Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Thinkin’ Old Timey Like

Still no tile. UPS usually comes late to my house, so it still could show up today. I’m really itching to get the tile finished. Looking at the half wall is starting to bug me. Not to mention my one missing tile on the other wall.

To keep the project moving forward I started installing lath today. This will be my 3rd plastering job and will determine if my success with the first room was a fluke or not. The upstairs bathroom was my first attempt at plastering and it came out great. The kitchen, my second room, gave me more trouble. Both rooms were a mix of new and old plaster, and some major and minor repairs to the old plaster. This room is all from scratch, so it should be very interesting.

I’m removing the lath from the ceiling of the butler’s pantry and laundry room to use in the bathroom. The laundry room will be a redwood paneled ceiling (Don’t get too excited. It’s not nearly as fancy as it sounds) and the butler’s pantry will be a tin ceiling, so they won’t need the lath.

I immediately ran in to a few problems. First, the nails. They used an inch and a quarter wire nail in 1895 to put the lath up. All nails are either cut or wire nails. Cut nails are the old style flat iron nails. Modern wire nails can be broken down further to Box, Common, Casing, or Finish, and then you have Brads.

The modern equivalent of an 1895 wire lath nail is sort of like a panel nail (small finish nail). It is very thin but has a standard looking head on it. It's like a fat brad with a large head. They sell them at Ace and they are $2.99 for a box of 50! I would probably end up paying nearly $40 in nails to get the lath up. Ain’t gunna happen.

They also had panel nails that were only 99 cents for the same sized box. The panel nails are not quite as thin as the wire nail, and they have a slight head on them, more like a finish nail. I was standing there in Ace looking at these when it dawned on me that I could just use my pneumatic brad nailer. I already have a box of 2-inch slight head brads. It was another one of those “slap forehead” moments.

I was concerned that the brads might not be enough to hold the lath on the wall, but they are plenty. It takes several good tugs to rip the lath off the wall. It is about the same as ripping off the original lath, and I won’t be doing a ceiling, just the walls above the tile.

The other small issue I discovered today was that when I put in the outlet and the water pipe for the toilet I was thinking like a sheet rock hanger and not like a lath hanger. I’m going to need to add a little more framing around these two things.

Maybe you can see in the picture that there is nothing to secure the lath too around these two items. In the center is the hole for the medicine cabinet, and then to the left there is an outlet and to the right is the water source for the toilet. I need to have something just to the left of both of those items to nail the lath to. It’s not the end of the world.

I’m going to go buy plaster on Thursday and hopefully start slathering it on the walls this weekend. It is a very big deal for me. Not just because I’m going to see if I really can plaster, but it will really define the space. Nothing says improvement like covering up framing.

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