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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 3/23/2015

I realized it had been a month since I posted an update about what's been going on hereabouts and thought I should change that. Mind you it's still not much compared to what gets down during the summertime but it's progress nonetheless.


Much threshold work has gotten done around the house, albeit more slowly than I'd have liked. In part that's due to the still narrow window of light when I get home from work, and in part that's due to the seemingly never-ending list of "little things" to do. However, I've gotten the following all done:

  • The stairs into the great room have both inner corner and step nose trim done;

  • The patio door into the dining area now has a nice run of Quarter Round finishing it off;

  • The main stairs now have a nice (pain-in-the-butt to cut) step nose trim;

  • The fireplace transition on both sides is all complete with T-molding;

  • Lengths for the upstairs bathrooms have been cut and are drying from their stain treatment as I write this;

  • The piece of Quarter Round for the upstairs patio door (that leads out onto the deck) has been picked out and will be cut to size in the next day or so, then stained and installed.
I still need to address the upstairs guest bathroom and the step into the utility room but that's just a matter of buying another piece of unfinished step-down transition and staining it.

After those there will only be two things left: The great room transition from the tile to the wood, and the curving step upstairs in the library.

Of the two the upstairs bit is the hardest one as I have to find molding to fit the big "S" curve that comprises this step. The total length is 12' and this presents a bit of a problem - I discovered that a simple "L" shaped covering won't provide enough bend for the curves. If I tried to use TWO pieces, one for the front of the steps and one for the top I can't bend the top piece sufficiently... Here's just not enough bend in a piece of wood to make that work.

I did look at a PVC option here but decided against it. While the "L" would in fact bend sufficiently to probably work with a lot of bracing and judicious glue placement, it wasn't quite wide enough to cover one end of the intersection (they flooring guys were a bit sloppy there IMO). And I didn't really like the look anyway - even stained I thought it would just look too "plastic" for my tastes.

So I think what I'm going to do is to build the finish out of wood one piece at a time:

  • First, put up a piece along the front of the step that works. I've got to spend some quality time at Lowe's (sadly, Home Depot seems strangely lacking in this area) to track this down but I think I'll be able to do this without any problem. The wood pieces do bend enough to navigate the curves without too much issue; I'll just need to use several heavy weights to hold it in place while the glue sets up.

  • Then, the first part of the upper section will be built to cover the bulk of the joint between the upper and lower steps. I think I can bend a narrower piece of wood sufficiently to manage the curves (they are relatively gentle), so with all the right weights at my disposal again to hold it into place I think I can make this work.

  • Once this has set up nicely I then add a third piece, this time along the top to serve as a the finish to the transition. Again it'll be a mix of narrow enough to be flexible but wide enough to work with the overall transition but I think I can find that - there were several candidates in the Lowe's stockpile that might work.

  • When all is in place I sand it carefully to remove imperfections, fill in any holes with wood putty, and then stain.

That's the plan anyway; we'll see how it goes.

While I utterly neglected pics for the other transition work I will put some up when I get to this last bit - it'll be a several day project all by itself!

Steven in Colorado

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