the ‘ceramic tile’ Category

Our New Old House LIVES!!!

Hi all,

I haven’t written here in a very long time and I’m so sorry to have left you hangin’. We rushed up on a deadline to have the house appraised last month and so we did TONS of work but I haven’t had time to blog about it until now.  But don’t worry, I took pictures!  I have no idea what order anything happened in now, so I’ll just go room by room and get you up to speed.  Let’s start with the bathroom today.

When last I blogged, the bathroom looked like…  this!

IMG_5048   IMG_3549  

There was still some wallpaper residue on the walls so Brandon scraped it off.




Then he scrubbed the walls to make them ready to prime.


With this latest push to get work done on the house, we’ve had to cut some corners in the short term so we could have it appraised. We haven’t abandoned all our long term plans yet, but in the interest of time and sanity, we had to just give many things a quick going over to make it look clean and finished for the bean counters. Hence, everything got painted white and we had to come up with some quick fixes for some problems with the walls.

For example, in the bathroom we want to put beadboard paneling on the wall below the wood trim that splits the top and the bottom half of the wall. We didn’t have time to do that so my friend Tiff (who’s a GENIUS!) suggested that we put contact paper on the walls as a kind of temporary wallpaper. So that’s what we did.

I guess it’s time for a before and after look, huh?


…and AFTER:

Oh, I just noticed that the spot under the sink where the pipes go into the wall looks a lot better now in real life than it did in this picture.  This was before we did a little more work to clean it up.

But anyway, that’s the bathroom, getting close to being done!

And here’s a bonus photo of Brandon scraping the hallway wall (coz I don’t know where else to put it.)


[tags] bathroom, wallpaper, ceramic tile, paint, paneling, photos, future plans, flooring [/tags]

Crusty Old Pain in the Drain

Our new bathroom floor is in!  But before I show you pictures of that, let me tell you about the drain on our clawfoot tub.

We suspect the plumbing on it was original.  Whether it was or not, it was old enough to be nothing but a pain in the drain. 

First of all, when Brandon went to take the drain apart so he could remove the tub, it came apart in all the wrong places and some of the pipe broke.  He resigned himself to having to replace the whole drain.  Not too big a deal, right?

Everything was peachy except the pieces in the drain hole itself would not come apart.  Brandon spent most of the weekend in this position, trying to get the drain to loosen:


Here’s what he had to work with:


When he tried to use a drain plug wrench, which looked like this:


The pieces inside the drain disintigrated to look like this:


Having nothing left to hold onto to turn the drain pieces, he resorted to cutting the whole thing off and hoping the threads would come apart in the process:



With a few taps of a screwdriver…


out it came!


Brandon said all that gross caked on yellow stuff is bits of hundreds of people’s skin who have bathed in this tub. I said, “Ew gross!!!” and told him it was more likely the old rubber seal that had hardened over time. Boys are so gross.


To see the finished drain he put in, you’ll have to come back next time because I forgot to take photos of it in time for this blog post.

 [tags]clawfoot tub, flooring, photos, bathroom, ceramic tile, plumbing [/tags]

Flooring Day Two: Installation

 These are pictures from the day I wrote the two “S.N.A.F.U.” posts about. Once Brandon got the kinks worked out with the flooring contractor they got to work.

(These pictures aren’t of the same quality as my usual pictures because Brandon took them with his phone’s camera, but I think it gives the whole thing a certain romantic antique look.)

The bathroom, sans toilet and sink pedestal:

The bathroom, sans bath tub:

The bath tub plumbing:

The toilet base:

Installing the subfloor in the kitchen:




Installing the subfloor in the bathroom:

Check back soon for pictures of the finished floors and some adventures with the bath tub!

[tags]ceramic tile, plumbing, contractors, kitchen, clawfoot tub, bathroom, photos, shower, flooring[/tags]

Update on my S.N.A.F.U. morning

First of all, I’d like to thank the members of the Des Moines Rehabbers Club who kindly offered me advice this morning.  I sent a rather panicked email to the mailing list this morning and got some really excellent responses.  It helps so much to have someone to turn to in a crisis like this! 

The flooring company has secured the right color grout, but they didn’t order enough tile for the bathroom.  They will finish the parts under the tub, toilet, and sink and finish the rest when the tiles are in.  They’re going to cut the tile to fit around the pipes in the floor, rather than some other way.  I’m glad of that because it didn’t seem right to have to cut all the pipes down and redo all that plumbing. 

When I talked to Brandon (who’s at the house today while I’m at work) he said they’d laid the subfloor in both the kitchen and the bathroom and were going to get the kitchen done today.  That was earlier this morning, so I hope there’s been some good progress made.

 While the flooring guys were working in the house, Brandon took the ladder out and broke the rotted fascia off the roof and removed as many nails as he could to prepare for new gutters being installed.

 Our quote from the gutter company arrived.  It is over $2000, which for a single story, 1000 square foot bungalow seemed ridiculous.  Our neighbor down the street with a similar house had theirs done for $450 or so.  Will keep looking.

We’re heading out to the Iowa State Fair this afternoon to blow off some steam.  Pictures coming soon of all our adventures!

[tags]gutters, thanks, ceramic tile, bathroom, Des Moines Rehabbers Club, contractors, plumbing, kitchen, flooring[/tags]

S.N.A.F.U. and how!

We’ve hired a professional flooring company to install tile in our bathroom.  We worked with them for several weeks, stopped in at the store twice, and had several phone discussions in setting all this up.  He told us we’d need to have our clawfoot tub disconnected so they could move it out of the room, which was fine.  The sink is wall mounted, so that’s not a problem.  They didn’t say anything about the toilet.

 This morning the crew arrived for installation and informed us that not only were we supposed to have the tub disconnected, but that the pipes needed to be cut down below the floor.  Also we’re supposed to have a plumber to re-set the toilet because they need to remove it. 

Was this stuff I was supposed to know already?  And even so, shouldn’t they have checked to make sure this was done before showing up for the install?

 Oh, yeah.  And they showed up on site and asked Brandon, “What kind of grout did you want for this?  We don’t have it on the order.”  DON’T HAVE IT ON THE ORDER?!  We discussed this in the store!  Pointed to the one we wanted and the guy wrote it down.  So they showed up with the wrong grout and will have to see if they have the color we wanted before going ahead with the job. 

As if that wasn’t enough, the gutter company that was supposed to stop by at 8am to give me an estimate didn’t come.  I left for work and half an hour after our appointment was supposed to be, the guy called me.  His scheduler (who I confirmed the address with three times, once by my entering it on their website for them) had given him the wrong address, several blocks up the street from my house.  When no one came to the door he spent half an hour working up an estimate on the wrong house before he bothered to call me. 

This is going to be one helluva day.

[tags]flooring, ceramic tile, contractors, bathroom, shower[/tags]

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