Author Topic: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread  (Read 15170 times)

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Online DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #60 on: January 25, 2021, 12:56 PM »
interesting Cheese,    My house had 2 layers of 1/4" plasterboard, and a final layer about 1/4" thick (3/4" total).  Bathroom, has what looks to be slightly thicker plasterboard, with about 3/8" coarse plaster, then a skim of smooth stuff.   

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Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #61 on: January 25, 2021, 01:50 PM »
Tube and pipe, with respect to the mechanical trades, both can be used for a wide variety of process fluids, gasses, or vacuum (with the correct specs).

I didn't know you guys call it by different names, tube or pipe. Here we call it all "pijp" = pipe, large or small. As long as it transports something, gas or liquid.

I googled a bit and found this website, isn't that correct?

oh, so vastly thinner pipe than what we think of here.   That's more like EMT conduit here, which people bend with the same tools.

They are 15 mm thick, with a 1,5 or 2 mm wall. When they are closer to the heater they are mostly 22 mm in a normal house, but when they split up to feed a single radiator they switch to 15 mm.


Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #62 on: January 25, 2021, 01:52 PM »
The Tee fittings look like bronze. Are you sure the pipe is still rather than silver painted or plated copper?

Is the heat source steam or hot water? Here, hot water heat “pipe” are just copper tube, but the tubes are seldom bent. They use soldered fittings instead.

Yes, they are all steel. We don't use copper for our central heating system, that's all steel pipes and steel or brass fittings. Lately more and more replaced with PEX with a metal inner lining (tube?).

Copper is used here for drinking water lines inside the house. And also more and more replaced with pure PEX.

Our central heaters all use water in the pipes. Water gets heated in the heater, and then pumped around through a system of pipes that feed radiators in all the separate rooms.



I am a bit amazed about all you guys' comments about pipes and heating, don't you use central heating systems? How do you keep your houses warm in the winter?

Offline Cheese

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #63 on: January 25, 2021, 02:06 PM »
I’d say 90% of the heating systems installed in the US since 1950 have been forced air furnaces.

It’s not unusual for people to tear out their hot water radiators and replace them with a central forced air furnace.

Online DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #64 on: January 25, 2021, 02:17 PM »
Tube and pipe, with respect to the mechanical trades, both can be used for a wide variety of process fluids, gasses, or vacuum (with the correct specs).

I didn't know you guys call it by different names, tube or pipe. Here we call it all "pijp" = pipe, large or small. As long as it transports something, gas or liquid.

I googled a bit and found this website, isn't that correct?

oh, so vastly thinner pipe than what we think of here.   That's more like EMT conduit here, which people bend with the same tools.

They are 15 mm thick, with a 1,5 or 2 mm wall. When they are closer to the heater they are mostly 22 mm in a normal house, but when they split up to feed a single radiator they switch to 15 mm.

Yes, thats right,  Tube is OD based (Hoses are ID based), and pipe is a trade size (dimensions don't match anything really).  Our "pipe" sizes are the same as yours, they are just trade designation,   so the OD on a 2" pipe is like 2-3/8", etc.  Doesn't match up to anything.   We used Pipe for things like our PVC drain piping,  black Iron pipe for natural gas, Galvanized pipe for water (not really used in new stuff), also Rigid Conduit is basically the same as Galvanized pipe (but it's not the same thing).

Our tubes when it comes to houses are a bit odd, we have a system called CTS  (Copper Tube), it's based on the OD, but it's the listed OD plus 1/8th". So 1/2" copper  is 5/8" OD.  It comes in different wall thicknesses that vary the ID.  When PEX came over, they adapted it to the same system, so 1/2" PEX is 5/8" OD, but much smaller ID than Copper.  This means quick connect fittings and such are interchangeable, but it also means buying something from Europe can be a nightmare as the PEX is a different size.

HDPE is coming into N.A. now too, at first with the geo thermal folks, but growing.  They have just left it metric, so thats good.

Cheese and I were not saying your pipes were EMT, it just has that look.  It's a thin wall steel conduit used by electricians. It's what they used when they don't want to use PVC conduit, but don't need to go overboard with Rigid.

