Casa Nueva, Remodeling

The Good, the Bad, and the Basement Floor

The downstairs of the house consists of a full bath and an ILLEGAL bedroom – a room a few inches shorter than it has to be to be a real bedroom. I wonder how it feels about that? The bedroom was very sad and has been made slightly less sad with the removal of the indoor/outdoor carpet. There’s a bed in there with a cozy flowery duvet, the washer and dryer, and a fine assortment of tchotchkes lining the walls. We call it the Laundromat and so far we’ve had a couple of overnight guests. It’s neither here nor there at this point. Someday we’d like to put in french doors that open out into our magnificent garden but right now it’s hemmed in with the ugly leanto that’s still attached. And we don’t have a magnificent garden.

But the bathroom is pathetic in an 80s way that bothers me much more than it bothers Sky. There are 3 competing pinky colors and they don’t work together at all. The walls/shower tiles are peachy-pink, the vanity is beige-y pink and the floor tiles were lavendery-pink. The grout for both the wall and floor tiles seems be unfinished or for some other reason falling apart whenever it gets wet or looked at inappropriately. I’d been doing my best to ignore the situation until it came time to mop in anticipation of company. And I thought to myself, why spend 30 minutes cleaning an ugly falling apart floor when I can spend 2 hours covered in dust, banging at the tiles with a hammer instead?


BEFORE (April 2015): It doesn’t look so bad in this poor light, but it really was – those 3 pinks really hated each other

I had a lot of fun banging on the tiles with a hammer, and making using of LEVERAGE which is now my favorite simple tool. Way to go, early inventors. That shit is amazing! Get a crowbar under just the tiniest little bit of tile and those suckers pop right off! If you’re lucky. Which I was enough of the time to keep me interested in banging tiles with a hammer. I got very sweaty and sweary but it was fun. Then we let Rufus help put away the tiles until I realized there was a lot of dust and we were probably giving him black lung.

Of course I ran out of steam after the bathroom was done so now there’s just my “experiment” patch which is at the bottom of the stairs. I plan to enlist Karin’s help and/or ply her with gin so she’ll help knock out the rest. Then we will either seal the pretty, multicolored concrete or paint it something nice and not lavender. There’s a great Max & Ruby book where Max chants “Bang!” over and over again, so Rufus did some of that whenever he wasn’t running out to Sky in the garden and tattling on me with pleas of “Papa, Mama breaking the bathroom. It’s very bad.”

I think the novelty of banging holes in the floor is going to take awhile to wear off. It’s pretty damned amazing.


Rufus was delighted at the smashing and kept shouting “Demo!” and “Bang! Max! Bang!”



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  • Reply The Dude October 2, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Legal bedroom is just a real estate term. Use that space how you see fit (just don’t rent it out). As for the tile, a sledge works better than a hammer, but it looks like you got it all out, except maybe at the toilet flange. Good work. What goes down now?

    • Reply jen October 2, 2015 at 9:42 am

      Sky is picking up a sledge hammer today or tomorrow so we can really do the job – I just did the bathroom but there’s another big area at the bottom of the stairs and outside of the bathroom. Basically I went rogue and didn’t even tell him what I was doing to start with — except maybe something like “I’m going to go clean the bathroom but there’s a 55% chance I may start going crazy on that ugly tile…”

      Leaving some tile around the toilet for now because it’s barely attached as it is — need a new wax ring but I think we’ll wait until we’ve decided what the floor will be like. I think next we’ll either paint the concrete or seal it as it is. Or maybe do some different flooring. The floor is really slope-y. We’re also going to rip out a lot of this space in a few years to open it up to the backyard, so I think we want “good enough for now”

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