Progress on Tiny Refuge is just chugging along. Tiny Refuge now has flooring! Yesterday morning, we installed the cork flooring in the lofts and started on the porcelain tiles in the kitchen and great room and today we finished tiling the kitchen and great room.
Tomorrow, the grout goes on and then a field trip to a counter supplier!
The cork floor being installed.
The red under the tile is the underlayment, which I did not know I needed until very recently. The underlayment helps the floor “feel” softer, helps keep moisture out of the floor and reduce noise.
The last board going in!
The left with the cork flooring in!
This is the porcelain tile that will go throughout most of the main floor of the tiny house.
The kitchen tiled. I chose a 2″ square tile for the floor mostly because of weight. The bigger tiles are almost twice as thick and tile is pretty heavy to begin with.
The great room tiled.
This is the bathroom, with a skim coat of thinset on it. The bathroom tile isn’t as thick as the rest of the time, the skim coat builds up the height of the floor. This will be a small white hexagonal tile.
Construction on Tiny Refuge has gone from a weekend affair to a fully time occupation. I will be living in Tiny Refuge in a matter of weeks.
The electrical is completed as far as it can until the bathroom is finished, the ceiling under the loft is put in and the floors are finished. The Lunos e2 HRV (heat recovery ventilator) was hooked up and tested. It took a little doing as there was a misunderstanding about how the switches needed to be setup. The box we received with the HRV was a european one and it fit the transformer that controls the HRV units, so we installed it. Oops. The european box, that had the wires for the HRV running to it, had to be carefully excavated from the wall and a triple gang box was installed into the wall. The Lunos e2 needs two switches, one switch turns the units on and the second switch controls the speed (low or high). The switches needed a triple gang box because a double gang box doesn’t have enough space for the switches and the transformer. In the third space in the box, a blank switch was installed and a hole drilled through it for the transformer’s LED.
With the switches and the transformer in place, the tubes were cut to size, the units were put in place and hooked up and then tested. There was a slight delay as they started up, once they started they quietly purred and worked beautifully. The Lunos e2 HRV must be installed in pairs. One unit draws fresh air in as the other draws the “stale” air out, then after about a minute later, they switch. They make very little noise, even on the high setting. It was wonderful to hear them purr.
This weekend we were only able to build on Sunday, so the electrical will wait and as the hook up at the house isn’t done yet, it doesn’t affect much. Saturday, I was able to spend some time getting ready for Sunday, I cleaned the tiny house, vacuumed the sawdust off the floors, walls, windows, etc. to get the floor ready to install the tiling. I am using Nuheat Infloor Heating Mats. They were the mat that was recommended to me and here are some of the reasons I am really glad I bought them, most in-floor heating systems require a layer of levelling cement, the Nuheat mats only require a layer of thinset under the mats, which saves on weight. These mats also come in 120 or 240 volts, I chose the 120 volts because I wasn’t sure at the time that I ordered them if my electrical would be able to handle 240 volts. I ordered 3 mats, one for the bathroom, one for the kitchen and one for the great room. The mats in the bathroom and the kitchen do not go under the cabinets, the tub or the toilet.
After I finished cleaning, I laid out the mats to map out the path for the wires that run from the mats to the thermostats. The bathroom mat was pretty straightforward, the 10′ wire had more than enough room to travel from the mat to the wall and then up to the box where the thermostat will be installed. The Nuheat thermostat can take up to 15 amps worth of mats each. I bought two thermostats, one for the bathroom and then planned on having both the kitchen and the great room mats on the second thermostat. When I laid out the kitchen and the great room mat I was stumped. The wire from the kitchen mat didn’t reach the thermostat. When we roughed in the electrical, we set up a circuit for an extra thermostat. Before we put up the interior siding, I chose to put the thermostat in the box further away from the kitchen, so Stefan ran a rope from that box to the floor so that the wires from the mats could run behind the paneling. In retrospect, we should have done the same for the other box, but we did not, because I knew I only wanted to have one thermostat for the kitchen and great room. The wires from both mats reach the box that doesn’t have the rope going to it. So expect a post with details of how we run the wires to that box.
Sunday morning we started by laying out the uncoupling membrane, which allows the house to shift without the tiles or grout cracking, cutting it to fit the tiny house. Once it was laid out, we carefully put away the membrane, the last piece to be installed went back in the box first and the first piece to be installed went in last. Then we laid out the in floor heating mats and marked the location on the mat for the floor heat sensor. Next, we put a thin layer of thinset down where the mats are going to lie. The mats were laid down and then another layer of thinset for the uncoupling membrane. Once the uncoupling membrane was down, more thinset to file the grid on the uncoupling membrane (see pictures below). The thinset is curing (which should take about 24 hours) and next week the tile gets installed.
The kitchen and great room infloor heat mats.
The bathroom infloor heat mat.
The heating mats in place and the heat sensor is being taped down.
The heat sensor taped in place. For it to work properly, it can’t cross the wire in the mat.
The thinset going down for the uncoupling membrane.
The first membrane in place.
The uncoupling membrane before being covered in thinset.
The bathroom done! We worked from the bathroom towards the door.
All ready for one last coat of thinset and the tiles.
All ready for tile in the kitchen.
The wires that go up to the thermostat for the kitchen and great room.
The bathroom all ready for tiles.
The wires for the bathroom thermostat.
This will be the tile in the kitchen and great room.
The small white hexagonal tile will be in the bathroom.