Laundry Room Reloaded

I don’t know if you remember but last spring we called it a wrap on the laundry room. It’s like throwing in the towel except literally you need to throw in the towels because we just couldn’t live without a functioning laundry room.

I’d like to say when we wrapped it was 1/2 done, but in reality we hadn’t touched the floors or the ceiling, so that would put us at about 1/3 done if we counted the walls as complete, except that a lot of the walls still need another coat of paint, so maybe we were a 1/4 done? Did I lose you with the fractions yet? Luckily I am not one to do math or any kind of realistic thinking before picking up a project.

So the plan was to finish up the laundry room this winter and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s felt an awful lot like winter lately. So I decided it must be time. It all started because one day I organized our junk drawer and it really didn’t take all that long. Then I got to thinking if I am the kind of person that can have an organized junk drawer, maybe I’ve got my whole life together. If you are thinking about tackling a junk drawer. Do it. But also watch out because you just might feel invincible just long enough to tear your whole laundry room apart…

Here’s a couple of tricks you can steal to successfully complete a project. The way I always jump into projects is do something that is annoying to undo. It should make you think that you might as well just do the work, because if you are anything like us, you’ll want to quit, so I always account for future laziness. In this case we moved out everything we store in the laundry room and set up camp with all the crap in the downstairs living room. Trick number 2: Always make the periphery around the project at the very least an eyesore, but preferably a hazard, or at least something the kids can get into and spread filth throughout the entire house. That way when you inevitably go nuts from all the mess and mayhem you will decide that you just have to suck it up and finish to regain some semblance of control.

You know what fun the kids found with this project? Hitting cardboard boxes with hockey sticks and smashing them into a million tiny pieces. I was recently a mystery reader at Levi’s school and after reading two stories the kids in the class got to ask questions about our family. Want to know what Levi’s favorite thing to do with his brother is? Wrestle. Want to know what they like to do for fun? Hit boxes with hockey sticks. Can you really play soccer in your house? Totally. Do we sound crazy, because I felt like maybe we’ve been running a mad house, but then again maybe that’s just how it is raising two boys in the winter and with parents who have really lowered their standards…

Whoops so I got a little side tracked. If you need a refresher on where we left off check out the laundry room wrap up. Though the real offenders that were left unfinished weren’t exactly front and center in that post. So for a more accurate portrayal here is what we started with:

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There was this awesome concrete chunk sticking up 2-3 inches from the rest of the floor in front of the dryer. We’ve had a thick mat doing the work of trying to make it less of a toe stubbing hazard. We also had two amazing sets of vinyl squares. The purplely one on top was deemed too fancy to be put everywhere, it could only be in the most visible places, it was that special. The dirty river pebble vinyl was more long suffering and likely asbestos. Cool. The ceiling was popcorn, that is except for the parts where it was instead comprised of miscellaneous holes. I mean there were only 6, so it’s not like it was terribly noticeable.

So yes all of these were just an absolute delight to tackle.

The concrete chunk was simple and by simple I mean only for me. Brett hacked at it with a crowbar and hammer. Sparks flew and the forearm that was doing the whacking swelled to 2x the size of his other. So while it sucked it only took 20 minutes or so and we’d been tripping on it for 6 years.

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I stupidly decided I would get up the whole top layer of tile to have a more even surface, thinking then we would only have one smooth layer of vinyl covering the floor. Well after doing most of it I realized the bottom layer was cracked and crumbling in spots. It ended up really being a waste of time once we realized given the age of our house the bottom layer was likely asbestos. So what I really did was make our entire walking surface super sticky. We were kind of in a pickle for a bit on flooring because I really couldn’t figure out what would work. There was no way we were going to pay for asbestos removal. I didn’t really want to do another vinyl over all the unevenness. I though about actually tiling, but you can’t get good adhesion to vinyl and you can’t exactly attach concrete board to concrete. Don’t worry I came up with a killer solution but I am going to leave you hanging for now.

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Look how happy I am wasting my time!

And finally for the ceiling, I decided I would first try to knock down the popcorn. But of course it had been painted so there was no chance it was coming down. Also there was the problem of the many holes, so we decided to drywall over the layer there. Does anyone like dry-walling? The problem with all of these projects were they were not only labor intensive, but they really blew. Do you love holding heavy things over your head? Do you love working with no overhead lighting, but instead a crazy hot work light beaming on you? Do you love sanding right into your eyeballs? Then you are just going to go nuts over the fun of dry-walling.

I don’t have any pictures of dry-walling the ceiling because even with conning Brett’s oldest friend into helping hang, it was not exactly easy. Though I’ll say, sanding is a million times worse than the hanging and mudding. Brett’s gotten pretty decent at mudding since our first attempt in the basement. (If you ever want to check it out just turn off all the lights in the downstairs living room. It looks kinda like a topographical map.) For sanding we took turns, but whether I wore safety glasses, swim goggles or ski googles I kept getting loads of crap in my eye. I finally just took my contacts out and hoped for the best!

That’s where I am going to leave you for tonight. We are just about nearly done, but don’t be too surprised because we started 2 months ago and are only now finishing… I’ll show you the 100% complete laundry room soon!

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