There's P in the Bathroom!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 | 0 Comments

...and by "P" I mean PROGRESS!

The exterior grade plywood is down. Finally! We wanted to make sure that the subfloor was secure, so, using stainless steel deck screws (to avoid rusting problems), we screwed it every 8" into the joists(which miraculously enough not only were 16" on center, but were 8" wide and a couple were even doubled! That ought to be enough strength for a tile floor!).

After we got all the subfloor screwed in I consulted the forums* about how to stick down the Hardibacker. That's when I read that we should not screw the sub-subfloor into the joists. Tough nuts. It's staying put! I could not find a compelling reason to take up all the screws; go buy new, shorter screws; and re-do the whole floor. They said that there was a possibility of conflicting floor expansion causing popping/cracking in the floor. I will take my chances. I have seen tile jobs done in far worse conditions that are still looking fairly good years later.
I also read on the forums all these boo-hoos about the Hardibacker being impossible to score and snap. They were suggesting power saws -- which the manufacturer specifically says to avoid because of silica dust. I got the manufacturer recommended carbide bladed cutting tool and found that all their whining was unfounded. You do have to score it a few times, and we found that spraying the scored area with water really helped; but otherwise, it was simple.

If you ever find yourself in the market for one of these carbide cutters, please do yourself the favor of getting the ergonomic, cushy grip one (as seen here). It is a little more expensive, but OH! So worth it! It allows you to get the right amount of pressure behind your cuts, doesn't rip up your hands, and doesn't slip.

The Hardiboard took a long time to cut because we wanted to make sure that we cut it right the first time. Our walls are not square, which can make matching the shape difficult -- BUT I devised a method to allow us to match the skew of an area.

Using a large square (that's an L-shaped tool that is at a 90 degree angle), square up to any run in the area, draw a line across the area and make your measurements from that line. Take the longest length of one side of the line, measure in from the edge of the material that you will be laying in (I would add in a little extra to make the cutting go easier -- it was kind of a pain in the ass to try to snap off thin bits), square it and draw a line across the sheet. You will then use that line to start all your measurements from -- first from one side of the line and then the next. It really works! (I mean, that is if you had any clue what I just said.)

Look! We have a cut sheet of cement board in place! I feel like tile is just around the corner.

*I found A LOT of tiling forums during this project. SSB and I have been quite entertained and annoyed by them. Story to come later...


Leon J. de la Garza said...

wow, now im more then impressed..
i actually have no idea what you said near the end!

i speak english well.. but i'm not the best in technical english in any aspect..
except maybe computing, which is my field.. hehe

Words i have no clue what they are:
-impossible to score (dont understand "score" in this context)

i think thats it.. hehehe
i assume hardibacker and hardiboard are products... or something.. hehe well
good job!

Sylvana said...

Leon, that's OK. Most native speakers have no clue what any of that is either!

carbide is a kind of very hard metal that keeps a sharp edge for a long time.

Hardibacker/Hardiboard are brand names of cement sheeting/boards.

score in that context means to make a shallow cut to weaken the surface in a specific pattern so that when you try to snap the thing in half, it will follow that cut and you end up with the shape that you need.

a joist is a piece of wood that supports the floor. Cement floors don't need/have joists - the ground supports them.

Leon J. de la Garza said...

waiting for new post...


OldRoses said...

My bathroom floor is in urgent need of replacing and my toilet should also be reseated or whatever it is that you call it when the previous owners did such a piss poor job installing it that not only does it leak, but the seat doesnt' even sit right! Can I hire you guys?

Sylvana said...

Leon, I'm doing my best! ;)

OldRoses, I have a lot of people asking if we could do work for them, but I doubt that they would really want to live with our timelines! Although I guess I have heard some pretty bad stories of contractors taking MONTHS to finish a job IF they even finish it at all!
But we do a fantastic job. That and the low cost are the two main reasons that we do the work ourselves. plus, I just really like to do the work!!