Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Parting is such sweet sorrow

We started our renovation of the guest bathroom in the middle of the house. It's a small bathroom so we thought we'd take off some of the sheetrock to see what is behind it, hoping we will find something original that we can use and create space.

Well, the first thing we discover behind the sheet rock are exterior redwood slats! Several times painted and once was actually on the outside at some point which leads me to believe that our kitchen was once just a deck or porch. The paint has that quintessential victorian coloring and is comprised of solid, old-growth redwood. I had to run down to the tool library to find some way of pulling out the nails without fracturing the board and the good people there gave me some 'parting' tools that allowed me to take out the nails on the board.

After taking off the bord, I see the back of what appears to be wainscot. After removing sheetrock on the other side, I find something called "Tyle-bord" nailed to the original wainscotting. All I found on the internet about that are a few ads dating back to 1948-49.
"About Tyle-Bord products. Tyle-Bord Company Incorporated manufactured building materials, the company was based out of Seattle. Frank Hobbs was President of the company, John G. Mitchell was Vice-President, and George R. Torrence was Secretary-Treasurer. View of model kitchen with Tyle-Bord ceiling and walls.

After carefully removing the bord, it was on to the wainscot and the slow process of pulling out the nails that held it to redwood studs. After a while, I successfully pulled out about eight 4' high wainscot pieces. They unsnap like a puzzle which is cool. There is about 3 layers of paint on it and this means more paint removal.

It's interesting to think about how styles change of the years and how much the house is layered with a sort of history of 'modernizing' and 'updating'. Now, it's cool to bring these houses back to the original and I'm happy that the previous owners were good enough (or lazy enough) to have covered some of the original house that protected it over the years.

In my research, it is interesting to learn that drywall had been considered a pretty cheap wall to have. Many people still don't like it for a variety of reasons and even though it was invented in the early 1900's, drywall didn't become popular until well into the 1950s.

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