Sunday, 1 October 2017

Basement ceiling & flooring

I have started work on the basement ceiling. I want to install lights so needed to get this detail done first so I wasn't trying to decorate around them. The room below is my inspiration for both the ceiling and floor of the basement so I'm attempting to achieve a similar look.. though mine has turned out not quite as rustic as I would like, I'm still happy with it so far.

(photo from Skeppsholmen Sotheby's International)

After laying down some painted wood flooring veneer for the ceiling finish I spaced out my beams and decided on four. This was mainly determined by wanting to make sure light placement wouldn't interfere with them, particularly on the apartment side.

The basement apartment beams will need to be cut to fit around the bathroom, but for now I just wanted placement.

 A closer look at the apartment and garage. You can kind of see the planking in these closer shots. Obviously I still need to add simple stripwood crown around the sides to hide my messy edges and leveling shims for the floor above. :)

 Next I set the bathroom insert (still under construction but you get the idea) in place to check the second beam cleared it. As a happy accident it will now be the guide for the installation of the bathroom assembly as it butts right up against the back wall.

The whole you can see on the diagonal wall will be a little frosted window to allow light into the shower area but still give the inhabitant some privacy. :D

Moving right along..... I've started laying out the brick flooring. Nothing is glued down yet. Just cutting and measuring for the room. I will age this floor with paints and aging techniques once I glue it down. It's a bit too red for my liking at the moment.

I'm using 2 x Houseworks Common Brick sheet #8201 to complete this job. They come ready to go on a net backing so the bricks are all spaced evenly. A big time saver from laying individual bricks. I did consider other options such as egg carton (which I love) and cutting them from builders foam, but I just felt for a floor I needed something more sturdy. The time saving aspect of not having to cut and lay individual bricks is a bonus that was well worth the additional cost... at least for this job. Egg carton will make an appearance again in other places. :)

They will require some cutting and piecing due to the shape of my room and of course half bricks for around the walls which brought me to my next dilemma.... how to cut these little clay bricks?? I tried to score and break them with mixed success. Then I tried using my mini bandsaw... ummm.. no... Apart from not having the right blade, having my fingers that close to a running saw didn't appeal sooo.. Off I went to the Greenleaf forums for advice, where the ever helpful members put me on to these little gems - End cut nipper jewelry pliers. Work like a charm. :) 

As these bricks are quite thick, I had to sand a bit off the bottom of my doors to make sure they clear the brick height. Also checking above that there is enough room for door trim between the bathroom wall and garage door opening. Yes there is. :)

The downstairs tenant dropped by to check out the renovations progress... It would be nice if he put some clothes on next time. :) At least he wore his undershorts.. Let's just say he's quite realistic in EVERY way. lol

All the full bricks in place.. just need to cut a few more half bricks to finish off the left hand wall.. Nice of the tenant to wear some shorts for his return visit. I need to buy him a t-shirt. :)

Also testing out lighting locations. The tenant seems to like this fixture.

Some of the bricks in the sheet had their corners broken which I don't mind because I like that tumbled brick look when grouted. I may even chip a few more when I'm aging them. :)

The light fixture started out brass but I spray painted it an aged bronze colour and then gave it a wash of black paint to darken it a bit more. I like the fixture but I didn't realise it came with bi-pin bulbs when I bought it. I'm not really a fan of those, but now I need to get some replacements. I've already burnt one out? Not sure how that happened.

The kitchen units are just mocked up to help with the kitchen light placement. I still need to make counter tops, add the one upper cabinet this kitchenette is getting and some open shelving on the wall. I also have meile half fridge to go at the end near the stove top. I might even continue the counter over the top of it to make it like a built in.

The kitchen light is a simple bulb with the base painted the same colour as the other fixture. You can just make out the ceiling planks in this picture. 

The garage ceiling beams are in. Still need to add stripwood trim around the wall/ceiling joins, but it's coming along. I bought some rubber drawer liners from the hardware store that looks just like teeny tiny coin mat. It reminds me of that rubberised treatment you see on some nicer garage floors. So I think I'll try it out as a flooring for the garage. It would be nicer if the garage had brick flooring too.. But buying clay bricks for the garage floor might be a bit extravagant. :)

I don't know why these particular pictures turned out so blurry, I took heaps and they all were the same. I'll try to get better ones next time. :)

This is the bathroom assembly in situ. As I said earlier there will be a frosted window in the diagonal wall. I think the flooring will be some JR industries round white tile and the back wall and diagonal wall which are part of the shower stall, will get "marble" subway tile floor to ceiling. I've been busily cutting it from a large vinyl tile I got at Bunnings for less than a dollar. Bargain!

