So we’re marching right a long – things are pretty much going as planned, but of course we don’t live in a perfect world.
At the conclusion of the last post I noted that there was something that just didn’t go right.
It’s that dang in-floor heat mat.
In the bathroom I poured a floor leveler called Liquid Backer Board. This stuff is great for wood or concrete sub-floors. The bathroom floor was a little less than flat, so it worked like a charm. This mudroom floor, however was flat and level – no need to the Backer Board I thought. The Suntouch mat instructions say you can just tile right over it with your thin-set – just use a plastic trowel and don’t nick the heating wires. No problem.
But there is a problem.
Not with nicking wires but with the voids left by the thin-set and the mesh. The Backer Board is very liquid and when poured over the heating mats it gets into every void and makes a very strong, monolithic surface for the tile. The thin-set, on the other hand has to have some body to it – you can’t tile with soupy mud, so there will be tiny (or not so tiny) voids with the stiff mesh. Perhaps that’s not a problem for many, but the mud room takes a lot of traffic. Along the wall, there are two tiles with hairline cracks where the electrician’s ladder caused a fracture. Also, the lippage (uneven tile surface) is more than I like. Again, it’s difficult to level because of the mesh wanting to suck the tile down in some places and push it up in others. I’m no tile expert, but I have tiled several rooms and this mudroom floor is the worst I’ve done. Francia says it looks fine. She is so kind sometimes.
Oh, if I could go back – I’d never, never tile over a heat mat without using a pourable liquid leveler. I may tear the whole thing out and do it again before I’m done.
But moving on…
Tiling was finished up to cover the whole floor. I used porcelain tiles here. They were originally meant for the bathroom, but found better ones.
This is the trim details for the basement door and the return air vent. I used a wood vent instead of one of those stamped metal dudes. It’s screwed in with 4 wood plugs in the corners if I ever need to remove it for cleaning. It is a grille design that will match the refrigerator grille. Both will be visible as you enter towards the kitchen. Obsessed with pre- visualization, don’t you think?
Here is the start of the wainscoting detail by the back door. I used a Plaspro fiberglass door with a composite and aluminum frame to keep the maintenance low. There’s also a sill pan under to keep it watertight.
This is the wainscoting for the step side. In a small room I like to make the wainscoting asymmetrical to the room – not the same all around. So the step wall is taller. The top trim boards are also wider to keep the taller panel to scale. This way when you ascend the stairs to the kitchen the wall has some mass and detail.
Here is the ironing center door trim detail. This is an Iron Away A42 Ironing Center. It is a good design and folds out and swivels. It also has a place to plug in the iron and store it as well. The placement works out well, as there is plenty of room to go up the stairs with the board out. I like the unit, but the door is veneered MDF. It has a little warp to it and the piano hinge was poor quality. I used some thin trim stock to create the same shaker door design that will be on the cabinet doors. I’ll make another door at a later time. Maybe one with a black or white board in the top portion
The Maytag washer & dryer. We have a new set at our house now, but they are top loading. Not practical with the layout in this space – since the counters go over these things. Freestyle design has it’s consequences.
Of course I had to make it more difficult. I wanted a side venting dryer – to keep the dryer closer to the back wall. Two appliance stores said it couldn’t be done. “Well the manual shows it can be” nope – “well why is there a vent punch out on the side?” that’s for the models without the steam feature “The dryer has a steam feature?” yep. Here talk to the appliance service company. They gave me the same story – can’t be done.
So get out the tools.
Short story. It can be done.
But be careful what you wish for.
So the sink cabinet I’m building will have to have some fancy doodling to make servicing the dryer possible – there’s no way to remove the dryer once the granite counters go on top. What was I thinking? I would have rather had the vent in the back and sit out a couple more inches. But I’m not taking the dryer apart again.
So I reworked the cabinet so that the bottom side piece could be removed and the front face frame would come off – allowing the dryer with that pesky side vent to slide right out.
Sometimes I just gotta think these things out before I start building.
I’ll never learn.
Stick around. More to come.