Early Grout and Sunday Miscellaneous

Feast your eyes on the glory that is finished tile! Duh duh duhhhhhhh! Friday night, Mike and I sat down at the computer and picked out the grout color - Mist 939, a medium grey. My dad picked it up Saturday morning and arrived early Saturday afternoon to begin work. By late Saturday afternoon, the job was done - and beautiful.

Dr's orders, stay off the tile for a couple of days, then hit the grout with a wet - dry cloth. Good to go. Couple days = Tuesday. And I told Mike Saturday night, this battle station must be operational ASAP. Just Five Easy Steps! 1. Baseboard Trim. 2. Vanity and Toilet. 3. Plumb from pump to septic pipe 4. Lighting and fan fixtures. 5. Doors. I don't think we've ever had so much "in stock" and ready to go like we do in this room. Quite a satisfying feeling, knowing we're not going to be running out to the deepHo for anything major.

So with the bano tiled a day early, we had Sunday to tackle some other tasks and even managed to have friends over! (ooooooo!) The previous Thursday or Friday, I finally had an opportunity to purchase winter moth repelling tree spray, and Mike applied it to all our new trees Sunday morning... those bugs love the cherry blossoms and the two trees in the front yard have suffered hard for the past couple years. Next on the agenda, Mike trimmed the garage door and installed the weatherstripping. (Only been a year that this job has been sitting idle.) The garage finally looks finished now! Then, he cleaned up wood and logs from the tree we felled after Hurricane Irene and chopped up another tree that we'd lost in the backyard over the winter.

After a little bit of building material cleanup on the porch picnic table and cleaning of the kids' water table, we still had plenty of time for friends. (Awe, muffin.)

Headway Slows, List Grows

Time to dust off the 'ol keyboard. Yuck. I hate going this long between postings. When I finally return, such as now, I have a hard time remembering where we're at, what's happened, and why I should bother writing about any of it.

Starting in present time, we just returned from a family trip to Baltimore. Nice trip, successful. (Because when you're a parent, you give yourself a grade on your trip as if it was an exam. Mine are improving each time we travel.) While we were gone, my dad came to our house and tiled the basement bathroom! We obtained a tile saw for him to use and set it up in the garage, brought all the tiles downstairs, and cleaned up enough for him to be able to work. When we got home, the tile was laid and two marble thresholds had been installed in the two doorways.

Beautiful. The only thing missing now is grout, which I hadn't picked out yet at the time. Hopefully we can find some time this weekend to finish the job - Sunday, most likely. Once the grout is done, we can install the baseboard trim, which we should have enough of in-stock.

Come to think of it, we could even start cutting and staining that beforehand.... Hmmm...

After that, installation of fixtures (lighting and plumbing) and all doors. It's so close, I can just imagine myself in that new bathtub now.

Before we left for our trip, we managed to stain our side-porch steps. (They were too new to stain with the rest of the porch last year.) We hope to get another coat of stain on the entire porch in the coming weekends... Sunday, perhaps? (I sense a list coming.) Also, we seeded the side yard where we replaced the old trash hut around Christmas time. Grass is beginning to come in, but boy could we use some more rain to help it along.

On the list of Spring To-Do's, there's quite a bit more to be done. (Bathroom is behind schedule, as usual. But we can't complain, as we didn't schedule for a new kitchen in the middle of it all!)

To Do This Spring

Fertilize Entire Yard - ASAP
Install canopy on Mikey's playground set
Replace and change angle of slide on Mikey's playground set
Some material for side-driveway (now dirt)
Rubber roof the kitchen (has been tarped for over a month now)
Gut the old bathroom (upon completion of new one)

My List

Yard Sale (get rid of crap and old furniture)
Get new rug and re-arrange office to be shared with new baby
Create backyard seating with cinder blocks (Pinterest inspired project)
New plants for farmer's porch
More house plants
Basement cleaning (upon completion of bathroom)

So, I'm thinking that all can be accomplished in the next few weeks.... or not. A lot depends on money at this point. We're down quite a bit from dental work, new tires, and the Baltimore trip on top of our usual expenses. Mike is doing what he can. And my yard sale should generate something. (Thinking Memorial Day Weekend on that one.)

Stay tuned!


It’s a no-go on the under tile heating. We measured our heatable space and went online to Home Depot. (Being of little cash and without desire to pay credit card interest, the HD and their 0% financing for large purchases was the only option we could consider.) The chain carries one brand of under tile heat, available online only. How convenient.

The product description matched exactly what we wanted – quick and easy to install – ease of operation – quality heat. Mike wanted to know if we could cut it, so we went to the manufacturer’s website, www.qepfloorwarm.com to see if we could find out. We watched their installation video http://www.qepfloorwarm.com/Installation/Installation-Videos.aspx and read the FAQ. Everything looked great… but according to the FAQ, you can’t cut the stuff.

Now came the price tallying. We would need two 2x9’ rolls… at $215 a pop, plus $40 of floor primer, plus thermostat (not included), plus wiring up to thermostat (not included), plus junction box (not included)…. We were over $500 before we even hit thermostat.


Just can’t justify over $500 for under floor heat in a basement bathroom. Sure would be nice… the product looks great… but it’s too much right now. The unfortunate thing is, we can’t shop around because we just can’t afford it in cash at the moment. Not with Mike having a root canal, me with a set of new tires, and a family trip to Balimore in under two weeks.

Good news? This means we can just tile away! I left a message for my dad today (retired floor man) and hope to have him scheduled to help with installation soon. All we need to purchase is grout. (I’m hoping dadoo can help me with color selection and amount for our space too.)

After that, a little baseboard trim and all the fixtures can go in!

Not Pickin Up the Call of Spring

Time marches on…. or maybe I should say, “April’s on.” Yes, hello, spring called a while ago and I seem to have forgotten to answer the phone.

Pretty much as soon as we had our kitchen organized and life back together, the boys were back to work on the bathroom downstairs. Our neighbor and Mike finished the drywall and paint in just a couple days. (Missed the “you need to blog about that” message too. This was ages ago… you know, like beginning of last week ago. Practically the stone age.)

And once that was done, we hit a brick wall. We have all the tile. Installing it is the next step. The problem? Mike’s thinking we should do under-tile electric heating. Apparantly, it’s super easy and inexpensive. The problem? We need to measure the square footage needed… no need to heat the entire floor, right? Just the traffic areas. The problem? Stoopid stuff. Laziness. Bruins games. Workin’ late. Excuses excuses.

I think we’re still in a state of epic come down from the whole kitchen re-do/bathroom drywall madness. Mike’s barely recovered from the workload and feels he needs an extended break. And I can only push so far too… after all, I’m tired too.