Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday's project...surprise!

We just can't pass up the opportunity (and time block) to really get some work done on this place! This, being my weekend off, is the perfect time block to make a dent in the list of things being done. While some projects are necessary - need to keep the rain out, need to make sure the house is a little easier to heat and cool; some projects need to be done just for the sake of fun and decor! We've been hard at the window glazing thing for a while, and are nearly done with the windows in the sunroom. Dean will freely admit that even though we're getting good at that job, "It's still not fun." Today we started a "fun job"!

I have wanted to pull out the carpeting in front of the fireplace, and install a slate hearth, since I moved into this house in February '06. I had even peeled back a small section in front of the fireplace, to see what was under the carpeting - to my delight I found a cement "hearth" that would make the perfect underlayment for slate tile. That's where the project has been for over two years. Aaahh....but not any longer! Today we managed to get into it enough to reach the 'point of no return' (the point where you are committed to doing the job because you can no longer repair what you have done!). Here is a nice little "before" shot that Dean took. The cats, Annie and Atticus, are wondering what Mom and Dad are up to this time, needless to say. But, this is how the carpeting looks in front of the fireplace - or I should say "how it looked". I had picked up the slate tiles this past Spring, with the plan of doing this job this year. Of course, to cut slate tiles you have to use a diamond blade/wet saw - which I didn't own. After much procrastinating we found one at Menard's on sale for a reasonable price which I bought this past week. Having never used a wet saw I had no idea of what to expect. Of course, Dean has a vast experience in using wet saws so he was the "pro" on this job! Before getting to the cutting stage, however, we had to peel back more of the carpeting to expose the area around the cement base for the hearth. Anyone who has been in earshot of me, in the past couple of years, knows how I have been whining about wanting hardwood flooring in this house. As we peeled back the carpet, and then the padding from the area around the fireplace imagine my surprise to uncover hardwood floor!!! We had no idea what was under there, and I was certain that it was plywood we would find! Before getting too excited -- we don't know what kind of condition the entire room of wood flooring is in, and we can't very easily find out at this time. The room would have to be emptied of all furniture - and then there's the question of the condition of the subfloor (as the room does have a definite slope to it) -- the list of concerns go on and on. I hadn't planned on putting hardwood in the living room, though it gives me a bit of 'hope' for what may be under the carpeting in the bedrooms. At this point in time, we will be content to know that it's under there and available for our consideration in the future. From what we have seen, the entire room would have to be sanded (the floor that is, not the walls), and then finished. Not a project to be taken lightly! After our amazing discovery we continued with our prep work for the slate hearth. Finally the hour arrived to fire up the wet saw and give it a go! WOW!!! I mean, really, WOW!!! Dean cut the first couple of tiles, and then I took my turn at giving it a go. It was like cutting butter with a hot knife! As I told Dean, "I see a lot of tile in our future! This saw is going to Tucson with us!" We have most of the tiles laid out, but more to cut and fit in place around the little tricky bits - which we will work on tomorrow before we put the adhesive down. This is how it's looking at the moment. Tomorrow we should have more pictures, and more progress!

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