Acoustical Ceiling Tile System – Living Room

Acoustical Ceiling Tile System

Day #182 and #183

November 13th & 14th, 2020 – This weekend my brother, Dave, is coming to the Cot-Taj-Mahal to install the acoustical ceiling tile system in the Living Room. On Friday, before he got there, I nailed some 1″×3″ furring strips to the bottoms of the Living Room ceiling joists. This will help to keep the batt insulation from sagging down onto the top of the acoustical ceiling. The first few images show the furring strips.

After the furring strips completed, Dave was able to start the acoustical ceiling tile system. Wall angle installation is first. This angle runs around the entire perimeter of the Living Room. With the wall angle hung, the installation of the main beams come next. The main beams connect together with cross T’s to form 2’×2′ squares. In each of the squares we place a ceiling tile to complete the installation.

Field tile or full size acoustical ceiling tile make up the main part of the ceiling. Cut tiles or boarder tiles install along the edges of the wall. The tile at each of the “can lights” receives a circular hole to accept the light, and a trim ring on the light finishes the installation.

It is important for the grid system to be level and square to avoid any unsightliness in the completed installation.

I’m sure you will agree, the acoustical ceiling tile installation looks great. It is much cleaner and brighter than the old yellowed 4’×8′ ceiling panels and if any tile suffers damage we can simply replace it.

At November 14th, it’s getting late in the season. Next week I will have to drain down the water and freeze proof the toilet and drain traps. I plan to work thru the winter but with no heat source I can’t take any chances.

Wall Paneling in the Living Room.

Wall Paneling - Living Room

Day #180 & Day #181

November 7th & 8th, 2020 – We are almost ready for the lay in ceiling installation in the living room. My brother Dave came down last night to make a list of the materials that we need. The focus for this weekend is to finish installing sound batt insulation and wall paneling in the Living Room. Once this is done we will be able to install the ceiling system.

The gallery above shows the progression through the Living Room. The wall paneling installation went pretty smoothly, and by the end of the day, on Sunday, it was complete. The hardest part was moving the miscellaneous tools, bins, tables and chairs around the work area.

With the paneling finished I can now install the floor base, corner molding and window trim. More importantly, we are now ready for the acoustical ceiling system. I have Dave set up for next weekend. It’s going to look nice!

Ceiling Insulation in the Living Room.

Day #179

November 1, 2020 – Just a short post and then a rant for today. As far as the renovation work is concerned I finished up the insulation in the living room ceiling. This gets us closer to installing the actual suspended, lay in ceiling system. Here’s a couple of photos.

Ceiling Insulation
Ceiling insulation in the living room.

Ceiling Insulation

and now the rant…..

Back at the end of September, when I initially picked up the wood stove and hearth pad, I noticed a small hole in the cardboard covering. It was so small that I didn’t think anything of it. Shame on me, but prior to today, I never checked it. Well….

Towards the end of the day we went to set the hearth pad on the floor. Robrandi cleaned off the mortar from the tile work and removed the blue painters tape from the floor. I brought in the pad and we removed the card board wrapping. Of course the first thing we see is a broken tile and missing mortar. My whole day just turned upside down. It seems impossible to get materials down here that do not have some sort of damage!

After some discussion we decided that it has to go back. The broken tile is right in the front of the pad and it will be extremely visible.

Because I have a smaller truck bed, I had to build a wooden carrier so it would lay flat to avoid any further damage as we drove the dam thing back to AES Hearth & Patio. Of course, as soon as we went to put it in the truck it started pouring buckets. We got soaking wet! After I tied it down and stomped around for a bit we packed up and left for home. A crappy ending to an otherwise good weekend. Uggghhh!

Floor Reinforcement for the Wood Stove.

Day #178

October 31, 2020 – Our new wood stove weighs in at about 350 lbs. The floor joists underneath the stove are full 2″ × 8″ solid oak. They are rather bouncy and I’m a little concerned about the point load that the wood stove will add to the floor. To help spread this load I decided to add additional floor reinforcement by adding solid bridging between 4 of the floor joists (3 joist spaces). This means I’ll be spending my weekend underneath the Cot-Taj-Mahal on my back. Yea!

Floor Reinforcement - Joist Spaces

Before I could start on the floor reinforcement I had to clear out some old wiring left over from who knows what. The plan is to install solid bridging in three of the joist space from the outside wall across to the center of the floor. In the pictures, the first concrete piers that you see are at the center of the cottage, width wise.

Floor Reinforcement - Solid Bridging

I used treated 2 × 8 pieces with galvanized joist hangers on both ends. The nailing was difficult due to the cramped quarters underneath the cottage.

