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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Throwback: DIY Laundry Basket Nook

In the Ravenna we have a small nook in our laundry area that is meant to house a laundry sink as an option but then you have nowhere to store dirty clothes, some owners have even removed the nook altogether in favor of a larger master closet. If you dont get the sink, that area is too small to fit a 30" vanity cabinet that could be used for a decent folding station.

So after being inspired by a solution I found on the net, I was able to convert this area to house 3 laundry baskets to hold dirty clothes. Above them is a ventilated shelf above that for hanging things. Future plans include some sort of flat surface for folding.

To build you will need:
- (3) 2-bushel size Sterilite laundry baskets. I got them from Walmart for $8 each.
- (3) 1x2x8 pine cut into (8) 19" pieces for the side supports + (1) 24" piece for the rear support of the countertop
- 3" wood screws

A height of 13" in between each support works well.

For some finishing,
- Add a strip of felt fabric for each support to help making sliding easier,
- Dowels inserted two-thirds towards the back of the side support strips to create mild "stops" for the pulling out of the baskets
- Shoe molding or something for the front edges for a more polished look
- Curtain or some decorative window panel to hide them if you like leaving your laundry door open

I re-purposed some wood strips I had left over from another project

Its a really simple way to achieve a load of convenience...dirty clothing optional

Friday, July 31, 2015

Faucet Failure!

Well, this one was quite the surprise...hearing an early morning bath running...a bit odd, but ok. About an hour later noticing..."why is the bath still running?"  Opening the door revealed that the bath was running full blast with the handle in the OFF position! Ugh, its always something.

I have heard about this type of thing happening have never had to deal with it myself.

You can choose to turn off the house water but do not need to. As there are screws behind the plate that act as valves for the incoming lines for this handle.

First remove the handle with an allen/hex wrench and unscrew this black piece (center screw) pay attention to its positioning.

Under the black piece are two white pieces stuck together, one has a protruding tab that is pointing to about 1:00 on a clock and the other (behind it) is pointing straight up. Remove them, remembering what was pointing where. Remove the metal sleeve

This is what the two white pieces look like

You will now see what is called the cartridge, this is what has failed. Directly to the left and right of the cartridge are the two screw valves that will stop the water.

First remove the retaining clip with a pair of pliers

Then insert a flat head screwdriver next to the white piece you see here and pry it outward, once you get it moving then pull it the rest of the way out with pliers. No water should come out of here when its removed if the valves are turned off.


This is the cartridge, $40, reverse the steps and you'll be up and running in about 15 minutes.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Basement Bathroom 2.0

The next step in the basement adventure was finishing the roughed in full bath. This will give us a total of 4 bathrooms which will be a great selling point and plus entertaining in the basement will be a lot easier with facilities down there.

In addition to the water lines and drains they finished all of the drywall which made my life much easier. The fun began when I started to scope out how I was going to wire the entire room starting with one solitary outlet, no lights, switches, fan mechanism or anything.

I didnt take any pics while the electrical was being done but you can see a few of the many holes/patchwork I had to do to fish wires all over the room and the beginning of the sconces that will flank the sink/mirror.

Total cost: ~$1000

We decided to go with a wood tone accent wall. Was thinking about a reclaimed theme like fellow Ryan bloggers dwtimes2.blogspot.com but didn't have a decent resource close to here so it was cost prohibitive.

After much cutting and banging the full wall is done. The pedestal sink and builder mirror are there just for placement and will be gone shortly :) Still need to find a good stain for the edge trim.

Here is the new floating vanity and modern faucet installed. Now its sitting on a bucket as I had some plumbing to do to get everything running properly.

When the vanity went in, being that this space is typically meant for a pedestal sink, there wasnt much elbow room next to the toilet. Which means only one thing (since we love the vanity)...move the toilet drain!

It was a little intimidating at first, but after I got the hang of the jack hammer, it was actually kind of fun :)  I needed to move it to the right about 6-8".

Goodbye, old toilet flange...

While I was doing the toilet, I took a look over at the other side of the room which had the shower drain, which was VERY inconveniently installed right up against the wall. That is completely incompatible with any shower pan so this drain needed to be adjusted as well and since I already had the jack hammer running... :-)

Sink now hung, faucet, water lines and drain fully functional

Started tiling the floor, stopped right before the shower drain while we figure out whats going to happen there.

We decided on a neo-style frameless corner shower stall with privacy glass, very modern looking.
This is just a test placement for spacing measurements. The door swings very wide so were thinking about an alternative idea for the entrance.

The one thing they didn't do was put the water resistant drywall behind the shower, ugh. So I purchased a couple of Wonderboard cement sheets which is required since the tile and grout are permeable and will not protect the wall from getting wet and generating mold.

I have seen people install the cement board right on top of drywall which  makes a little bump out that would be a pain to tile so in order to make the new boards even with the wall I needed to remove the exact size and insert the cement into the cut out.

Inserted, taped and mortar applied.

Now the cement walls and floor need to be waterproofed in case of any leakage. Risk is reduced due to this being the basement with a cement floor, but mold is always a concern. 
Redgard is the standard product for this process and is readily available. Unfortunately, its $50/gallon.

You simply paint two or three coats of it on the floor and a few feet up the walls and it dries as a rubber 100% waterproof membrane. You could paint the entire wall but it is really meant to protect areas from sitting/pooling water which would really only happen near the bottom. Properly grouted and sealed tiles should handle any other moisture. I covered the seams as well for an added layer of of protection at those vulnerable points. 

It goes on light pink and dries to a bright pink/red. Wait for each coat to dry before applying additional ones and carefully examine corners and joints for missed/exposed spots.

Let the tiling begin!

Shower pan foundation in place. If youre making your own like us be VERY detailed in your measurements and angles. These are 22.5 degrees for this layout.

Complete the tile...


Left the center tiles open to handle the plumbing handle/shower head
Nice mosaic accent tiles for this area. 

And details for the bottom front edge of the pan which gets covered in cement board and Redgard for a complete waterproof pan

Cement board going around the edge of the pan

Cover the seams in fiberglass tape and mortar

 Now I needed to add some slanted pipe and joins to move the drain further away from the wall as I really had zero clearance.

Filled with gravel aggregate, always keep a bag in your drain to keep things from falling in there.

Cemented and graded just a little to keep water from pooling in the corners

Now Redgard-ing the floor again up over the edge of the pan sides for an additional waterproof layer. The sealant goes all the way to the edge of the drain.

The square shaped Kohler drain is a 3-piece gadget which raises the floor of the shower about 1-1/4".
So I added two additional layers of cement board to gain some height.

Taped for protection

More Redgard applied

I went up the tile about a 1/2" just for overkill

The red on the sides will be covered up with edging tile cuts

Now the pan is ready for tile, laid some out for a visual, and started the decorative front edge

Adds some nice character to the front

Top edge tiled with flooring pieces.

Just keep swimming...


Now to get some water running in here. First comes the shower valve and rainfall head.

Handle on

Of course the 2x4 hit exactly in the middle of the plumbing space, had to trim it, will replace cross piece when done.

Plumbing done, a 2x4 goes behind this piece for stability

Door, rainfall shower head.

Looking sexy :)

Toilet drain all buttoned up and ready for install


Still toying with the idea of darker wall color and leaving the trim its natural color as it kind of fits the palette. And YES, that oval builder mirror is on its way out as soon as we find something suitable.

Next up: Showcase Wall & Deck 3.0!