September – Week 1 – Tile going in, heated floor system, driveway pavers, and moving more dirt

September 3, 2016

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We were excited to see the tile guys out and finally getting started with all the selections that we have made.  They started upstairs with the showers surrounds.  This is Bath 3 with the white subway tile going up.dsc_0012 We designed a band detail just to give it a little character in there.  Bath 2 and 3 both get the band detail – this is Bath 2 in the back.dsc_0014 The band is just 4×4 tiles laid diagonally with a black pencil-mould tile surrounding them.  We found several historical images with similar patterns.dsc_0015We also found a nice basketweave tile which we are using in the Powder Room.  The other baths are going to be black and white, but we found a nice stained cabinet and copper sink for the Powder Room, so opted for a warmer tan color for there.  The base will be stained oak and we found a nice mirror that will round off the look in there.dsc_0001 Once the shower tile was in upstairs, they started on the floor.  We are using two versions of a traditional hexagon tile in the two bathrooms upstairs.  This is Bath 3 nearly complete.dsc_0004 Tile is heavy, and we are going to use quite a bit of it.  Here are boxes of subway tile and base and trim along with the floor mat for the heated floor in the Master Bath.  The tile guys are going to start in there once they wrap up the upper Baths.
dsc_0014 First thing to do was to install the floor mats for the heated floor.  It just goes in with mastic like the tile.  Next the wires are laid out in a standard pattern and the whole thing is ready for floor tile to go on top.dsc_0002In preparation for the shower tile, they painted the tile board around the shower with a special waterproof paint just to make sure we don’t have any problems with water getting through. dsc_0034The Master shower is going to be mostly subway tile, with a neat black and white (mostly black) marble basketweave floor with white marble around the perimeter.

The main part of the bath is going to have a cool checkerboard band pattern around the perimeter, but we have had a difficult time finding the tile that we need.  Melanie Gernatt has been a great help in tracking down something that will work, but it is back-ordered and will take a couple of weeks.  The tile guys have decided to pull off and wait until all the tile is in before they wrap it up – so the tile work is going to be on hold for a bit.dsc_0005Meanwhile, we have wrapped up the drain pipes underground and have them all covered up.  Hopefully everything is still intact and functioning as designed.dsc_0028The key to good drainage at the bottom of the driveway are two yard drains in the planting areas on each side.  They are carefully set in place and ready for the rain.
dsc_0023Up front where the driveway meets the street, Kristian designed a place for brick pavers.  It is smaller than the one down by the garage doors, but will make for a nice detail as you pull in off the road.dsc_0011 Now that the driveway is mostly cured, we wanted start using it.  That means filling up the big hole where the pavers are going to go – which means we first had to dig out all the debris and get it prepared for some gravel.  We started with a landscape fabric and then started piling on the gravel.dsc_0013 The truck will only handle about a ton at a time, so we went a got a load, backed the truck up to the driveway and we (mostly Jonathan) started shoveling.  After that load was in the hole, it was back to get some more and do the same drill again.dsc_0017 After 3 tons of gravel, the hole was pretty much filled up, and before the day was over, we tested it out and drove on the driveway for the first time!  We did figure out that gravel doesn’t compact as well as ‘crusher run’ – which is a combination of stone and gravel dust.  The gravel will ‘rut’ when driven over, but that’s OK, it is really a temporary infill just to allow us to get in and out for now.  Eventually we’ll end up taking out a good bit of the gravel so we can install the pavers.dsc_0037So that made for a full day, but there’s an awful lot more to do.  Our self-imposed deadline is coming soon, so we’re beginning to be a bit concerned that we have enough time to get everything done.  Subcontractors are also increasingly difficult to get scheduled due to everyone being so busy – but we continue to push forward and hope that the timing will work out.

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