First, we got the water heater working. I was elsewhere for this event so it didn't get photographed, but man was that first hot shower at home amazing! Finishing the vent stack for the water heater also enabled us to finish out the last of the laundry room/coat closet. We started by hanging the last drywall in that space, then moved on with the usual mud/sand/mud/sand exercise.
First coat of mud
Power panel ready for paint
Cement board ready for tile
We were up early the morning of the 23rd to lay tile before we left town for Wichita. We were supposed to be there for lunch, so the race was on! I managed to lay all the tiles we had cut and Jeremy was amazing and cut a couple of re-do's and a couple of extras so we got a little more done than we thought we would. Here's what it looked like when we left town:
When we got back, I knocked the levelers off so we could walk on it more easily. There was one tile that didn't stick in one corner that I had to re-lay, but the rest of the floor was solid. Woo hoo! I felt pretty good about that for my first attempt at laying tile. I got the tile grouted the day after Christmas and I think it turned out pretty well!
As my Christmas present to myself, I sealed up the coat closet studs and installed the coat hooks. I think our family must have 20 different coats and jackets that had been strewn around the house. It was driving me more than a little bit crazy! I feel much better now that they all have a home.
You can see the line of unfinished stud at the back
All sealed up and ready for hooks
The coats have a home!
Meanwhile, Jeremy worked on the stairs for most of December. You saw the rough cut treads in the last post. Each of them got sanded 3 times, shaped, cut to length, any cracks filled with wood epoxy, sanded again and then Jeremy got to start on the runners and go through all of it again! Once everything was sanded and test fit, he put 2 coats of tung oil on them and it really brought out the grain and beauty of the douglas fir. The result is so worth the weeks of work! We got them installed on the 22nd, although they were held together with pipe clamps. The treads will get pegged into the runners just like the knee braces everywhere else in the house. It was so nice to finally fold up the ladder we had been using to get to the second floor!
Treads with wood epoxy drying
Chiseling out tread slots
Assembling the finished stairs
The craftsman with his creation!
Now we are working on finishing the last of the sanding, mudding and painting downstairs and moving on with tile! Bit by bit, it is getting there.