New houses are almost all PEX.  Some states like California only approved PEX a few years ago. And earlier system, polybutylene had major failures, so people feared "plastic" for years.  Now must what you see in a new house will be PEX, but parts of it are still copper.  Some folks still are "Copper or nothing".  For a time we used copper for the waste plumbing too, you still can, but that is very rare, mainly for repair work.

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #65 on: January 25, 2021, 02:36 PM »
A couple of things I noted, I've watched a local plasterer in action and he did not use stuc profiles, he just slathered the stuff on. I really think those profiles are great for getting a uniform plaster thickness.

Nice job on that long wall Alex  [big grin] it does indeed look flat and smooth.

I also like your choice of lighting, those sconces produce some nice shadow lines on the wall which is what Euro lighting has always been about. [smile]

Those "pipes" look similar to our electrical conduit both in the ability to hand bend the stuff and also the exterior finish.

Here is a photo of the bathroom plaster (smooth finish) and the living room plaster (textured finish). It may be difficult to see but there is approximately a 1/8" difference in thickness between the room plasters, the living room plaster being the thicker of the two.

Thanks Cheese.

If you're a good plaster I guess you don't need the profiles so much anymore to make it all straight anyway.

As for the lighting, my parents bought those in 1982. My only choice here is that I kept them while I threw most old stuff out, because I also really like these lights. I was lucky to find a 3rd one in a thrift store once. Now that the wall is white as opposed to the browned wallpaper that was there before, you suddenly see a nice sheen of green light coming out of the bottom through the glass.
 
As for your plaster, those minute differences in thickness are inconsequential. What matters is total strenght and if it's 10 or 11 mm makes little difference. What you can see clearly in your plaster samples is that there are two layers, the darker one to fill out the wall, which is a mixture of gipsum and river sand, and the thin top layer that's only gipsum. They did that in the past because sand is much cheaper than gipsum, but nowadays gipsum is so cheap that all plastering is mostly done with it.

- Forced air furnaces, now that's something I didn't know. Takes a lot of space though, all the air ducts, and don't you get a lot of heat loss during transport?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 02:39 PM by Alex »

Online DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #66 on: January 25, 2021, 02:38 PM »


I am a bit amazed about all you guys' comments about pipes and heating, don't you use central heating systems? How do you keep your houses warm in the winter?

Like Cheese said,  Forced air.    Radiators died mid 50s for the most part.  Big thing was air conditioning.  Soon as you need ducts for AC, having a completely different system (radiators) is pretty pointless.

Steam was common for a long time, but also force air was around for a long time with the famous "Octopus" Furnaces.  A lot of those systems were basically gravity like steam systems.  Heat rises, and the cold falls down thru big grates in the floor, then re-heated.

For a time, in the 60s/70s Electric heat took over.  Electricity was stupid cheap.  And it's a bulletproof/simple system.  So lots of baseboard in homes in those times, even systems with the wires embedded in the ceiling.  When Electric prices went up in the 70s, it became much less used.  By then, AC was common, so now almost all new housing is Forced air.  Depending on where you live you might be. Oil or Natural Gas or Propane for the heat, sometimes it's an electric air handler.  And then of course Heat Pumps which have long been common in the south, but now are becoming normal in the north.  Those systems have electric heat in them as backup.

Radiant floor heat exist too, but it's limited since you still need ducts for the AC, so the benefit isn't there. Also folks start to find a hot floor isn't very comfortable, has moments, but not something the enjoy all the time.  I know more folks with Radiant in their garage floor or driveway than in their home.   Electric radiant is common in bathrooms underfloors.  That is largely to meet code requirement of heat in a bathroom, yet not have to have an air duct, or an ugly wall heater.

Geothermal exist, but is expensive, most just use a Air source Heat Pump verses Ground.

Lots of folks still heat with wood.  If you are in a rural area, there is no Natural Gas.  Oil and Propane are expensive, and you run low just before a blizzard.  If you are in a rural area and don't want the hassle of wood, then good chance you might just still run electric radiant, as it's really the only reliable option that doesn't take physical effort of the home owner.

