Monday, February 2, 2015

We've Moved!

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New Laundry Room: Floor tile, Part 1

Whew, we made it out of January! February is the month of love and I am lo-oving the progress we made in our laundry room this past weekend.

A few weeks ago after selecting our cabinet color at Lowe's, I walked over to the tile section and immediately spotted this Leonia Sand porcelain tile:

It came in two sizes—12x24" and 6x24". I preferred the wood plank look so I decided on the 6x24" ($2.29/ea). The price was reasonable and I thought it looked lovely against the cabinet color, and that it would also be a nice way to add warmth to all the white, black and gray.

Saturday at 7am we were at Lowe's to buy all of the supplies, including a $90 wet saw (which ended up being too small for our tiles but we made it work anyway).

My dad has some experience in this arena so he was kind enough to offer to help for the day. We also did quite a bit of research along with consulting the staff at Lowe's to help us figure out the best plan of attack.

The first step was to prepare the surface. We went with HardiBoard cement board—it's a couple bucks more than the generic stuff but supposed to be much better.

I came up with this layout based on the room's floor plan (which were based on measurements from before the demolition began that ended up being larger than the actual size, so we used only 9 boards instead of 10):

We had never worked with this stuff before so I didn't know what I was in for, but it ended up being the easiest part. It breaks apart easily after scoring with a blade, so my job was to measure and score/cut the pieces to size...

while Brad and my dad screwed them into the plywood (using special cement board screws).

We were able to knock it out (problem free) in two hours. Teamwork!

Before setting the tile, we had to cover the seams with special mesh tape.

We did a dry test fit in a few areas to see if there would be any fitment issues. Fortunately, they lined up just perfectly that we didn't need to make any tricky cuts between the transition to the storage room:

With our layout in place, we snapped a chalk line where the first row would be placed along the wall:

Then one by one, it was mastic + tile...

The troweling process immediately brought back memories from our kitchen wall tile installation.

This floor tile was definitely easier since they are larger pieces and you don't have to fight gravity. We had these rows down in an hour:

Then things got a bit tricky. Since you can't walk on freshly laid tile, we couldn't just tile the storage room as there was no way out. So I had to become a bit of a gymnast—working in a counter clockwise pattern, planning my tiles and stepping in between empty patches until I could contort myself out of there.

Luckily it worked, and we had an efficient system running where my dad would cut the tiles, Brad would deliver them and help me spread mastic when needed, and I'd set the tiles. In 4.5 hours the room was done.

That's 4.5 hours straight of crouching for me which doesn't feel so great—but looking at our freshly tiled floor does!

They look quite a bit more gray in this room than in the store which I wasn't expecting but I guess I don't mind. They actually remind me a lot of our hardwood floors in the rest of the house.

Tomorrow we'll finish them off with grout and then it's on to the next project!

And on that note, if you've been following the updates you'll know that this is the last real post you'll see here at Tomorrow morning I'll make one final check in with a link to the new blog, so make sure to mark your calendars (there's also a giveaway involved!) Don't worry, the content will be exactly the same and I'll pick up right from where I left off, the only thing that's changing is the url (so you'll want to make sure to update that tomorrow in your reader/feed/bookmark/etc!)

See you back here tomorrow for the official launch!

Friday, January 30, 2015

New Laundry Rom: Beadboard wall, Paint & Lighting

Welcome to the latest installment of our laundry room reno! We made some great progress this week that has me quite excited for the end result. Everything (so far) is coming together as I had envisioned.

On Tuesday we left off with the storage room looking like this:

The original plan was to have a wall of Ikea Pax wardrobes but after purchasing them, I realized that I accidentally bought the 23" deep model rather than the 14" deep, leaving just 27" of walking space since the room is only 50" wide. Oops. Not only that, but the ceiling has to be a few inches taller than the wardrobe height so it can slide in after assembly and ours was an inch too short. So scratch that plan.

After some Pinterest-ing I came up with an even better solution of open wood shelving which I think will look much nicer and help the room feel more open (more on that soon).

Instead of drywall (which requires several steps and more $) we decided to create a focal wall behind the future shelves with beadboard. Normally I would not recommend nailing headboard directly onto 2x4's without any drywall or hard surface behind it for support, but since it's not exactly a functional wall it doesn't need to be reinforced.

All it took was two sheets of 4x8's, cut to size and nailed up.

Done in an hour... easy peasy.

Don't judge my crooked jigsaw cuts... it will be hidden with trim!

After patching & sanding the nail holes, it was time for paint. To save money I grabbed the can we used on the plank and panel walls in our bedroom and the studio, Valspar's Ocean Storm (in eggshell):

I think the contrast will be a nice break from all the white walls and allow the shelves and storage items to pop.

Once that was out of the way, it was on to painting all of the drywall. My vision for this room is airy, clean and refreshing (just like fresh laundry), so I naturally chose white for the wall color. We used Valspar Signature color matched to Kelly Moore's Swiss Coffee which is a nice neutral white.

Goodbye off-white drywall!

