A Floor for the Laundry Room

Luxury Vinyl Tile by MohawkWe wanted a strong contrast in the new mudroom addition that would also extend into and tie in with the kitchen. We decided to go with a luxury vinyl tile as it was the easiest solution to ensure that the new floor would be in line with the existing old flooring where the kitchen and dining room converge.

Mohwak’s line of premium luxury vinyl tile fit the bill and also met the requirements for good indoor air quality as it is FloorScore certified. Our biggest worry with the tile was with odor and off gassing. However, I must say with this flooring it was not an issue at all. The flooring did have an odor to it, but not anything like other vinyl products we’ve used. And by the next day, there was no odor at all and those in the house sensitive to such things were not phased by it all. It was an excellent choose with a fantastic look. The only drawback we see is that it doesn’t tend scratch rather easily.


Installing the LVT Flooring The Flooring Extends into the Kitchen The Dark Floor Provides a Great Contrast The Look of Real Wood in the Powder Room

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Washboard Wall Hanging

Unfinished WashboardA number of years ago I found an old unfinished washboard in the cellar that must’ve been purchased for some long-forgotten project. When making room for the plumbers and electricians, I rediscovered it and thought it would make an excellent wall hanging for the laundry room! So I set out to make this raw, unfinished washboard look old and somewhat worn.

I started by searching for some vintage clipart and sized it for using on the board. It took several tries of printing on plain paper to get the size and crop just right. Once it was perfect, I reversed the image in my photo/graphics program.

Next, I cut out a piece of waxed paper, slightly smaller than an 8-1/2” x 11” piece of copy paper and taped the waxed paper to the copy paper so it would feed through the printer easily.

Vintage Laundry Cipart Cut Almost Letter-Size Waxed Paper Taped Waxed Paper to White Paper

The prepared paper was then put into the inkjet printer so the printing would be on the waxed paper side. Working carefully so as to not smudge the ink, I cut around the printout so it would easily fit into the space I wanted to transfer the image.

This was a three-handed process to hold the waxed paper in place while using the short edge of a ruler to rub and transfer the ink to the wood. This process produced a nice, faded and aged image, perfect for the aged and worn look I was going after.

Printed Transfer Image Transfer Held in Place on Washboard The Transfered Image on the Washboard

Once the image was transferred, I stained the wood using Minwax Vermont Maple water-based stain.

To darken and give some spots a more worn look, I burnished with American Walnut paying attention to spots where there would be more wear and darkening from use.

The washboard was finished off with Minwax Water Based Polycyclic and then rubbed down with a piece of plain paper to smooth out any raised grain. I used Minwax products since I had them out and on hand, but I otherwise I would’ve used my tried and trust stash of old, discontinued Liquitex artists stains and finishes.

Staining With Vermont Maple Burnishing With American Walnut Sealing with Minwax Polycrylic

The finished washboard turned out exactly as I wanted and fit perfectly in the laundry room by the shelves, right above where the washer will be placed.

Finished Washboard Wall Hanging






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Trimming the Mudroom

Because of an ice storm the crew that is building the laundry and powder room addition to The Old House couldn’t get their truck up our narrow and windy alley into the driveway. So they had to bring it the front way up our very steep street to unload all of the trim boards and doors. The trim work, in fact all of the work, our builder has done has been exceptional with great attention paid to the details. The trim is plain, simple and yet elegant. They worked hard to match it as close as possible to the existing trim in the dining and living rooms that weren’t 50s-ized in the 1950s. While we had no interior photos of the house before it was remodeled in the 1950s, we oddly enough had photos of other houses of the same style and age in the the neighborhood to guide us. The four-panel door to the powder room is the style that was original to the house. The interior doors are wonderfully constructed out of solid wood and very heavy.

