Monday, February 6, 2012

Plumbing, HVAC and my Backsplash!

It's Monday, which means another busy week of work on the house. We're t-minus 11 days from move-in. We are so excited!

The first floor laundry platform was built today. It will be painted white. The 5" or so of height will make the side-by-side washer and dryer easier to use from a wheelchair, and will be easier on the back of all who use it.

Big decision in the kitchen was where to put the instant hot dispenser. We wanted it by the prep sink since it'll be closer to the tea cabinet and cooktop. I finally decided to put it on the right side, but centered.

The bench for the in-law shower today. Originally, we were going to tile in this shower with wheel-in accessibility. But then we found this shower, which will work pretty well for us for now. This is exactly the set up I needed after my last surgery. Of course, then we realized that we lost a couple of feet when the duct work had to go in, so it all worked out well. The decision today was where to put the handheld shower. We chose to put these in all three showers for ease of cleaning, but it was especially important in this bathroom. We decided to put the handheld shower on the outside of the shower rather than the inside  since the water will go toward the back, and because if someone is using it to clean or assist someone, they won't have to reach all the way in to get to it.

Another decision made today is to not use the vessel sink. It's just too high for ADA standards, so we're going to see if we can still use a regular undermount sink like we have in the other vanities. The whole reason we got the vessel sink was because we originally thought we were going to have the plumbing coming out of the wall, not the floor. We conveniently forgot that the bathroom is against the concrete ICF wall and garage. Oops.

Speaking of ICF, the one major disadvantage to ICF walls (and it's quite minor compared to all the advantages) is that moving electrical lines can be difficult. You want to make sure your electrician knows what he's doing! Fortunately, ours does. This is a close up of the command center, where I added a new line for additional lights.

A quick peek at our bathroom fixtures. This is the Moen Eva One Handle High Arc Faucet. We chose the one handle over the two handle partly for convenience and partly for ADA-ease. It's a lot easier to adjust the temperature when you only have one handle to adjust. We have a two handle faucet in our apartment and are constantly burning our hands!

Another burning question today. To use the base of the faucet...

Or not?

Here's the thing, D is most excited to see:
No more port-a-potty!
We installed all dual flush toilets, Aquia II from Toto, which are Water Sense labeled. Since we haven't had to pay for water before, we're very happy to water efficient plumbing fixtures. If you haven't used dual flush toilets, it's easy to remember, push the #1 button (the smaller one) for #1s, and the number #2 for #2. In addition to using less water overall (1.6 gallons per flush), it gives the option of using even less water for liquid waste (.9 gpf). For perspective, the average non-Water Sense labeled toilet uses between 3 and 5 gallons per flush.
Our handrails went up today. They look great! I'm so glad we went with espresso instead of white.
Going down to the basement.
Going upstairs.
And back to the main level.
Two of our thermostats went in today. Another energy-saving feature we included with the build is zone heating and cooling. Our house is divided into four heating/cooling zones: the upstairs, the basement, the in-law suite, and the rest of the main level. Each zone is controlled separately. So, we can set the temperature upstairs (where the bedrooms are) for a comfortable sleeping temperature at night, and a more conservative temperature for the rest of the day. We can heat the basement only when we use it. We made the in-law suite a separate zone so we don't have to worry about heating or cooling when we don't have guests.

The HVAC team was busy installing registers in all the rooms, including this one above the pantry. 
We had wanted this one centered, but the framing didn't let us.
And then, the highlight of our day came from Tim, our tile guy: My backsplash!!

First, I had to decide on the grout color. Platinum, on the right, was too blue, so it was easy to eliminate that one.

I decided on Snow White, which is not quite as bright as the other choice, which is fittingly called Bright White. Snow White is on the left in the above photo.

So I'll always remember:

Getting to work:

The first "square" is up! I didn't intend to match my paint with the backsplash, but I'm glad I did.

Here's the progress as I was leaving to take a tired boy home. I. LOVE. IT.

Now I'm just waiting for Niels to get home for a crisis-averting day at work so we can see the rest of the day's progress...and see if we can have the bath faucets put in without the bases. Print this post


  1. The glass tiles are great! The green paper attached to the back created a beautiful illusion. Did you try other colors aside from green? I bet yellow is cool with it too. And I love how everything is made convenient. Does your grey water pipe have a separate end point from your black water pipe or toilet pipe?

    Darryl Iorio

    1. There are several colors available in the Solistone line, but we knew we wanted green (Carrollton)

      We were not able to do a gray water system due to local code.

  2. Hey,

    Do you know how far your flange was from the wall on your toilet? That Toto Aquia toilet looks great and I'm considering buying one myself. I'm faced with a small challenge in that my flange is 11 3/4" from the wall instead of the required 12".

    I saw you had some room behind your Toto and was wondering if your flange is exactly 12" from the wall.

  3. Good question... At this point it is pretty much impossible for me to answer down to the 1/4"... as the toilet bowl is kinda sitting over top of it.. ;-)

    However, measuring from the wall to where I think the flange is appears to be at least 12" except for one bathroom were we had to switch to a Toto with a 10" round since we just couldn't make it work with the I-joists and the room layout.

    You can plan for a lot but somewhere down the line you run into these little things. But Toto as 10" rounds so we were still able to get what we wanted.

    Hope this helps...



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