Sunday, January 25, 2009

Welcome to Command Central

I write to you from the warm travertine floor of my new bathroom. I have to sit here to enjoy the heat and admire control central. Today I wired up the floor heating to see if it would work. It is pessimistic to think that it wouldn't, but all the warnings in the package and the fact that the only friend I know who had floor heating installed found that it didn't work after the tile was finished. Hers had to be removed and replaced.

Last week, we chose to call in a pro to finish the floors. I was hoping to find somebody to do both the tiles in the bathroom and the hardwood in the hallway & back room. We had two contractors who were willing to do both jobs, but neither had a wet saw, so had to rent one, and neither had experience working with the traditional strip oak flooring currently in our home. The third contractor did tile only, and were not fazed by the travertine nor the NuHeat floor heating mat. They were my favorite already, but I had to wait for the quotes. In the end, they had the bathroom, but we had to find somebody else to do the hardwood.
We agreed on a price Thursday and they came the next day to do the scratch coat. This consisted of metal mesh covered with shiny mortar and took less than an hour. The following day, they came to do the drypack and level the floor. This is when they imbeded the floor heating mat. This needed to dry for a few days, but they were back on Tuesday to lay the tile. Wednesday they returned to grout. A finished floor in less than a week. Incredible!

But, then came the waiting. Three days and we could seal the tile. On the appointed day, I painted the walls, and then did one coat of tile sealer. A second coat of sealer today, and "light traffic" is permitted 4 hours later.

We wanted to install the baseboard trim before putting in the toilet, but sadly the paint can says we need to wait TWO WEEKS before gluing on trim. So, more waiting. (Please note: I was intending to glue and nail the trim, but have since been adviced to only nail after committing my intentions to print. Thanks to my readers!)

Feast your eyes on this beautiful sight! Tiled floor, a mirror in the vanity cutout, and our sink/vanity in place. Now, just imagine the luxury of the 31C floor temperature contrasted against the -22C temperature outside (with the windchill factor). My command central has a backlight overhead light switch, a timer for the exhaust fan, and a programmable termostat for the floor heat. And best part -- it works.


leonki said...

Looks awesome!! Keep up with the posts .. Really inspires me with my next few projects in my 1918 home.

A couple of questions, and tips. :)

- Glue the baseboard? It normally gets nailed in and then caulked to hide the fact that no wall is straight. If you do need to glue, use PL200 construction adhesive. Never heard of it needing dry time.

- Your outlet. It must be a GFCI since your sink is so close to it. It doesn't seem to be the case.

- Did you end up finding a flooring guy? I had one company redo my entire house (everything but bathroom and kitchen is hardwood floor). He even rebuild the stairs since they were so chewed up (and managed to source the tin strip of pine in places where it was missing!).

Keep up the great work!

Lisa said...

Thanks for your comments and encouragement!

My plan was to glue and nail the baseboard trim. I just painted the room on Saturday and the paint can says to wait 2 weeks before gluing anything onto the wall. Maybe it only needs to be nailed? Good tip.

And thanks for noticing the GFCI. The outlet by the sink is actually a protected outlet because there is a GFCI under the sink, and the rest of the room -- even the lights -- are protected with that one outlet. I was originally going to install two separate GFCIs but when reading the instructions, I realized I only needed the one. Everything down circuit is protected which is great.

I have had a flooring quote and would like to get at least one other quote. Can you recommend somebody who does oak strip flooring in downtown Toronto?

Leon Kiriliuk said...

Lisa, here's the guy I used:

- Mega City flooring : John 416-918-1670

Tell him Leon from Monarch Park sent you. :)

Anonymous said...

I think you are planning for installation of the floor heating system. I suggest you to go with Nuheat floors they are really best to have in your home.

Lisa said...

We did use NuHeat floor heat. It has been in for a year and we love it - mornings are now slightly less shocking. It is one of the best decisions we have made in this money pit.