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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thrifty Thursday - Nothing is as easy as it seems

It should have been a quick and easy project.  We are moving our pellet stove insert downstairs into the family room fireplace opening.  Unfortunately, the fireplace has no hearth (don't ask me why!) and to comply with building codes, it must have a hearth.  No problem, right?  A simple box frame, a few layers of cement board with some tiles on top, and it's done!  Hah!  It never works that way.

We have to have a hearth to put the pellet stove on...
We came up with a design and figured out the measurements exactly.  The hearth had to extend at least 6 inches beyond the front of the pellet stove.  We decided on 16 inch tiles, requiring 3 tiles to span the length of the hearth.  My husband measured the wood for the frame, cut it perfectly and screwed it together.  Then we measured the cement board, cut it carefully and screwed the layers together and attached them to the frame.  Then we set the tiles on top to see how it would fit.  It looked great!

Then my husband casually asked me how far the pellet stove extended beyond the fireplace opening.  Uhhhhh, I didn't think that was an issue.  It didn't seem to stick out very far upstairs.  I ran and got a tape measure and quietly prayed that it wasn't any more than 10 inches.  I held my breath and measured....12 inches.  Oh no!  Our beautiful hearth was going to be 2 inches off.  My husband kept his cool admirably and said he thought he could make an extension on the frame but we'd need to get 18 inch tiles.  Ok.  Not too bad but that will add time to the project.

Yeah sure...just score and snap. 
Next day, (today) my husband remade the frame.  I went to the local Home Depot and bought 3 new 18 inch tiles and returned the 16 inch tiles.  Now it was time to cut two of the tiles so they would fit in the space.  The guy at Home Depot said it would be no problem to cut the tiles.  Just score and snap off.  We could do that, right?  Wrong.  The tile broke.  Can we rent a tile saw?  Too expensive.   "Let's check Lowes", said my dear husband.  So off to Lowes.  There the nice sales clerk told us that he would be glad to cut our two tiles for free if we bought them at Lowes.  We picked out three new tiles (our third set of tiles!) and had the nice man cut them with his power saw.  Beautiful.
Now to dry for 24 hours...

We brought home our three tiles and in 15 minutes, I had them mortared to the cement board, all ready to dry for the next 24 hours.

Maybe eventually we'll get this finished.  I think the worst part is over now.  Updates next week.  Wish us luck!


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