So much of this vary on where you live.  The US has every climate, different resources/history/construction timeframes.  No one in south Florida heats with coal. Someone in Minnesota might have wood fire, electric heat, and gas/propane all in the same house as their house was updated over time, and backup.  Having at least 2 methods to heat house is a good plan, many folks will have 3-4 ways to stay warm.  But the person in Minnesota might not have AC, but everyone in the south does, otherwise they die. Air Conditioning is pretty much the sole reason populations shifted to parts of the south (especially the southwest).  You can find a lot of stuff out there how in the US, the invention of AC, combined with the post war Era, drove the population south in very large numbers.  If AC didn't exist, the major sprawl of the south wouldn't exist at all.

Offline pixelated

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #67 on: January 25, 2021, 02:45 PM »
Quote from: Alex
...I am a bit amazed about all you guys' comments about pipes and heating, don't you use central heating systems? How do you keep your houses warm in the winter?

We just build a fire in the middle of the floor and the smoke goes through a big hole in the roof.  [tongue]

Here in the North East, heated water systems are perhaps the most common, similar to yours, but the radiators are usually baseboard units that are long and a few cm high. Our house was originally equipped with a forced air system, but we replaced it last year with a mini-split heat pump designed for low temperatures. These seem to be gaining in popularity. Radiant floor systems using heated water are popular too. Central AC is not especially common here, at least not in houses that are older than 20ish years.


 
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 02:53 PM by pixelated »

Online DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #68 on: January 25, 2021, 02:49 PM »

- Forced air furnaces, now that's something I didn't know. Takes a lot of space though, all the air ducts, and don't you get a lot of heat loss during transport?

Yes, ducts take space. In old houses they suck (head knockers in basement).  Since the 70s/80s they have designed around them more, so you generally don't notice.  There are different systems. Some are high pressure and use smaller sizes.  Like anything, you plan for them.  Engineered floor joist are 14" tall, so plenty of room for them.  A lot of it comes down to the installer/builder and how much effort they put into the packaging.

Heat loss depends.  If you have the whole system within the envelope of the house, it doesn't much matter.  You try to get the distribution good. Just like radiators, you loose heat along the way, and can't get the balance perfect, always a cold corner.   If the duct is outside the envelope of the house, it gets insulated.   They can also be sometimes underground or poured inside a concrete wall.

We also now have HRV (heat recover ventilators), as houses are now highly insulated/sealed, they have a problem getting fresh air, so now you are required to exchange the air in the house with outside air at a rate based on size of house.  The HRV is a air to air heat exchanger and fans, so hot air leaving, heats up the incoming cold air.  So that is something else that needs ducts, and these can be combined with the HVAC system.  Also you have to provide make up air for bathroom fans, range hoods, etc if they are over a set size.

So once you have ducts, adding a whole separate system for radiators/radiant/etc just doesn't make sense unless someone really wants it.

You go into a lot of retail environments, it's all above your head and they don't hid it anymore, they just paint it, you look up and see a big network of tubes, with lights hanging down.

Offline FestitaMakool

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #69 on: January 25, 2021, 04:21 PM »
Great job Alex. It’s looking very impressive, such large surfaces demands lots of skill.
I’ve stayed clear of brick and mortar houses, mostly because I like houses of wood (as the majority are here). I know there are some huge benefits regarding less maintenance, easier to keep cool in the summer and hot in the winter (that is if insulated sufficiently though [wink])

Central heating as you have have been and are common still, new technology regulates water based systems. But it is high maintenance and slow reacting nowadays, as the valves has like hairpin openings. More common now are domestic ventilation systems, which is recirculating heat by convection of hot and cold air. So is heat pumps (inverters, or air con units, which are used in reverse for heating) I have two of those in my poorly insulated house. But these are supplying the whole house without any other heat sources, even as now with -14° Celsius outside. (8° F) or even colder.
Ducting is most common by new houses, due to domestic ventilation systems.
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Online DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #70 on: January 25, 2021, 04:24 PM »
Octopus Furnace

For those in parts of the world who have no idea what this might have been.  Folks still have these in service. I've known folks who had them installed in their much newer house, like salvaged old one and installed it.

Real heating requires its own footings/foundation  [wink]

no moving parts, just create heat.

Offline Cheese

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #71 on: January 25, 2021, 05:35 PM »
You try to get the distribution good. Just like radiators, you lose heat along the way, and can't get the balance perfect, always a cold corner. 

