Basement BathroomA few months after the kitchen was finished, we discovered a long hidden leak, which led to a compromised vanity and drywall. What began as ripping out some bad spots lead to a full demo. It took a long time with lots of starts and stops, but the old pink tub is gone, replaced by a nice tiled shower (United States Ceramic subway tiles), vinyl floor replaced with nice tiles (Ceramica Sant'Agostino Aspen series), and everything else redone, too. One nice touch (after a lot of discussion over storage solutions): school-style gym lockers. As part of the project a lot of Roxul ComfortBatt rockwool insulation was added (along with more than a few DC Brau cans ... I do wonder, when some future homeowner goes to redo the space, what they'll think of that ...
For the shower, we used a Redi Trench shower pan with a solid linear drain, a VIGO Pirouette frameless shower door, and a Symmons Elm commercial shower faucet. The sink is a Mirabelle console on a stainless-steel pedestal with Delta Vero faucet and a Feiss Infinity Collection oval mirror. The light over the sink is a Kichler Caparros 2 fixture Evelin won from Build.com; the other ceiling fixtures are NUVO Polaris 60-608 flush-mounts. For ventilation, we used an Air King 150 cfm exhaust fan. The suspended ceiling with mineral fiber acoustic tiles was replaced with a CeilingMAX system that uses Fasäde Quattro PVC tiles with a trippy pattern embedded in them.
While the downstairs bathroom tile work was being done, we went had the same guy add a tile backsplash behind the stove and under the window behind the sink. As part of the kitchen renovation project we considered doing this, but decided against it. After living with it for a while, we changed our minds. The tile used was the one the interior designer had recommended, Glazzio Tidal Wave Blend.
After all that was completed, the hose that goes from the wall to the toilet tank developed a leak, which took a while to discover. At first we thought it was flooding due to crazy rains, and then possibly a leak connected to the shower. Once the culprit was discovered, it was an easy fix, but the vinyl tile in the hallway/under-stairs area just outside the bathroom was all damaged, along with more wet drywall ... so I took all that out, replacing the flooring with TrafficMASTER Allure vinyl planks and replacing the drywall with greenboard. It took longer than it should have, but not as bad as the bathroom.
Keeping CoolAnd today, we're getting replacing our AC for the third time in the past 17 years. The unit that came with the house when we bought it in 2000 died in 2001, days after the home warranty provided as part of the purchase expired. The replacement for that lasted until the 2012 derecho hit and a tree limb fell and speared the compressor. At that time we replaced the full HVAC system, upgrading to a high efficiency furnace. We have had an issue with the AC working as well as it should and has increasingly been losing coolant (and the guy who did the work disappeared on us, so ...). This year, when we had the system tuned up at the beginning of the summer and coolant added, it worked until the massive July heatwave at which point it was clear that the system couldn't keep up. Instead of topping off the coolant three or four times a year, we decided to go ahead and replace the AC system.
We opted for an American Standard Silver 14 SEER unit. We couldn't really take advantage of a higher SEER unit without upgrading the full furnace system too, so after some discussion we decided going from 13 to 14 SEER was good enough. The previous unit was only 2 tons and mathwise the house needs somewhere around 2.6 tons of cooling, so we opted to go with the 3 ton one. We're also having the compressor relocated to the side of the house; this gets it out from under the deck, which will be good for airflow for the unit as well as hopefully mean less noise when we're on the deck.
(A few hours later ...) The work is done and it difference is amazing. Barely audible from the deck and quite effective at cooling the house. The guys who did the work did a very nice job, too, taking care to consolidate the piping and wiring in ways that gained us some space in the basement. As part of the job, they also replaced the old whole-house humidifier with a new Aprilaire Model 700 unit. In doing the work, we realized a small change to the ducting would allow for better air filtration, so they'll be back in a week or three to make that happen.