June 25th, 2010
The crew is preparing the house for the final finishes.
Plasterers have been dodging the rain all week to try and get the exterior wall finished. They are impressively fast and appear to be quite content to work in very narrow spaces. That building sites in Tokyo are always so tight means they must have to do things like this fairly often.
They are putting on three layers of mortar so it means covering every face of the house 3 times, which is not so easy to do in the middle of rainy season. So far we have been lucky though and are only losing a few says here and there. The mortar is the fireproofing for the wood structure on the outside and will be finished with a final layer of smooth mortar and a layer of waterproofing paint.
On the inside the fireproofing is provided by a layer of plasterboard, which will be painted.
plaster in living room
The flooring on the first two floors is a solid rose-wood, which has a bit more variation in color than we were expecting. We put together a sample in the hallway and discussed with the client before deciding to separate the pieces into groups based on the darkness of the wood. That way each room will have a slightly distinct shade to it. On the third floor we are using an ash, which we will finish on site with a dark stain. We are using the ash instead of Rosewood because it has been treated to be dimensionally stable when used with radiant floor heating.
Meanwhile on the ground floor the front hall will be finished with terrazzo tiles,so we need to prepare a bed of mortar to bring the floor level up to the right height. Beneath the mortar there is also a layer of rigid insulation.
Although the front hall will not be inhabited per se we are putting in a simple heating system in the form of radiant floor heating. To make the substructure level it means doing the job in two stages, with the mortar bed in the first stage set a bit lower than in the second. In that way a kind of depression is made so the top of the radiant heating panels will be the same as the top of the mortar bed. Once the first layer of mortar is set and the heating system is in place the tile installer will be ready to fill the rest of the floor with mortar, and put in the tiles (which are sitting in pallets in the yard and looking beautiful). Theoretically as soon as next week.