Thursday, 26 February 2009

Simon works on the bathroom floor

After much deliberation and taking of advice, it was time to start on the new floor for the bathroom.

With our minute hire car (a Seat Ibiza) we went to Bricomarche to buy a 4 metre length of wood. Having chosen what we were after, I was handed a saw to cut it to length so, hopefully, it would fit in the car. I don't do sawing, especially not in public. I have never got the hang of "dad sawing" - you know: a few fast strokes, and then a few slow strokes, finishing off with a few fast ones and your huge log is neatly sawn (nicely explained 4 minutes into this Eddie Izzard video - with swearing). I do mangling. This time, however, I was pleasingly competent, and managed not to embarrass myself. We also bought some expanding bolt things (highly technical here...) and managed to fit it all in the car. Just.

Getting the stuff home and up the ladder - along with all the tools I would need - was interesting, but not difficult.

First move was to chip all the render off the walls so I was bolting the wood directly to the brick. For this the render chipping off pick that Susan's father bought for me last year was used - and it works really well!

Chipping away render - the story of my life
I measured and checked levels, measured some more , made a decision, then cut my wood. Happily, I proved fairly competent using my own saw in my own house, which was nice. I think the first decision I made was not completely correct, but it shouldn't be a real problem. I decided not to take the wood right up to the side walls because the brickwork had been all chased away for pipework, etc.

I drilled the holes in the wood, got my piece of wood absolutely level and then drilled holes in the bricks through the holes in the wood. The expanding bolts didn't work quite as well as I had hoped, as the bricks I was bolting the wood into are really brittle and have split. It didn't help that the first holes I drilled lined up with the mortar pointing rather than brick, either....

I think the solution (next time I am working on it) will be to drill completely through the wall and use stainless steel threaded rods and a bracing plate. Or maybe just big bolts (18mm bolts, 20 cm long) through a metal plate on the outside wall and into the wood.

Anyway - I have started, and done what I think is probably the most technically challenging part: reaching across what amounts to a void to bolt a lump of wood onto a wall, and getting it level.

Next step - floor!!



Jim Budd said...

Susan. Thanks for your comment on Jim's Loire, which meant I have have just discovered your blog, which I'm really enjoying reading. Jim

Susan said...

Jim: Glad to see you here. Jim's Loire is a great resource, and I often drop in on it.

Bengt said...

Hang on there Simon. And try some plugs instead of expanding bolts. Cheaper and works better with bricks.