Monday, August 23, 2010


This morning I woke to find my legs in really sore shape. I felt like I had just ran a marathon. Over the weekend, I paneled the walls in the bathroom. For every piece that i put up, i made about 2 or 3 trips, up and down the stairs from the bathroom to the garage, to test-fit and re-cut, before finally attaching. OK, well there may have been an occasional stop at the fridge for a beer in between.

Once I got all the lines laid out, it went pretty smoothly over all. The recessed panels themselves are made of ½” mdf sheets, which I pre-primed and screwed to the studs. It goes on kind of like installing sheets of drywall, except you have to be a bit strategic about where you put your screws, since you’ll want to eventually hide all the screwheads with the stiles and rails.

Next, I finally put the table saw that I bought 3 years ago to some use. I ripped a ½” sheet of mdf into 4” strips to use as my stiles (vertical bars). Again, some forethought needs to be put into the design. For inside corners, one stile will need to be 4.5” wide as it will be overlapped by the opposing stile. On the outside corner, I mitered the stiles at a 45ยบ angle so that I wouldn’t have any exposed mdf edges. The stiles were attached with some wood glue and a pin nailer.

With all my stiles installed, I measured and cut out all the rails (horizontal bars), and put them into place, again using glue and a pin nailer.

At this stage your wall will look like a tic tac toe board of mdf. I found it much easier to prime and paint while the surfaces were still flat (i.e. before putting on any decorative mouldings). Depending on the layout you’ve planned and the look you’re going for, you can dress it up with mouldings, or you can even leave it at just the stiles and rails for a shaker-style paneled look. In my case I wanted to add some extra depth and architectural interest, so I’m using a raised bolection moulding around all the panels, and a chair rail that goes around the room. To finish off where the paneling meets the floors and ceilings, I’ll also use baseboard and crown moulding.

Here it is painted and with the bolection moulding around all of the panels:

In the above shot i hadn't installed the chair rail, but here's a look at the opposite wall with some of the chair rail and some of the baseboard in place (this little alcove is where the new toilet is going to live):

My overall cost to do floor-to-ceiling paneling was about $600 or about $28/linear feet. My mouldings and ½” mdf sheets were all purchased from Central Fairbank Lumber.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Problem Solved

Last week i was in a bind, because i had 5 doors that i didn't want and no where to dispose of them. Well after placing a Kijiji ad for free doors, i received over 20 replies from all sorts of takers. I decided to give the doors to a gentleman named Mark, who is renovating a 130 year old farmhouse in Apsley Ontario with his wife. I'm glad the doors are gone, and even more glad to know that they are going into another century building.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Internet to the Rescue

We found ourselves in a bind this week. We are replacing all the original single panel doors in our house with...Well new single panel doors. Knowing this we had set them aside and arranged to have them, and some other items donated and picked up by Habitat for Humanity's Restore. Unfortunately yesterday the guys from Restore came and picked up everything but the 5 matching doors, they left a note saying they were over-stocked on this style. So we now have 5 doors that we don't want, and the dumpster that we ordered for our demolition waste was picked up long ago.

Hopefully the internet will come to our rescue. I've posted an ad on Kijiji, but in case there are any readers out there who just might have some use for 5 solid wood single panel doors, they're free for the taking. And yes those lovely brass door knobs are included.

Below are some pictures of the doors:

Monday, August 2, 2010


Happy-sad - that’s how I felt recently when I saw a Globe and Mail article about a renovation by Style at Homes’ editor-in-chief Erin McLaughlin. My vision for our current bathroom renovation, involved using 6” x 18” carrara marble tiles laid in a herringbone pattern. So I was sad to see that she had beaten me to the punch. I was however happy, and frankly patting myself on the back, for being on the same brain wave as her and happier still to see that her finished floors are every bit as gorgeous as I imagined in my mind’s eye. Anyhow, here’s how mine went down:
I prep'ed the floor to make sure it was rock solid. I glued and screwed new plywood over the old 3/4 inch subfloor. I then thin-set and screwed down 1/2 inch cement board. In my case i wanted heat, so i ran Warm Tiles wires.
Laying the heated floor wire and thermostat was easy. Yup that is indeed my right big toe in the bottom of the photo:

Then i put a scratch coat of thin-set mortar over that to protect the wires and give a nice level flat surface to tile on.

Then came time for the pretty stuff. I started by laying out the pattern and marking the lines.

Et Voila!

Next comes the grout. I'm going with a dark grey.