Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bathroom Countertop

Our tile masters, Doug and Shanna, are in Italy this summer. Besides missing them dreadfully, we are also on our own for so many of the finishing details. This includes all of the challenges that come with tiling countertops.

I was involved, although minimally, in the tiling of our bathroom shower with the artists, Doug and Shanna. I basically watched. And Scott and I did tile the bathroom floor together last Thanksgiving. Therefore, we decided it would be within the scope of our limited abilities to tile the bathroom counter, so we went to work with the design and installation of said countertop.

I wanted to tie the design to that of the shower, so, once again, we employed the use of the small glass mosaic tiles we found previously at Home Depot. In order to select an appropriate field tile, we attempted to match the darkest brown in the shower tile as well as the dark brown in the hickory wood of the cabinets. Contempo Tile in Salt Lake City had exactly what we needed. An order was placed and received, so we went to work. In less than three days, the project was completed, although not to the caliber of Doug and Shanna.

Using a jigsaw to cut the sink hole
Screwing the 3/4-inch exterior plywood to the counter
Adhering the cement backerboard to the plywood
Covering the counters and floor with protective plastic
Beginning the mosaic backsplash
Backsplash is finished
Beginning the field tiles
The last piece
Taping the walls before caulking
Scott and I installed the sinks and faucets. Phillip will hook up the water. The folks from Jones Paint and Glass will hang the mirror within the week, and we will put in the lights. Scott said the master bathroom will be the first room to be completely finished except for maintenance and remodel. I’m certain there will be no remodeling in our future.

Waiting for water and mirror

How Do We Know?

Years ago,when we first talked about building a house, I explained to Scott that it was not possible for me to live in the midst of a construction zone and that I wouldn’t be able to move to Torrey, on a permanent basis, until the house was “done.”

Four summers have passed, and we are now beginning summer number five. So many of the big part s of construction are finished. When I look around me now, I’m surrounded by, well, a house. So how do we know when it’s no longer a construction zone and is ready for full-time habitation?

For starters, the old and very used refrigerator that was once ensconced in the garage, is now abandoned and is presently awaiting a return trip to Logan to be turned in to the local utility company for a $35 rebate.
With much care and with the help of our tractor, we moved the new fridge from the garage to the house where it temporarily stands in the living room, waiting for the floor and counter top in the kitchen to be completed. Soon it will take up its permanent position within the kitchen triangle so prominently discussed in all of the kitchen design books I’ve read.

Scott said we are definitely passed the construction boot camp stage of building since we can actually raid the refrigerator in the middle of the night without having to traipse across the property, dodging mortar mixers, pools of water and piles of dirt to get to the fridge in the garage.

To me, though, one of the most telling signs was the installation of our oven. For four full summers we have been unable to bake anything other than an occasional but mouthwatering peach cobbler in the dutch oven. Scott and our electrician, Trent Hunt, recently installed our oven.
The very next morning I baked muffins...
and we enjoyed breakfast at a dining room table with a new rug under our bare feet.

We know we’re getting close.

Help From the North

Our good friends from Logan, Bryan and Jean, arrived to help us again. I don’t know why they keep coming except for the fact that they are, indeed, good friends. Every time they are here, we have a long list of things for them to work on, and most of the items on the list are not very much fun. That’s why they are on the visitors list.

This time Bryan and Jean cleaned and organized our garage. Jean helped take a huge load of garbage to the dumpsters set up at the town hall for community clean up days. Bryan painted the porch bench with beeswax. When they were finished, for one brief moment, there was even room for a car in the garage.

Meanwhile, Scott participated in a little deconstruction by removing the old test color palette from the side of the garage. Does this mean there is a finished future for the garage as well?

The best part of Bryan and Jean's visit was their good company and the hike we took together to the petrified wood “forest” just outside of town.

Before we knew it, they completed the list and were off to work on projects of their own.