Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Kids' Bathroom Remodel

You've seen the vanity and shelf box we made. Now that the kids were out of school for the summer, it was time to perform the upgrade to their bathroom.

The first task, as always, was demolition. Out came the vinyl flooring, old toilet and sink, lighting and other fixtures.

Vinyl and underlayment out 
Light fixture and medicine cabinet removed

Out comes the old vanity

Going to need to mud and prime those walls

The toilet is gone - grocery bags help keep sewer gas out

Once the walls were patched, we painted the room and started to rebuild it from the floor up.

The floor is a porcelain tile, the same as what I put in our master bathroom. Daltile Continental - charcoal with Tuscan blue and rust accent colors. We used a charcoal grout.

DITRA underlayment installed w/ modified thinset

Tile installed w/ unmodified thinset

The tile is grouted

Once the floor was done, in went the new light fixture, toilet, vanity, and sink.

Light fixture installed

New Cadet 3 toilet installed and shimmed

There is the cherry vanity, screwed to the wall

Back on the wall is the cherry shelf box

Using a jig to drill the holes - quicker and less accident-prone than measuring

Refinished base trim, new air duct diffuser, new bathroom fixtures and items completed the project.

The whole think took about a week to accomplish but the results were worth it. Gone are the particle board cabinets and, in their place, are custom built cherry ones. The faucet and toilet both work better than what they replaced while using less water. The one-piece vanity top and sink is easier to clean, as is the tile floor. An elegant oval mirror replaces a cheap wall-mount medicine cabinet.

Kids' bathroom completed

I hope my daughter learned something working with her father. Something in addition to how insanely driven I can be when working on a task. At every step, I was asking what we should do next. When waiting (for paint to dry or thinset to cure) I was always thinking about what we could do in the meantime to advance the ball.

By the time we grouted the tile, there wasn't anything left to do in parallel. We had to do nothing. (Well, I mowed the lawn then I did nothing.)  Good thing, because by that point I was exhausted. Of course, at dawn the next day it was time to install all the things!

Right now, I'm basking in the afterglow.

The piano room can be cleaned up again. My shop is a disaster since we just threw things back down there. It'll take an hour or so to put everything away where it belongs. The side of the garage is littered with cardboard boxes that things came in. But the job is done, and so am I.




Sunday, April 20, 2014

First Blood

We have a dog, named Mika, that we rescued. She's two years old and some type of beagle mix (rottweiler? coonhound? anyway, something black and tan). Coming out of this bitter winter, she has been very happy to just sit outside whenever possible. She lays under the yews, her black back blending into the sharp midday shadows rendering her invisible.

She is a wonderful family pet. Very submissive, if a little inattentive. Her beagle nose gets her in trouble at times.



So I was relaxing this afternoon, having spent the morning raking out old leaves and mowing the lawn for the first time this year, when my wife screamed for me. "Come outside. Put some shoes on and come outside!"

She was distraught and a little incoherent. Something bad had happened and she could not tell me what. All I could get out of her was that she was backing out. That Mika was out. There was a squeak. But she couldn't speak. She just pointed.

Mika was there, and was fine. Her usual, inattentive self. At the edge of the yew line was something else. A squirrel. It seemed to be missing its tail and was silently opening and closing its mouth to reveal its incisors. The squirrel was Mika's first kill.

Dead and near-dead animals creep me out. I don't like clearing mouse traps. I was no fan of removing the dead bird from our kitchen wall we discovered during its remodeling. This was no different. Ick. However, my wife was near tears and needed hugged to keep from falling apart. As is often the case, when one of us goes noodle, the other takes the load. It was my job to be the rock.

So off she went to the corner store. Once she was away, out came the shovel and I buried the thing. Mika looked like she wanted to snatch it back from me and did not like me taking it out of her range. After all, she would gladly dig the dead squirrel back up again in a couple weeks and roll on it. We can't have that. So the squirrel is buried deep enough so that we shall not see it again.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Vanity Construction Details


Here's what Sarah's vanity looks like behind the scenes.

The sides are cherry plywood. A cherry plywood bottom is attached using pocket hole screws. In the back are nail boards and the front sports a frame of solid cherry. Corner blocks keep things square and add structural integrity.

The doors are attached using face frame hidden hinges with a 3/4-inch overlay. Since there will be a sink here, the top drawer front is false and is attached to a couple hidden pieces of the face frame. The face frame is attached to the cabinet with pocket hole screws from the sides and from the cabinet floor.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Vanity Done

We got the vanity assembled. The frame was a little over 3/4-in thick, so the hinge ears bit into the frame. Not a big deal, I guess. Had to snug them down, though, because otherwise the doors would touch when closed. You need to have some gap, even if it is only a millimeter or two.


Not a bad little cherry vanity. It is certainly sturdy and, while it won't win any fashion awards, it works well and does the job. All it needs is a sink top and the handles (easier to install those once it is in place...less chance of damage when moving).

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Kids Vanity Doors and Frame

We edge banded the doors, coated them with water-based polyurethane, and added hidden hinges to them.


We also made and installed a face frame of solid cherry.


This is starting to look like a bathroom vanity.