Monday, March 10, 2014

Little fixes

There are always a million projects on my to do list, and most of them are big. Some, however, are easy. That doesn't mean they get done faster, of course, but I did manage knock a few out this weekend.

First, the hall floor. The laminate separated in a few places. Doing some reading online, it seemed like the way to fix this was to put on a rubber-soled shoe and just kind of...kick it back into place. I didn't have a rubber-soled shoe, so I got out a roll of this shelf liner.



They might separate again, so if they do I'm going to make sure the gaps are really cleaned out and put some Liquid Nails or something in there.

Next, the kitchen. This floor has been down for three years, and I can definitely tell that I used cheap tiles. In my defense, the groutable vinyl tiles didn't exist when I put this down. Crappy thin vinyl tiles were the most commonly available, and I just picked the tile I liked and didn't pay attention to thickness or anything like that. I plan to put down groutable vinyl tile, although I'm not sure if I'll put it over this floor or scrape all this up and go back down to the subfloor. I don't know. It's about 200 square feet and honestly, I don't want to take up the old stuff. The manufacturer says you can put the groutable vinyl over an old vinyl floor as long as everything is level and there are no gaps. The subfloor is squeaky and creaky and I do want to get some screws in it, but I can do that without taking up all of the tile.

First up are these tiles by the door. After being down for three years with no problems, these two tiles suddenly cracked a few weeks ago.

I was ignoring them, but Baby Girl figured out how to do this, so I figured I should fix it.

Ten minutes later.

Sorry, I took this one from the other direction. I assumed I'd find an unlevel subfloor or something, but nope. No reason for the crack.

I also replaced these tiles over by the sink. I thought I was a really terrible tile layer until I read that the glue on these older peel and stick tiles was weaker than what they use today, and sometimes the glue weakens and the tile moves. I knew I hadn't left huge gaps intentionally.


I didn't replace the cracked tile; my tile stash is almost wiped out. This tile is discontinued, so no more fixes for me. At least, no more matching fixes.

Finally, the dishwasher. This thing has been working like crap since about six months after we bought it, and it finally got to the point where we gave up on using it because it wasn't cleaning at all. B disassembled it and cleaned it with CLR, I tested the water fill level, used different detergents, loaded it differently, and finally worked up the courage to attack the water inlet valve. I've done wiring on the house and I know how to do basic stuff, but when something starts out with "shut off the electricity," I basically make it my mission to avoid doing whatever that is. But I've been handwashing dishes forever and I hate it. I had B turn off the electricity (the dishwasher is actually labeled on the panel!), then I took off the kickplate thingy and unhooked the water hose. The water inlet valve was surprisingly easy to find--it's the part with the hose hooked to it. It was caked with this crap.

Calcium? Lime? I don't know. I do know that I hate it with a passion. This is maybe half of what came out. I thought for sure this would take care of the problem. But no. So I called in reinforcements: my dad. He disassembled it again, pulled two twist ties out of somewhere, and got the water pressure back up. This is our last resort; we've done all that we know how to do (except B thinks we should take off the flexible pipe that hooks the dishwasher to the hot water line and rinse it out, which isn't a bad idea). If this fails, I guess we get a new dishwasher. Personally I'd like to find one of those top loaders from the '50s. I bet those live forever.

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