Floor Reinforcement - Complete

All in all the floor reinforcement went much better than I expected. I managed to finish it up in one day. I hope that this will provide some additional strength underneath the wood stove. We don’t want it falling thru the floor.

Tomorrow I’ll move back inside to continue the ceiling insulation in the living room.

Wet Saw Rental – Wall Tile Continued.

Day #176 & #177

October 24 & 25, 2020 – I’m back this weekend to continue the wall tile, this time with the assistance of a wet saw. Yesterday I picked up Core Cut CC1000T Super Duty Tile Saw from Best Line Equipment in Mechanicsburg. I have a two day rental and I will return it on Monday so I have to get ‘er done!

Wet Saw
Core Cut CC1000T Super Duty Tile Saw

Wall Tile Continued - Wet Saw

With the wet saw set up outside the wall tile installation continued. I didn’t break anymore tile and there were no issues.

Wall Tile - Wet Saw

Wall Tile Almost Complete

I set the top rows off a ladder. It’s always a lot of up and down when working from a ladder but thankfully there weren’t that many rows involved.

Wall Tile Complete - Wet Saw

Each row of tile butts tightly to the next row so there is no grouting required. The wet saw provides for a very straight cut along the ends of the wall.

Living Room Wall Tile
Completed accent wall in the living room.
Gyeem Raj-DuKamar
Gyeem Raj-DuKamar at the Cot-Taj-Mahal.

With the wall tile installation complete I will return the wet saw on Monday. I will have to rent it one more time, in the future, to complete the backsplash above the kitchen countertops. We are using the same tile. It should look awesome. Stay tuned.

Wall Tile Installation Begins.

Day #175

October 18, 2020 – There is a lot happening today. I am installing more wall paneling, taping and applying thinset mortar to the cement board joints and starting the wall tile installation. Before I got started I had a cup of coffee at the lookout. It’s a foggy morning on the Juniata.

First up. I had one full sheet of the shiplap paneling left so I took down the tv, installed the paneling and then re-installed the tv. This gets it out of the way. My painter should have no problems painting around the bracket.

Multi-tasking 01
Paneling behind the tv. Power outlets and switches.
Paneling 06
Tv re-installed. Switch and outlet cover plates on.

Wall Tile

Next up was the wall tile installation. Since none of the floors in the cottage are level I have to use wood shims to block up both the paneling and the wall tile. This helps to insure that I get plumb paneling joints and level wall tile. It’s a pain in the ass but a necessity.

Wall Tile Installation
Taping the cement board joints and the first row of wall tile.

The cement board I choose is Hardy Backer Board. I used 1/4″ to help reduce the weight of the installation.

Cement Board Joints & Wall Tile

I have a QEP 24 inch Slimline manual tile cutter. It’s a great cutter but the wall tile that we choose mimics horizontal stone. The tile does not have a smooth level face. Each of the “stones” are a different thickness. I learned pretty quickly the I would not be able to use the manual cutter on this tile. On row two I broke a piece cutting it. Rather than continue, risking more breakage, I decided to stop and come back later with a “wet saw”. It’s the best way to cut this sort of tile.

For the curious, the blue painters tape on the floor marks the proposed wood stove location.

SYP Flooring Installation

SYP Cutting Station

Day #174

October 17, 2020 – After finally getting the flooring material, today I started the installation of the SYP flooring. Soon there will be no more felt paper floor in the new kitchen. Yeah!

First I vacuumed off the felt paper and cleaned up the exposed edge of the existing floor. I placed my starter strips right along the old kitchen flooring. Luckily, for the most part there was enough of a tongue left to engage the groove on the new SYP flooring.

SYP Flooring 01

After the starter pieces were nailed, the installation proceeded right to left across the floor. The SYP flooring is pretty soft but it makes a great looking floor.

SYP Flooring 02

I am using a Bostitch pneumatic flooring nailer to fasten the SYP flooring. My cutting station is set up out on the porch. I’m trying to keep the inside sawdust to a minimum.

Pine Flooring 03

SYP Flooring 04

At the end of the day all I had left was a row and a half along the river side of the kitchen. This last bit of flooring gets drilled and face nailed because it it too close to the wall to use the pneumatic nailer.

Pine 02

The key now will be to find a stain or combination of stains to match the existing. We’ll save that for another day.

Southern Yellow Pine Flooring?

Day #173

October 14, 2020 – Over the weekend, on Saturday, October 10, 2020, to be exact, I got a call from Lumber Liquidators about the southern yellow pine flooring that I ordered. The sales person told me that my order was in and ready for pick up. This was a surprise and I was somewhat skeptical about it.

