Laundry room #1: Gut, clean and start repairs

Blog entry by Woodcanuck posted 05-30-2010 04:42 AM 6640 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Laundry room series no next part

Where to start? I’ve got a before picture hiding somewhere on my camera, I’ll probably post it as a project or throw it in as another post in the series.

Our laundry/furnace room is in the basement, roughly 12’x12’. The furnace takes up a little under one quarter of the space, no changes planned here. The rest needed work….a LOT of work!

Maybe I’ll start with the history. We had some drainage issues right behind the laundry room, creating a cycle of water getting in and flooding the laundry room. The house is 60 years old and never had a floor drain installed. I thought about it, but for a number of reasons opted not to pursue it at this time.

The consequences of the water are mostly obvious. A little mold, damp rotting 2’x4’s holding up warped hardboard walls. There were a series of attempts by prior owners to cover up ugly tile after ugly tile with a series of peel and stick layers covering those old plastic tiles glued down with nasty tar-like mastic. The water damage managed to unstick most of the tiles and resulted in removing them all at one point. Oh, and did I mention that the previous tenants didn’t mind mice roaming in the drop ceiling? Nice…very nice!

A few weeks back, I pulled down the wallboards and removed the cabinets. The ceiling and tiles are long gone.

The first thing in the fixing, was the yank out the rotting 2’x4’s and replace them with some of those fancy ‘blue wood’ 2’x’4’s. Not a huge job….one repair off the list.

Next came some wacky electrical work in the ceiling that needed to be cleaned up and rewired. Two down, with some extra light in the space. I’m not a big fan of fluorescent, but it works here.

If you’ve never had to remove the tar-like mastic they used to use…be very thankful! This took me 2 solid days of spreading nasty solvents on the floor and scraping, reapplying solvents, scraping some more and so on, until I got down the cement…then etching the cement and washing it all down. Decidedly NOT FUN!

Ok…with that done, I get to move on to tiling! My knees will never thank me for this effort, but my wife probably will.

Today was tile day. I’ve done a fair bit of tiling in my time, and I find it a satisfying thing to see at the end, but can’t say it’s my favourite job. A few hours on my knees mixing mortar, spreading mortar, laying tiles….swearing a lot….cutting tiles….breaking tiles…swearing some more….

The tiles are down now…not easy on a less than even floor with walls that are not quite square for some reason….but it’s done and I’ve earned the right to do some woodworking while the mortar sets up and I get to console my aching knees before subjecting them to grouting tomorrow night.

-- Ian - life's a game, if you don't play, you can't win

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