That's where zoning comes in.  [big grin]

The price of zoning equipment has really come down within the last 10 years. Putting it well within the reach of the average Joe or Josephine. [smile]


Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #72 on: January 25, 2021, 06:12 PM »
These wires have been hanging there since 1982. And they've always irritated me since 1982. Time to fix that. I've plastered these walls 2 years ago, it was my first experiment in plastering as a test for a job somebody asked me to do. So back then I concentrated on getting the walls straight but left these wires as they were.

The original light point was at the hole on the left but in 1982 the light was moved to the right, which was a better place for sure. Now gone, but that wall on the left was then covered entirely with a book case. My mom collected books. She had about 7500 when she died. Boy, did those books use up a lot of space. Funny thing, I now have 10 times as much books as ePubs on my phone.



Took the lamp off the wall, and marked out the spot for the slot in the wall. I can't just make a slot from the original spot to the new spot, that's against code. Not sure if it is an official rule or just a convention, but for clarity, a conduit in the wall should always run straight up or down, and never horizontal. So you know that when you want to hang a picture for instance, don't do it exactly above a lamp or a socket. But if you do it next to one, you should not worry about drilling into hidden electricity.

I used the multimaster with an old half-round wood blade to cut the sides. The blade already had lost all its teeth, but it still could cut easily into the soft sandlime stones that make up the inner walls.



Then I cut out the slot with a slot bit for my hammer drill. The slot has to be deep enough for the conduit to completely lie within the stones, and be free of the outer plaster layer.
 


The slot bit. Amazingly, it is very dull, but still just works fine.



And the conduit placed with a small wall box. Not big enough to fit a socket or a switch, but good for a lamp.



I put three wires in. Blue is the neutral wire, and black and grey are the leads. Their colours indicate they come from a light switch. I put one wire for this lamp, and a second in case I want to make a light for the mirror in the hall on the other side of the wall. They're not connected yet though.



The conduit sticks out in the space of the ceiling. I have to connect the wires here to the proper lines. Which is a bit tricky, everything's out of reach. I'll do that later.



Then I had to cut a second slot for the other wire. This did not go as smooth, probably due to its proximity to the corner. But nothing a dab of plaster can't fix.



And all patched up again.



As said, I plastered this part two years ago, put in a lot of work, for a result that was only so-so. Funny thing with plaster, you can look from one angle and think it is alright, and look from another angle with a bit different light and suddenly see dosens of imperfections. So I put a thin layer of Fill & Finish over it to smooth it out.

« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 06:16 PM by Alex »

Online DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #73 on: January 25, 2021, 07:43 PM »
lot of work there.

I would assume they are going to a structural concern not letting you cut horizontally.  I don't think you can do anything like this here.  If it was a block wall, you would be able to fish a conduit down thu the cavities, and drill in from the side.  There no cutting into concrete/brick walls like this.  Here wires need to be 1-1/4" away from the edge of the framing, so folks don't run nails/screws into them.  Anything closer, you need nail plates/conduits.  Folks try to run things vertical just from a general benefit of avoiding going thru studs and such, but you can go anyway you want if you follow the rules.   Closet thing i can think of to this is houses made with insulated concrete forms, they will carve paths in the foam to run wires.

I don't want to think about how much mess this make doing that trench.

What happens at the top of that conduit?  Do you extend the conduit?  Or do you put a junction box there?  We would either have to run the conduit all the way to where it's getting power, or transition in a junction to a wire type that can be used out of conduit.  But any junction there would need to be accessible, so if that is closed in later (ceiling), you can't have a junction box there. The wires cut right there imply you are doing some sort of junction.  Some inspectors might not consider it a conduit, and just cable protection and let us run romex down that conduit.

Why no box for the thermostat?  We have the same issue here, folk don't install boxes for thermostats, it's just hole in the wall.

Offline Bob D.

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #74 on: January 25, 2021, 09:32 PM »
"But nothing a dab of plaster can't fix."

