Monday, March 26, 2007

Moments Of Doubt

You’re not paranoid if you really do screw up.

When doing finish work, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think there’s some crucial thing I’ve forgotten, or didn’t think through all the way. It seems to happen with every project. Part of it is that I’m a little paranoid, but the other part is that I hate to do things over, so I’m constantly trying to think three moves ahead so I don’t miss anything.

Yesterday I started to tile around the wall mounted heater. I got 2 and a half rows up around the base of the heater and that’s when I quit for the day. Last night I’m laying in bed and I thought that I should make sure the tile is close enough to the heater so that the face plate covers the tile ends. I had the heater body mounted in the wall and I just tiled as close to it as I could, right up to the edge of the mounting flanges on either side.

Well, today I tried to mount the face plate on and it wouldn’t fit. The screws were too short and they wouldn’t reach the holes in the heater body that was mounted in the wall. As I said, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know something’s going to go wrong. I can just feel it. Immediately I begin to panic.

OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod. It won’t fit. It won’t fit. It won’t fit. This totally sucks. I’ve screwed up big time.

Then I took a breath and thought, no, I didn’t screw up, I just need to bring the heater body out some. It’s just like with electrical outlets after tiling. They need to be extended out so the face plates will fit on.

I had held the face plate up to the heater and saw that the tiles I had set would be fine, but just barely. The tolerances were very tight. I got a little irritated that the manufacturer didn’t leave more room. This is an antique Peerless heater. I was only able to make shims that were the same thickness as the cement board because the tile had to come so close to the mounting flanges. It was a little frustrating.

I made the shims and reinstalled the heater body and the screws still wouldn’t fit. I panicked again, and once again calmed down. I had to make another set of shims that were so small because the had to fit just behind the mounting flange. I started to make them and I didn’t feel good about it at all. Something was just not right here. Peerless made thousands of these heaters. They should not need this much tweaking for installation.

After several trial and errors with playing with the sizes of the shims it suddenly dawned on me that the shims I ended up with were exactly the thickness of the tile. Ding! The light goes off.

What I should have been doing is tiling all the way to the edge of the heater body and then the mounting flanges would sit on top of the tile. You then screw through the tile and in to the framing. It doesn’t matter how tight the tolerances are because the tile goes behind the mounting flanges.

So basically I wasted an hour today screwing with the heater. The first 3 rows are tiled just to the mounting flanges. I will need to use my screwy shims for the bottom two screws. The top 3 and a half rows will be done correctly.

Slap forehead!


Climbing the wall

Welcome to the jungle


Georgetown House said...

Welcome to the jungle?!? That looks like some barkeep's torture chamber!!

I'm glad you solved your problem!

John said...

Well, wasting an hour always sucks, but, in the grand scheme of things, it isn't too bad. I mean, you did come up with a very simple solution to the problem. It's a lot better than having to reframe the whole opening or something equally evil. Besides, the tile is looking awesome.

Karen said...

Wow you really are going full speed with the tile. It looks great! Talk about instant gratification.
Thanks for the Mort video. I think that's how he shows his love for you. After all he is a Street Fightin Man and not a sissy Mary. Ha Ha

I'm glad he's OK.