Delivery Saga

I originally ordered 10 bundles of southern yellow pine flooring for the new kitchen floor, back on June 29, 2020. At the time, the sales person indicated that it would arrive by July 8, 2020.

On July9, 2020, I called Lumber Liquidators for a status update. The flooring had not yet arrived and the new delivery date was in the first week of August. That’s five weeks from the order date.

On August 5, 2020 I called Lumber Liquidators for another status update. The flooring still had not arrived. The sales person told me that a truck arrives on Saturday. “Maybe it will be on that one or maybe the Saturday after that. ” Okay, that’s seven weeks from the order date.

On August 17, 2020 I called Lumber Liquidators for yet another status update. The flooring still had not arrived. I won’t name any names, but the sale person said that it would arrive no earlier then 8/29/2020. That’s nine weeks from the order date.

On September 29, 2020 I called Lumber Liquidators and canceled the order. That’s thirteen weeks from the order date.

So here we are at October 10, 2020, fifteen weeks from the order date and two weeks from the day I canceled the order. Apparently, the flooring is in. FML!

At 10:30 AM this morning I drove to Lumber Liquidators and sure enough they had the flooring. I was so happy that I left Mechanicsburg and drove it straight away to the cottage.


Patiently waiting at Lumber Liquidators in Mechanicsburg for my southern yellow pine flooring.


It’s supposed to come out of this door above.

Southern Yellow Pine

Southern Yellow Pine 01

… and there it is, southern yellow pine in the truck, yeah, that’s right!

Southern Yellow Pine 02

Southern Yellow Pine 03

This will let me finally finish the new kitchen floor. The area in the above photo with the black felt paper is where the new flooring will go. We did our best to match the existing flooring and its very close. I am sure it will look awesome.

Beverage Refrigerator is in the House!

Day #172

October 13, 2020 – Over the years we have come to realize that we never have enough refrigeration. For a long time we only have had one refrigerator for all the food and drinks. When Ryan graduated college we brought his small dorm room refrigerator down and placed it on the porch. The only thing that was good for was Arlene’s Jell-O-Shots. For the most part anyone who came and visited had to bring a cooler and constantly restock it with ice. Saturday afternoon became the “ice run day”. When we designed the kitchen, the idea of a separate beverage refrigerator was a no brainer. It was quickly added into the layout.

Well, today is beverage refrigerator delivery day!

Before the delivery truck showed up I worked on some electric rough in underneath the big picture window.

Electric Rough In - Picture Window

Around 3:00 PM the Lowe’s truck pulled in. The delivery guys off loaded the beverage refrigerator and brought it inside. It’s a Premium Levella Beverage Cooler.

Beverage Refrigerator 01

Unfortunately they left before I noticed that the fridge had some damage at the top side panels. From what I gather it looks like it was knocked into something and the side panels got dented.

Beverage Refrigerator 04

Beverage Refrigerator 05

Beverage Refrigerator 06

Beverage Refrigerator 07

I took it apart and discovered that the damage was cosmetic only. The refrigeration unit and piping are in the bottom of the unit. Rather than have Lowe’s pick it up and wait another bazillion months for a replacement I was able to have them issue a discount.

Beverage Refrigerator 02

Bud Light 01

So there you have it. Our new beverage refrigerator is in the house!

Electrical Demo Above the Hallway

Day #172

October 4, 2020 – It’s Sunday and we decided to make it a short day at the cottage. I did a little more exploration and electrical demo above the hallway. Slowly but surely I am working may way towards the back of the cottage.

We have two, three way switches in the hallway, which control two light fixtures located at the bottom of the wall. We hardly ever use the lights so I totally forgot that we have these switches. While I was in the ceiling it took me a long time to figure out what is going on with this wring.

Electrical Demo 01
Electrical Demo

The picture above shows the wire for the three way switches. I guess they did not have three conductor wire back in the day. The white wire from one cable splits out and goes to a completely different box than the black wire. The black wire is wrapped in cloth tape. It is the same tape that we used to wrap the blades of our hockey sticks with. Pretty insane rig up! Once I figured it out I disconnected the power, removed the three way switches and the old wire.

It is amazing that we haven’t burned the place down. I’ll be happy when the electrical demo is complete and new wiring is done!

That was it for the weekend. We’ll be back next weekend with Jess, Phil and Henry plus the drink refrigerator is scheduled for delivery on October 13th. I think Phil’s birthday is coming up so don’t be surprised if we don’t do any construction work.