Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Built-Ins Are Built In

Before anything, though, I got the heater hooked up and running, because this is, after all, June in Eureka. The days are pleasant, but the nights can get a bit chilly. This bathroom is on the west side of the house, and without the use of a heater, it takes a while to warm up.

The next issue was the door. I’ve been collecting period Eastlake doors for years, and I actually have more than I need. The problem is, I only have one 30-inch door, and it is majorly funkified. This thing may be beyond repair. The best thing it’s got going for it is the fact that it’s 2 and a half inches too short for the opening. After that, things go down hill quickly. It’s cracked, has chunks missing, and big dings in it. Still, it’s a 30-inch door so I hung it anyway. I like to know that the jamb is square and true before I put the trim on. It looks like I may end up cutting down one of my many 32-inch doors for the opening.

There is a mix of primer and paint in the pictures. I hope to start with the top coats tomorrow. It went pretty smooth putting the built-ins in. At this point the plan is to do hex tile counter tops. I would like to do marble, but I don’t have enough. I have enough for the small built-in, but not the larger one.

The casing and plinth blocks are original to the house. Some of the grand entry ways were reduced in size during the 1920s apartment phase. They cut down the trim to get it to fit to the newly reduced size doorways. I had new casing made for the re-enlarged openings, and this original stuff is perfect for things like this. In fact, this entire doorway, with the jambs, casing, and plinth blocks was the opening from the foyer to the front parlor before I took it out. The corner blocks are reproductions of the originals, so this looks exactly like all of the other doorways in the house.

I am really glad this is over. Next up will be the trim for the stained glass window. I’m doing a marble sill on that, so I need to borrow a friends tile saw to cut it. I’m not sure when that’s going to happen.


Anonymous said...

Love that heater! The whole thing is looking splendid!

aaron said...

Were the built-ins in your house originally? What's the story with those? I love that corner built-in cabinet. Do you have an extra one for my bathroom? :)

Anonymous said...

(At this point the plan is to do hex tile counter tops. I would like to do marble, but I don’t have enough. I have enough for the small built-in, but not the larger one.)

Well, you know what your faithful readers are going to say...get enough marble to do it all because it's the right thing to do in this bathroom.

It's looking great!

Greg said...


The story is, I made those bad-boys.

anonymous #1 - Thank you.

anonymous #2 - I know, I know. I actually do have enough, it's just not wide enough. I have one long peice of marble to work with. I'm thinking about a 2-part top for the corner unit, but that just doesn't seem right.

Anonymous said...

you are teh man. it looks beautiful. buy the marble. you know how you are. git it. after your labors on the tile, dude, you deserve it. you might be being penny wise there.

Al said...

Caution: self serving comment below.

I have a big blog-crush on you. Just found your blog and am LOVING it.

Here's my question: we're doing a very similar subway tile job in our bathroom (DIY). Same chair rail effect, too, with the changing heights around the shower/tub area. And, we're planning to similarly trim it all with chair rail.

However, we would like to use the matching *tile* chair rail. Is that possible? I'm thinking there are compound mitre cuts needed here but can they be done on tile chair rail?

I am just looking for any sort of a lead here that your sagesse may provide....

Thank you and keep up the great work!

Greg said...


Thanks for the nice comments.

You can do miter cuts with just about any tile saw. Compound miters are another story. I’ve rented a good tile saw before and used some crappy ones, and none of them had a tilt blade that would allow you to do compound miters like you can on a compound miter saw for wood. You could make a jig. I would call a local tool rental place and see if one exists.

Also, if your choice is to buy a crappy $100 wet tile saw or rent a very good one for $50, I would rent the good one. Install as much tile as you can and leave the corners for last on the chair rail, and then rent the tile saw for a half day and do it right. The crappy $100 wet tile saws do not have a big enough blade to make it through the chair rail tile in once pass.

Camille said...

Love the heater! Can I ask where you got it? Is it forced air or radiant heat? Everything is looking marvelous!

merideth said...

wow! what a colossal project...but everything is looking beautiful...all of us Californians know how you need a heater in the summer...and it's so cool looking!

Greg said...


It is a vintage Peerless Radiant heater I bought off Ebay. You can get them at


Timothy said...

I've got 3 of those peerless radiants in my 1896 victorian (st. martinville, la). Any suggestions about what to do with them? My finance' doesn't want them in the house, she's not a fan like I am, of the natural gas heaters.

slateberry said...

Lose the fiancee, keep the heaters. Consider yourself lucky that she showed her true colors before it was too late.