Tag Archives: heating

Flooring Part I

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.

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Interior Siding and Trim

There is siding on lofts , the great room and the kitchen.  There is just a bit of siding left to do in the kitchen along the wall that divides the kitchen and the bathroom (that wall hasn’t been built yet).  The windows in the loft have their trim and the long dormer edges are trimmed.  All is good and right in the world.  I am possibly a month away from living in my tiny house.  A month!

Saturday, we finished off the siding on the dormers in the bedroom loft and then started on the small bit of 12/12 ceiling at the end of main loft.  Once again I was manning the nail gun and Stefan was on the saw.  It was really satisfying to cover up the insulation and watch the purple disappear.  That satisfaction was only trumped by seeing the windows trimmed.

I discovered this week that I missed a pretty important detail when I ordered my siding.   A lot of tiny houses use ¼” siding to cut down on weight.  I missed that detail and just ordered siding.  My siding is ¾”, which means it’s easier to install, is more solid and three times as heavy.   It’s not the most comfortable of realizations I have had over the course of this build and it impacts a great deal.  Now I just have to weigh one of the pieces of siding and start doing some math before I can choose the flooring I will install, which after a recent decision, choosing flooring has become a bit tricky.

Here’s a bit about that decision: while roughing in the electrical, I decided to add in-floor heating.  I contacted a tiny houser in Vermont who has been wintering in their tiny house with straw bales stacked around the base of their trailer and he wished he had installed in-floor heating.  So I went for it.  I have my in-floor heat mats and 2 thermostats.  I am hoping to install ceramic tile floor – a heavy choice, but a choice that lets the in-floor heating radiate into the room.  Wood insulates , so in-floor heating will heat up the floor, but that heat won’t radiate much into the room.

So choices have to be made and wood has to be weighed.

Fun fact:  in carpentry, a beveled edge is called a chamfer.  I learned that this weekend.

Interior Siding: The Beginning

Last week was quite the week.  Tiny Refuge went from bare studs with electrical, to purple with some studs coming through to beautiful knotty pine siding.  Part of me had forgotten what  a difference siding made to the exterior of the house. It is certainly making a wonderful difference to the interior.

The interior siding arrived just under four months ago when the ridge beam was delivered.  It was stacked beside the big house, protected under tarps, until December when it was brought inside before the snow fell.  Although it might have been fine to stay outside, the thought of snow sneaking its way inside the tarp and then melting, was enough to move the whole lot into the tiny house.  That pile of siding, much of which is 16′ in length was really interesting to get inside the house and then even more interesting to cut and install.

We set up the mitre saw next to the large window on the short wall of the house.  Then we set up a ladder outside, lined up with the window.  Whenever a 16′ board was cut, we had to open the window and slide the board outside, where  it would rest on the ladder and stay level to be cut.  If the board was the wrong way around, it was fed outside through the window, turned and then sent back in through the window.

Fortunately, it wasn’t too cold on Saturday and though colder on Sunday, it wasn’t too bad.  The insulation got it’s first real test and I have to say, it did a great job.  I had read a post by Laura Moreland of Tiny House Ontario on Tiny House Listings that described the effect opening a door had on the heat in her tiny house.  It had me rather nervous, and I am happy to say that Tiny Refuge held its heat fairly well.  Granted it was a balmy -12C (10F) and not -31C (-23).  Nonetheless, it was reassuring that with the small electrical heater going, the house remained comfortable while the window was completely open for minutes at a time.

We started by installing the 2×3 stud that is the beginning of the bathroom wall, with cutouts in it for the wires to be able to reach the breaker panel that will be in the wall.  Then the siding started going up.  It was a little bit of slow going with all of the cutouts needed for the electrical outlets and switches and for the wheel wells and windows.  Stefan used the table saw for the long straight cuts and we used two different tools for the smaller cutouts.  The first was a jigsaw and the second  was an oscillating multi-tool.  We used the multi-tool a little with the exterior siding, but it really got good use with the interior siding.  It was nice tool to use.  The jigsaw was also fun, I even got to cut circles with it and they were pretty fantastic for my first shot of cutting circles with a jigsaw.

We had wonderful help on Saturday from René.  He manned the mitre saw and juggled 16′ boards.