Monday, May 21, 2007

Friday and Saturday

John was away at a conference for two nights during the week and I took the opportunity to start packing up our house--that is, the one we still live in. We're moving in two weeks! Jeez.

So we converged at the house on Friday afternoon. Did some sanding and mudding. Also cut the hole in the top of the sink cabinet. That involved many minutes of trying to line up the cardboard template, which comes with the sink, on the top of the antique--it's not very precise, since it's thick corrugated cardboard, and we drew way too many lines and guides on it for our own good. Dude, all we want is a sink that seems straight when you walk up to it. We're not talking about solid gold faucet handles or something.

Anyway, we finally got a line drawn where the cut would go, and John started in with the jigsaw. A little sad to bite into this nice old piece of furniture, but it should have known better than to get mixed up with the likes of us. Before long the oval dropped out. Good thing we're planning to put a piece of soapstone on top of this thing, because the jigsaw really scratched up the surface of the wood.

We put the basin in, put it in place in the bathroom, added the toilet, and voila! This is what it will look like. "We're getting there!"

Saturday: one of our last four weekend days before moving. We did a lot that day...

1. Put the grout in the shower tile. What to say? You mix it up, smear it in, squeegee it off, then wipe it with a sponge about 40,000 times. It took quite a while, partly because I mixed up the second batch of grout much too runny, and since we had no more powder we could add, we had to just wait for it to dry out a bit before we could use it. But the grout looks good--nice and white, as clean as it will ever be, and it makes the occasional flaw in our tiling job (what? flaw?) much less obvious.

2. John figured out how the drain and trap will sit under the sink, then cut another hole for them in the bottom of the cabinet.

3. We cut holes in the subfloor for the toilet drain and supply and the sink drain and supply.

4. Laid the Ditra! This is the orange plastic waffle stuff that goes under the stone and supposedly keeps it from cracking. You thinset it to the plywood, so that was another bucket of stuff to mix up. Cutting up the Ditra itself is nice and quick, and the waffle pattern makes it easy to get a straight line. So when we laid our pieces in, they actually fit quite well. Now there's a pleasant change from drywalling! Then we put kerdi-band over the seams (yet another bucket of mortar) for waterproofing. This is gonna be one tight floor.

5. Made it home and got showered in time for Weekend Update, red wine and chocolate.

For me it was a day of feeling quite overwhelmed by our whole situation, but I'm better now. This is a crazy push right now, leading up to the move. To think, at one point, we planned to finish the bathroom, put ceilings up in a couple of rooms downstairs, put in the big window and door in the attic, and install heating for the second floor--all before May 1! Ha. We'll be glad to have the bathroom functioning and snake-free by June. Anyway, after we move we'll still be working really hard, but at least we won't have to drive so much.

- Erika

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