Lots of cutting!

I may use these for back-splash also.. Not sure, I will need to see what they look like on the walls first.

Ok that's it for now, I need to get back to it. :)


  1. Oooohhhh! This basement is getting me excited!!! Love the beams, love the bricks, love how you've worked out the space layout, love the fixture and improvements you've made to it, LOVE the marble tiles, love the hot tenant and can't wait for more (from the build I mean, not the tenant)! ;OP
    When you grout the bricks, remember: Spackle! If you want it tinted, using your xacto, scrape some chalk pastel dust into the mix until you like the color. It takes washes like a dream, and seals up nice, too! :O)

    1. Thanks Jodi! It's starting to come together. Grouting done on the bathroom tile as well. I really need to get my blog up to date! I'm definitely trying the pastels idea. Thanks!

  2. I love your flooring! And those marble tiles are just beautiful. I think carrying them through the kitchen backsplash and the shower will give you some nice unity in the spaces.

    I'd also suggest if you want to keep the bricks looking newer give them a coat of ceramcoat first to keep the spackle from making the clay brick dingy looking. Then after your spackle you can do another coat to seal it. Jodi's right though, spackle is awesome stuff.

    1. Thanks Sheila, I think I will carry the marble through. And I don't mind a bit of dingy.. lol
      I'm going to age the brick a little so I'm not too worried about the spackle at the moment but I will surely keep your suggestion in my pocket if I change my mind. :)

  3. Hi, So pleased to find your blog through the Studio E comment that you left. Also to discover you are in Qld. I am just considering a Gustavian inspired house. I keep adding to my French House but feel ready to take on something new.... however I find it difficult to proceed. More research is needed I think.
    My friend Elizabeth , of Studio E, is encouraging me to simply make a start!
    All the best.
    Regards Janine

    1. Hi Janine! Thanks for stopping by. Do you have a blog I can follow? Love French and Gustavian styles and they are so similar in many ways. Gustavian is just generally more painted and rustic. Very interchangeable though. So I'm sure you will be able to achieve a great look if you are already doing french. :)

  4. Hi, You have been a very busy lady these past few days! If you tap on the minworks on my comment it may link to my blog.
    If not it is
    I have been rather remiss in posting of late. Perhaps when I begin my new project I will post more often.
    I was surprised that there is a miniature store in Tamborine. My brother-in-law and family live on the coast and husband’s cousin at Mt. Tamborine. I must look for the store next visit.
    I was down in February.
    I note that you mentioned to Elizabeth about being reminded of Argentina - of course so many Italians settled in Argentina. We spent five months backpacking around Peru, Bolivia and Argentina while our boat was based in Ecuador. I was amazed by the antique stores in BA. Unfortunately, too difficult to carry multiple place settings of Limoges china back to Canada in a backpack.

    Did you realize you can score laminate to create tile-look for walls or floor. I did it for the walls of the bathroom for the French house.
    Take care.

    1. Haha yes, I had a little bit of time on my days off for once to focus on my mini-ing. :) This week alas it's time to do my taxes.. I've been procrastinating on them for a bit so I do have to focus as the deadline is fast approaching. :(
      Yes, Custom Dollhouse is in Tamborine.. it's a little hard to find as it's in a building that was/is still a house as well. Alas, they told me when I was there that they are closing their shop front sometime next year as they are going to focus on their online business. I'm sad about that, but they are such lovely ladies they said that if I ordered online they'd be happy to drop off my purchases to my house when they were in the area which funnily enough is quite often. :D
      There is also a store in Southport called Christmas Everyday. As the name suggests they sell all sorts of Christmas Decorations as well and also have a large Model Train enthusiast section. But they also have quite a large Dollhouse section. I haunt them frequently for things like trim that are expensive to ship because of their length. :)
      February is a great time to come because you can go to the dollhouse extravaganza. :D I'm sure you have been.
      Your travels sound so amazing.. I love South America. The people are so lovely and it's beautiful. I was in Argentina last for a work trip. Very short visit to BA and I lamented that I only bought carry on luggage because I wanted to shop the Antiques too! My husband and I did manage to run to a tailor and have leather jackets made in 24 hours! Amazing! :)
      Thanks for linking your blog.. when I clicked your handle it didn't give me the url so I'm glad you typed it in. :) I'm especially interested in you bathroom tiling.