I had opted to do the painting myself and only had two days to squeeze in priming between the finishing of the drywall and installing of the trim. We normally use Mythic Paint because it’s non-toxic, very low odor and doesn’t adversely affect any of us who have chemical sensitivities. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough primer on  hand and no time to order it. So I had to resort to using Sherwin Williams’ All Purpose Primer. It is now billed as being GreenGaurd and LEED certified, however it is still one of the strongest smelling primers I’ve ever used. It did dry nearly odorless however and did an excellent job at priming the drywall. We will be using Mythic for the rest of the painting over the next few days while we wait for the flooring to be installed.

Delievery the Trim Trim Around the Back Door Backdoor and Powder Room Door Trim Trimming the Old Back Door Opening The Laundry Alcove Window Trim Was Matched to Existing Trim Finely Crafted Solid Wood Door Four-Panel Solid Wood Door

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Clapping That the Clapboards Are Done

Getting the clapboard siding done and sealing up all the cracks and crevices on the addition to The Old House couldn’t get done soon enough. As we moved into the dead of Winter, the temperature took a quick turn down to zero and single digits. Despite the bitter cold and an ice and snow storm, the guys worked daily to get the clapboards installed. It was a very tedious and time consuming operation.

The Clapboard Delivery Cutting the Exterior Trim Boards

Drafty Gaps Between Barn BoardsAs the temperature dropped, we discovered a problem. The house became extremely drafty, well more drafty than usual. The wind was actually blowing down the stairway and standing there it felt like the AC was blowing on you! The entire house became frigid and no room was spared the waft of cold air. The problem started right after insulation and drywall was completed. It was traced back to the attic space above the addition. We discovered wind coming in from the gable vent was entering gaps in the house’s barn board sheathing and penetrating the interior wall through cracks in the plaster and gaps in the stairs and trim work. The pencil-wide gaps in the barn board sheathing were never filled or sealed. So one of the skinniest workmen climbed through the gable vent opening and sealed everything . What a huge difference that made. Here you can see a cutaway section of the problem on the exterior, which continued inside under the roof line.

Setting up the Clapboard Install Installing the Clapboards  The Finished Clapboard Siding Completed Clapboards

We’re not sure why they used a gray primer, but once it’s painted out in the house’s Navaho White and Rambling Rose colors, it will look perfect. We can’t wait until the arbor is completed and the shutters for the window arrive. We had them custom made by Shuttercraft to match the rest of the shutters on the house, that were made by them a little over fifteen year ago.


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Wall Board is No Lath and Plaster

We’ve never been big fans of drywall. It may install quickly and cheaply, but just doesn’t have any of the characteristics of an old plaster and lath wall. But I digress and for a laundry room and powder room, we will make do. Once the inspection of the framing, electrical and plumbing was complete, we kept moving on at lightening speed compared to the previous phases.

The insulation that was used was Corning’s EcoTouch, certified by GreenGuard and formaldehyde free. But it did release a lot of fibers and dust into the air.

"Green" Certified Fiberglass Insulation Ceiling Insulation Laundry Insulation Powerd Room Insulation Ceiling Wall Board

Dnagerous Propane HeaterThe guys brought with them a heater since we are now down in the teens for daytime highs. This big metal contraption with enormous flame inside was linked to a hose and propane tank. They spent two days in that room with all doors and windows closed and that thing running with no ventilation, and doing the insulation with all the fiberglass and paper lying all around was nerve wracking. Every time I went I to check on progress when they were on a break I hyperventilated because there was NO oxygen in there at all. How they worked like that is beyond me. But it is done and we made sure they took their heater with them and we replaced it with a safer electric heater.

Next the drywall went up and the guys spent a couple days smoothing out the joints and nail and screw heads and created a very nice smooth surface. Still no lath and plaster, but will do for our purpose as we plan to do a 3/4 wall wainscot and maybe wallpaper above. It is really all taking great shape now and finally getting near to the end of the project for the crew. Then we can take over to work our magic. We chose not to do a turn key project, not only for budgetary reasons, but so we can put our own touches on the project.

Finsihed Entry Drywall Finished Laundry Drywall Finsihed Mudroom Drywall Finished Powder Room Drywall Finished Window Wall Drywall

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