See, your plastering skills have improved to the point that this is a trivial matter. :-)

Would you have made that same statement 2 years ago when you first worked on these walls?
-----
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Offline Cheese

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #75 on: January 25, 2021, 09:59 PM »

1. I would assume they are going to a structural concern not letting you cut horizontally. 

2. What happens at the top of that conduit?  Do you extend the conduit?  Or do you put a junction box there?  We would either have to run the conduit all the way to where it's getting power, or transition in a junction to a wire type that can be used out of conduit. 

1. Not structural but rather for safety concerns...makes sense to me. Vertical paths from an electrical source delineate a vertical "no cut/drill zone" while horizontal paths know no boundaries. Horizontal paths are like the Wild West.

2. I'm interested in this...a junction box is the fall-back position as long as it is somehow accessible. Connections buried within walls or cavities without access are a definite no-no. 

Online DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #76 on: January 25, 2021, 11:24 PM »
Learning is happening.  This got me to finally look into this more.   Looks like they call it "chasing" and use machines called "wall chasers".  Metabo even sells one in the US it looks like, but everything about it is Europe, so I'm not sure what it is doing on the US page.  Milwaukee makes "wall chasers", they just don't sell them in the US.

If you planned such a method from the start, you could probably do this and be legal in the US, it's just hard to think of a case you would do this.  Make a wall thicker so you don't violate structural code, just to make it really hard to put stuff in.  Folks would just pour or lay up a wall with conduit in it during build. 

I did find stuff on the routing,  makes sense,  1/3rd deep vertical, 1/6th deep horizontal,  straight paths. Of course good luck making a curve.  Not unlike some of our framing notching and hole drilling rules.  we have 40% for structural and 60% for non structural walls for holes in them (centered in studs), plus rules for notches.  Their depths from surface look to be similar to ours.

wall chasing

Saw a few other pages with some hints to things like distances from corners.  Hard to find information from the US, as searches don't look to show stuff in other parts of the world.  I'm sure the right term would open things up.

It's definitely interesting.  But yeah, closest thing I can think of is the foam version of this in ICF construction.

Offline mkasdin

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #77 on: January 26, 2021, 12:25 AM »
As said, I plastered this part two years ago, put in a lot of work, for a result that was only so-so. Funny thing with plaster, you can look from one angle and think it is alright, and look from another angle with a bit different light and suddenly see dosens of imperfections. So I put a thin layer of Fill & Finish over it to smooth it out.
I’ve seen a few plasterers in the UK and Wales using plaster Skimming Blades to level the coats. I don’t remember the exact YouTube channel, but they save time, simplify the process and cuts the workload. Figured I would share, the blades come in various sizes and with a 24”-32” and a pole you don’t need stilts!

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #78 on: January 26, 2021, 03:10 AM »
lot of work there.

I would assume they are going to a structural concern not letting you cut horizontally.
.....
There no cutting into concrete/brick walls like this. 
.....
I don't want to think about how much mess this make doing that trench.
.....
What happens at the top of that conduit? 
.....
Why no box for the thermostat? 

No it is not a structural concern, cutting slots in walls is a normal thing. But PVC conduit is very weak and easy to puncture with a drill bit or screw so it is a simple safety measure.

Yes, those trenches made a real mess.

I will install a junction box at the top of that conduit. Just a little bit of wire sticks out, and you always have to make your connections inside a junction box. This spot is good to reach as the floor above it can be opened. I can't finish it right now because the room I have to go into to connect it further to the switch is temporarily designated as storage area right now. See pic below. The wire is just to the right of this hole and I have to drill through that wooden beam there to get into the other room, just like the conduit you alread see there. But to finish that, I will have to empty the entire room, remove the carpet and open up the floor. Access panels are already there.



As for the thermostat, a box is not needed nor wanted. It is only low voltage, 5 volts, so no safety concern here, and second, thermostats can be very small, so if you put in a box it might be bigger than the thermostat itself and you don't want to see a hole there.

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #79 on: January 26, 2021, 03:21 AM »
"But nothing a dab of plaster can't fix."

See, your plastering skills have improved to the point that this is a trivial matter. :-)

Would you have made that same statement 2 years ago when you first worked on these walls?