PS—our photographer neighbor stopped by last night with his camera and took some wide angle shots for us, so all of the non-iPhone photos in this post are from him!

Here's a never before captured angle from the back of the storage room:

And one of the entire cabinet wall:

We skipped the paint here since we plan to tile over it. But oh, look at the difference. A breath of fresh air.

Brad also hooked up two of our lamps on the washer/dryer wall.

I picked up four in-store at Lowe's in the outdoor lighting section. $30/ea—total bargain!

We have them on dimmers for a little laundry room "mood lighting".

And painting the walls did help the ceiling look more gray, so that's good.

First thing tomorrow we're headed to Lowe's to buy materials to tile the floor. We've never tiled a floor or installed cement board so we're total rookies and a little nervous about it (we also plan to buy our own tile saw since there will be future projects). Any tips would be much appreciated! 

Last but not least... I mentioned some big changes to this blog earlier and can now officially announce that this blog will be moving to next Tuesday, February 2nd!

The new design is in place, the final adjustments have been made and the site is finally ready to launch. I am so excited about the new design... here's a first exclusive look:

And there will be a giveaway involved! I'll have a new post up Monday with a quick laundry room update, and then a final post on Tuesday linking to the new blog once it is live. Exciting stuff next week all around!

Wish us luck in our tiling adventure (and make sure to catch our progress on Instagram!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Laundry Room: Painted Wood Ceiling

My favorite part of this process so far happened yesterday—a freshly painted ceiling! Before I get into that, let's talk about what else we've done in the past few days.

We still have this back wall of 2x4's in the storage room:

It needed to be insulated first, so Brad got to work on that Saturday morning (and left a nice little time capsule for someone to discover in 100 years):

Our plumber also came by to make sure the plumbing was ready to go and close up the washer/dryer box:

Then it was the (not) fun part... prepping the ceiling for paint. Now, we have no choice but to go for the rustic look here (which I love) but there were some major flaws in this wood. The goal was simply to patch and smooth out the areas that really needed attention (i.e. the 1" holes in the joists where old pipes were ran and the boards that were completely shredded...

This took quite a bit longer than I had expected (doesn't it always?)... I spent a few hours Friday night patching:

Then a few more on Saturday, including caulking everywhere the boards met the ceiling. Sanding was the biggest pain. Wood filler is much more stubborn than spackle, let me tell you!

I spackled/caulked/sanded for about 5 hours on Saturday before calling it quits. Sunday morning I made a few final touchups before our painter arrived. We hired this one out because it needed to be sprayed—we don't own a spray gun but we have a great painter that is extremely reasonable so it was worth every penny.

Oh, and staining the joists rather than painting crossed my mind for about 0.02 seconds but I decided against it because a) the whole goal was to make the ceiling appear taller, and all that dark wood would visually weigh it down, and b) there were so many imperfections that had to be filled that you would see it through the stain. Painting was the clear choice.

I wanted to keep it soft and light but instead of pure white, I decided to make things interesting and use the same barely-there gray on the walls in the rest of our house (Valspar's Montpelier Madison White—here's an old photo after it was painted for a good reference):

  And we're both loving the way it turned out...

Please ignore the rest of the ugly/distracting space right now... it's all about the vision :)

We had our painter spray the inside of the laundry box while he was at it. The inside shouldn't really be visible but you might catch a glimpse of it around the edges so it was done just to be safe.

I know the ceiling looks pretty white in these photos, but it's up against beige-ish walls so I think after I paint the walls white it will pop more.

Here's the view from inside of the storage room—and finally a nicely lit shot of both hard-to-photograph doors (with my iphone, no less):

And here's that storage room, insulated and ready for beadboard:

And the back wall to give you an idea of the size—it's small but I have some organization ideas, I'll make it work:

Usually paint will highlight all the imperfections on a surface which is why I spent so much time trying to patch everything up, but surprisingly, everything looks cleaner and less rustic than when it was just bare wood. Here's a direct before/after of a pretty bad peice:

Bam. How do you like those putty sculpting skills? I think it worked so well partly because the paint sheen is flat, it's a light color, and the lighting is shining below it rather than directly on it. And wow, the room feels like it almost doubled in size from the very beginning, even after we split it into two rooms... don't you think?

Same angle:

I know once we get the wall of cabinets in and washer/dryer installed it won't feel as spacious, but I'm loving how this project is shaping up. Let's hope we can keep this momentum going!

Now is also a good time to review our cabinet choices. Here's the mockup from Lowe's:

The sink will be different and there will only be one shelf centered on the right cabinet, but we've got the framework laid out and the cabinets should be ready in 3-4 weeks.

I chose this cabinet style—Diamond brand's "Hanson" style door:

In this color (Cloud):

It's a very pretty soft/warm gray and I can't wait to see how it looks with the lighting in that room.

On this week's agenda is installing beadboard on the back storage wall, painting it (in a dark gray) and painting all of the drywall white. That starts tonight! Hopefully by Friday it will be ready to share. Week 3—here we go!