Friday, 29 August 2014

Big leaps!

It's been a full-on couple of weeks since the last update. I had been continuing to install the plasterboard walls on the second floor, but when our friend Sace turned up with the panels for the kitchen floor heating, the focus switched completely to that.

Over most of a day, we put down a thin layer of expanded clay aggregate to level out the hollows left by my poor attempt at a liquid screed, followed by the panels you see below. Once these were down, five heating loops were laid.

We had intended to pour a liquid screed (pumped this time, not mixed by hand), but when we checked the levels, we has less than the 40-45mm clearance recommended by the manufacturer. I have to admit, the liquid screed was more or less a plan B, as we thought it'd be cheaper and we'd have enough height, but originally, we'd discussed a synthetic resin screed, which is what we fell back to. Sace made a few calls, and the next day someone came over to have a look and give us a quote. Three days later, they came a did it. The results were... spectacular.

The beauty of this system  is that it needs no drying out time. So the next day, it was ready to be tiled. Also, you can go fairly thin, down to 1cm or so (we had 3 to 4cm).

If feels so weird having a perfectly level surface to walk on in the kitchen, after about three years of something resembling the surface of the moon.

This of course took away the last large barrier to our kitchen plans. Long-term-readers may recall we ordered our kitchen over 2 years ago, so it was time to revisit that, check the equipment still existed, and make some minor changes. I'll come to that in another post (it's worth it).

But of course, everything else needs to be done before the kitchen install, not least the floor tiles. But before that, the walls and ceilings need to be complete. Right now, the beams are all oiled, and the clay plater has been treated with a silicate-based "primer". The plasterboard walls and ceilings have been jointed and filled, and I've tried my hand at skim-coating the rest of the walls, with fairly decent results.

The skim-coating and filling has also continued into the living room, and once all of this gets some slight sanding and some corners cleaned up, we're actually ready to start decorating!Well, that and the window sills need to go in first.

So, quite a lot of progress in the last three weeks, but the next couple of weeks will be mostly filling, skimming and sanding, I fear.

And for those who like a proper commentary, here's a short walk-through of the first floor as of today. Click here for a large version.

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