Yes, I actually would have said that, patching a little hole is easy and nowhere near the complexity of plastering an entire wall. If you have a sander, it is just like fixing a hole with putty in wood. [smile]

I’ve seen a few plasterers in the UK and Wales using plaster Skimming Blades to level the coats. I don’t remember the exact YouTube channel, but they save time, simplify the process and cuts the workload. Figured I would share, the blades come in various sizes and with a 24”-32” and a pole you don’t need stilts!

Yes, thanks, I have a few of those. Most difficult part in learning to work with these was too figure out when the plaster was stiff enough to get the proper effect. Do it too early and you rip your new layer of plaster open because it is still too soft, and do it too late and it has no effect anymore because the plaster's too hard.

Offline Bert Vanderveen

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #80 on: January 26, 2021, 07:28 AM »
I don’t think skimming is a method to level the coat. What happens is that the smaller particles in the plaster (that are floating in the water, kind of) are forced to the surface by applying pressure and this results in a finer and harder surface. So, this is more of a 'polishing' action than a levelling action — comparable to the way concrete floors are treated during the initial curing with floats and those big saucer things.


(I may be totally wrong about this — I have always avoided doing plastering… So, correct me, by all means.)
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #81 on: January 26, 2021, 08:58 AM »
I don’t think skimming is a method to level the coat. What happens is that the smaller particles in the plaster (that are floating in the water, kind of) are forced to the surface by applying pressure and this results in a finer and harder surface. So, this is more of a 'polishing' action than a levelling action — comparable to the way concrete floors are treated during the initial curing with floats and those big saucer things.


(I may be totally wrong about this — I have always avoided doing plastering… So, correct me, by all means.)


Yes Bert, sorry but I have to totally correct you on this.

A skim coat is just a thin coat of plaster over a surface, nothing else to it. It is common technique with drywall where you just put 1 or 2 mm of plaster on it, instead of 10 to 20 mm like we do over a stone wall. It can also be used to level out an existing wall with minor damage.

As for the particles, your plaster should always be well mixed so it is a homogenous compound. It becomes hard by a chemical reaction, and pushing on it has no influence. In the case of drywall compound, like what's used in America, or the Fill & Finish I use, it dries by the water vaporating out of it.

This video explains a skim coat.


 

Offline Bert Vanderveen

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #82 on: January 26, 2021, 09:20 AM »
@Alex  Right — another illusion shattered.  [wink] [big grin]
Cheers, Bert Vanderveen

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Offline Cheese

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #83 on: January 26, 2021, 10:03 AM »
Very interesting Alex, I've never seen the skim coating done with a roller before.  [smile]

A friend of mine has been in the drywall/painting/plastering business for 40+ years and watching him work is always a treat. When he skim coats he just uses a standard knife & mud pan and holds a normal conversation with you like the two of us were talking over a cup of coffee.

When he's done, everything is flat & straight and when he sands there's barely any dust on the floor. Impressive indeed.  [big grin]

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #84 on: January 26, 2021, 10:26 AM »
Connections buried within walls or cavities without access are a definite no-no.


Concur!  It's a major code violation around here.   [scared]
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #85 on: January 26, 2021, 11:30 AM »
Very interesting Alex, I've never seen the skim coating done with a roller before.  [smile]

Me neither. Is says on the bucket you can do it with a roller, but I don't see the benefit. I doubt you work much faster that way, while I would guess you spill a lot more than with a trowel.

Online DeformedTree

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #86 on: January 26, 2021, 11:38 AM »
I assume the main benefit is getting an even distribution of material, which then is flattened.

Just load it up on the sprayer  [tongue]

Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #87 on: January 31, 2021, 03:14 PM »
While the plaster in the living room had to dry, I thought I'd expand my activities to the bathroom upstairs. Remodeld by my father in 1984, and I have always hated every part of it. It had a much too big and clumsy built closet, very ugly vinyl wallpaper on the walls which didn't even line up, and a ceiling that looked horrible. Tiling was also all over the place, and so was the thinset. And don't get me started about the radiator.

I ripped almost everyting out except for the tiles, because new tiles are not in the budget with these daring covid times. Have to save that for later.

Here used to be the closet, I forgot to take a picture of it. Was just made out of particleboard and severly degraded by all the water it had to endure over time. Behind it was a wall with very old tiles. I removed the tiles, they were so loose I could almost rip them off by hand. It also revealed the gas and water pipes that go up to the central heater in the attic.



