Well, digital life is finally catching up with real life at the cottage. I spent most of yesterday painting doors and trim in the laundry room. It needs one more day of work, and it’s hard to find the hours in the day, what with regler work demands. So writing about the laundry room has become performance art, not just construction. Live performances add an element of tension to an act. Can he finish? Will he finish? Who cares about some laundry room in a benighted burgh at the edge of the map? I dunno. But we must press on.
We’re in the portion of the proceedings where I need to say, and then a miracle occurs, and lots of things appear magically. The ceiling is insulated and drywalled and filled with downlights and painted. The walls are all in place, taped and mudded, sanded and painted. The finish electrical is mostly done. That’s a 220-volt plug for the dryer, with a “periscope” vent sticking out of the wall near the floor. The vent is a long, rectangular hot air chicane that transfers the dryer exhaust straight down into the carhole ceiling, where it takes a left and makes its way outside to a vent hood. The hot and cold water lines are salvaged hoses with braided steel jackets. I don’t bother with regular rubber ones. Bound to fail. These are something like 30-years-old and going strong.
What’s that thing in the corner, you ask? Where did that come from? Where do I get one?
It’s very simple. If you’d like a laundry (slop) sink in your house, simply build a gas/station convenience store, receive too many sinks for the utility area in a botched order, try to return one, get told to throw it away because shipping it back costs more than it’s worth, and then save it in your basement for fifteen years or so. Then install it on top of tile left over from the platform your pellet stove sits on, in front of subway tile left over from your bathroom remodel. Easy.
If you’re wondering why there’s suddenly an oil slick or something on the floor, it’s because we got lucky at the Orange Place again. No, there are no common streetwalkers at the Orange Place – yet. I’m referring to the aisle they keep for stuf nobody wanst no more cuz it aint fancy or nuthin and its marked down an sheeit. I’m fairly certain the sign didn’t say that exactly. I’m paraphrasing. But I’m capturing the vibe, trust me. They had some dreadful lay and click not-particularly-wood-looking-wood-look stuff for less than the cost of the pad you’re supposed to put under it. I wasn’t going to get a bahgan like that, and then hand it right back, so we found a cheap vinyl sheet that will do the trick for a pad. We bought a big pile of super-cheap flooring, all they had, and it was just enough to do the room.
Either I’m moving too fast to be photographed clearly, or my wife is taking the pictures again. I know which way I’d bet. We laid in a threshold piece to start the festivities. We’ll put the doorframes and baseboards in after the floor is in. We made all the wood trim out of lumberyard pine. If you strategically cut out all the worst knots, it makes great paintable trimwork. We’ll install them already primed and painted, and then just give them one more coat in place to finish the job.
If you’ve never laid a floor like this, it’s kinda comical. It slides all around on the trash bag pad it sits on. I pulled it out away from the wall quite a bit to work on it, and then slid it back in. It’s supposed to be able to move around some with temp and humidity changes. We were doing a lot of measuring here, to save as much waste as possible. There was barely enough, and you couldn’t get any more if you messed anything up. It concentrates the mind.
The spare heir did a lot of the floor. It’s easy and almost fun. Almost. There’s a tongue you fit into a groove, and sort of hinge it down to lock it. To connect the ends, You put a block on one end and bang on it with a hammer until the tongue slides along the groove in the long dimension to join the butt ends. That’s what the lad is doing in the pitcha.
Once we’re past the platform for the sink, the floor is clear sailing. We had to build the platform because the floor was too out of level to plop the sink directly on it. We can level the washer and dryer with their adjustable legs, but the sink would look weird up on stilts. Besides, I’m tall-ish, and raising it a bit helps when I’m washing out paint brushes in it.
There’s a loop of yellow romex wire sticking out of the wall. Insulated copper wire is color coded. White is 14-gauge wire, suitable for 15-amp circuits. Yellow is 12-gauge wire, suitable for 20-amp circuits. The smaller the number, the bigger the wire. Don’t ask, me I didn’t come up with the naming scheme for copper wire. That wire will have a baseboard electric resistance heater attached to it after the floor is in. If you see a loop in a wire like this, it usually means that it’s going to serve more than one fixture. There will be another baseboard heater on the other side of the wall. These heaters will probably get very little use, because electric heat costs more than bad government. But in a pinch, we can keep the towels from freezing solid in the washer if we have to.
Later that same day, we got the laundry back in service. Mrs. Cottage took one of her famous fuzzy photos to commemorate the event. The floor needs additional work around the trap door to the carhole. We’ll get to it.
[To be continued. Thanks for reading and commenting. Don’t forget to recommend Sippican Cottage to your friends, buy a book, or hit the tip jar. It is greatly appreciated]