The Colonel’s Plan – The Blue Bathroom, Part 6

September 26, 2017

Dear Daddy—

Now that I had found all the tile I needed, it was time to lay it out. I didn’t want to screw up, so I wanted to sketch it all out. I started by marking and measuring the pieces that were going to go up the wall on the edge of the shower.

What were you planning for the corner at the base, since the baseboard tiles don’t have corner pieces and don’t corner together well? In the one bathroom you finished, corners are formed with special corner pieces, but I don’t have any in blue. And no, I don’t think there are any stragglers left hiding. Big as this house is, I think I have the inventory under control now.

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The Colonel’s Plan – The Blue Bathroom – Part 5

September 22, 2017

Dear Daddy –

The bathroom is a big project. Its floor is down. Its outlets are partially wired. I furred out (is that the right spelling?) the opening above the now-installed shower walls, so that backing board for the tile would both fasten to the studs and slip down over the lip at the top of the fiberglass walls. How does one make furring strips—pieces of wood that are used to fill what would otherwise be a gap between a finished surface and the rough wall? You had obviously made a bunch of them. I wound up making more out of scraps of paneling you’d saved for years, left over from finishing your library and our family room. Continue reading

The Colonel’s Plan – The Blue Bathroom – Part 2

September 15, 2017 (Continued)

Dear Daddy –

Let’s talk about the shower…

I hired Mike the plumber (and his son Gary, and his grandson Cody) on the recommendation of a friend. I knew that finishing the plumbing for three bathrooms and the kitchen was going to be too much for me. It turned out to be the biggest expense associated with the house so far, but it was worth it.

So the first thing Mike the plumber told me about the shower cubicle was that it had to go. It was designed for the plumbing codes of decades ago, and he really recommended I use a pre-fab, fiberglass cubicle. That would be fastened right to the studs, not to the plywood. Now I didn’t see any reason the plywood couldn’t be there in between. But once I had measured the available cubicle base and walls, I realized that I needed the combined inch of width that removing the plywood would provide. So out it was going to come, and it needed to go before Mike and his crew could even do the rough-in plumbing. Continue reading