The very ugly vinyl wallpaper.





For some reasons the ceiling had these thin pieces of trim around it, and the ceiling was done very unevenly with a textured plaster we call spachtelputz. I never understood why my father just didn't let it go all the way to the walls and cover the ceiling entirely. Of course the trim was never painted also. I once started to paint them, but when I was half way I thought, sod it, I'd better rip them out once I have time.

 

After I removed all the wallpaper I was left with this un-earthly landscape: top layer plaster, bottom layer sandlime, residual wall paint and patches of vinyl wallpaper glue. 







Taking the vinyl off was pretty easy with the multimaster and a scraping attachment.



And another headscratcher: this radiator was placed sideways. There was not much room to place it normally though, but why install this thing instead of getting a proper bathroom radiator? Not only is it way too big for a 2 x 2 meter room, but installing it sideways blockes all the fins so it won't even work properly.  [huh]

It is totally rusted on the bottom too, so I'm gonna replace this with a proper one.  [cool]



And some pics the next day.







Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #88 on: January 31, 2021, 03:56 PM »
The grey bottom layer of sandlime was pulvering. Where neccesary I treated it with a primer that "glued" it all together. Then, before I could start plastering, I had to apply primer for the plaster itself.  This time I used the red stuff, Knauf Betokontak, and this is a primer that is quartz based, and you use it on surfaces that are non-porous, and have very little suction. It is very rough stuff, it feels like Saphir 24 sandpaper when it is dry, because of all the quartz particles in it. Makes for very good adhesion of your plaster.



Other parts needed the yellow primer too, to regulate it's suction. The white parts are a quick drying plaster I used to fill all the deeper holes in the walls so I was left with a more or less even surface for the final layer.





Then started plastering, the smaller parts first.





The water pipes needed a solution, can't let them remain visible like that. I'd figure I put some drywal around it.



Used a bit of scrap wood to build the frame. I put them as close as possible to the pipes, I don't want to waste space.



And all drywall applied, and the seams taped. 4 hours work.





I made a fine mess out of it ofcourse, so time for a bit of clean up. That's why I think Festool vac should be good in cleaning too. They're not, not really.  [sad]
 
And all plastered. Now it needs to dry.







When it was dry I noticed this wall was concave, I had to fix that with a centimeter of extra plaster. Green primer is the same is the red, but from another brand.



And done. Now this wall is nice and straight, because I want to make a new closet against it.



Offline Alex

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Re: Alex's Major Home Improvement Thread
« Reply #89 on: January 31, 2021, 04:47 PM »
When my father made the closet, he found it wise the bolt the closet to every surface he could find. Two walls, the ceiling, and oddly enough also the floor. Yes, he drilled holes in the floor tiles. Totally not necessary, and actually a big no-no, because you compromise the waterproving of the floor. Well, I had to do something about that. Time to put a few new tiles in.


 
I cut the old tiles with an angle grinder and a diamond disc. This way they were easy to remove in small parts with a chissel.





But now I'm left with the old thinset, and that's hard stuff. Thought the hammer drill might do it with a spade bit. Then clean up with the MultiMaster and a diamond coated blade.



All cleaned up. The blade of the MM act as sandpaper for thinset, and it works wonders. It is all flat now and ready for the new tiles.



Luckily we had some tiles left over. I tell you, these have been laying in the attic since they were originally installed, and that's almost 37 years ago. I can't count the times I have thought of throwing them out only to say to myself, nah, maybe they come in usefull one day. Well, that glorious day has finally arrived.  [smile]



Thinset applied with a 10 mm comb so I can gently lay the tiles down and wiggle them to the exact height to line up with the rest.



You can use these little crosses to create the proper size seams between the tiles. I leave them in while the thinset dries. In the past, I have taken them out too soon, only to find out later that tiles can move while thinset hardens, also on horizontal surfaces. Not gonna make that mistake once again.
 


All ready. Except that I can't fill the seams with grout because I don't have any and I can't buy any due to the lockdown. I've got to come back to that later.


 
« Last Edit: January 31, 2021, 04:51 PM by Alex »