Understanding Home Construction: Interior Finish

Although you may find the steps described in this section easier to visualize, just remember that the drywall, trim, and cabinets only turn out right if the foundation, walls, and rough structure have been carefully planned and constructed. Building a house is like putting together a complex puzzle. All the pieces are interconnected, and the puzzle is complete only when all the pieces are in place.

Fireplace and Other Interior Brickwork

Where used, one of the first pieces of the interior puzzle to be installed is the fireplace. The builder may complete the fire place soon after roughing in the plumbing, heating, and electrical systems, although some builders may wait until later. While a fireplace is not essential, it's a traditional part of many American homes.

The most traditional type of fireplace is the brick fireplace pictured in drawing 5.1. The builder can also choose many alternatives to the brick fireplace, including metal pre-fabricated fireplaces or wood stoves. In addition, the builder can build traditional fireplaces out of field stone, cut stone, or other masonry materials besides brick. However, regardless of the type of masonry used for the facade, the builder usually constructs the interior, functioning part of the fireplace as shown in drawing 5.1.

5.1 Components of a Masonry Fireplace

Traditional fireplaces at best are only marginally efficient in heat production. For that reason, they are more of a luxury than a source of heat for the home. In drawing 5.1, you can see the firebox where the actual fire is built and the flue, which rises from it. A steel angle, also called an angle iron, runs from one side of the firebox to the other and supports the brick facade over the opening.

A metal damper separates the smoke shelf from the fire- box. The homeowner must open this damper before building a fire to prevent the room from filling with smoke. When the homeowner is not using the fireplace, the damper should be closed to keep interior air, usually expensively heated or cooled, from escaping outside.

Depending on the overall size of the firebox, the back of the fireplace is usually narrower than the front and slopes toward the front at the top. This helps channel the smoke and fumes toward the rear of the firebox and ultimately into the flue. Likewise, the smoke shelf at the bottom of the flue helps to direct any downdraft back up the flue and keep smoke and fumes from reentering the firebox. All in all, a masonry fireplace is a complicated structure and requires• the talents of trained masons experienced in fireplace construction.

The builder can increase the heating capacity of a fireplace by using an air-circulating fireplace insert with double steel walls. A common type of insert is a fireplace form, which allows cool air from the room to enter the system at the bottom between the double walls, be warmed by the warmer steel wall which is in contact with the fire, circulate upward, and reenter the room through upper vents.

In addition, the builder can add small fans to circulate the air and further increase the efficiency of the fireplace. The builder can also have outside air flow through ducts into the firebox for combustion and can add glass doors to the front of the firebox to reduce the amount of heated room air that goes up the chimney.

Many builders have found these types of fireplace systems helpful, particularly in heating family rooms or dens. Of course, the usefulness of any fireplace system also depends on the local climate, the cost of firewood, and the effort that the homeowner is willing to exert in cutting and splitting wood for fuel.

Finally, besides the interior brickwork needed for fire places, the builder may use brickwork in many other places in the house, including decorative interior brick walls, solid bricks for floors, and even brickwork for interior staircases. Glass block, commonly used many years ago, is making a comeback in bathroom design and other decorative features. A builder usually hires a trained mason to properly install these types of masonry in a house.

Plaster and Drywall

Two important pieces of the puzzle that demand the builder’s attention early on in the interior finish are the plaster and drywall.

Plaster

A generation ago builders commonly used plaster in most homes. Today gypsum wallboard, commonly called drywall, has almost completely replaced plaster. However, plaster still has certain applications, particularly in remodeling and renovating existing plaster homes or in creating designs for molded decorative trim.

However, for the most part, old-fashioned, site-cast plaster moldings have now given way to factory-cast plaster and plastic foam moldings. These days chances are good that a builder can find a ready-made substitute for plaster decorative features from older homes. These substitutes are less expensive and have the same look and feel as plaster.

Drywall

Drywall is basically a board that the builder applies to the frame of the house to create the walls. It typically comes in 4x8- and 4x12-foot pieces. Professional drywall installers often prefer 4x12-foot pieces since they require less cutting and patching.

Drywall for Ceilings. In square or rectangular rooms with standard, flat ceilings, the builder usually installs the ceiling drywall first. To start the process, the professional drywall installers carefully measure and cut the drywall on the floor to make sure that each end of the drywall falls exactly half way over a ceiling joist or truss.

The drywall installers next lift a piece of drywall into place in one corner of the room, with the long dimension of the drywall running perpendicular to the ceiling joists or trusses. They then nail or screw this piece of drywall into each joist or truss. Drywall screws cost somewhat more than drywall nails but are less likely to push out from the wood as it dries, causing a bump in the surface called a nail pop. Adhesive may also be used to reduce the number of nails or screws needed for installing the drywall.

Drywall for Walls. As the first step to placing drywall on the walls, the installers run the drywall lengthwise along the wall. A house usually has walls that are just over 8 feet tall. The height of the walls includes the height of the studs and bottom and top plates.

Since the installers usually prefer to use drywall that comes in 4x12-foot pieces, they next cover the wall with two pieces of drywall, an upper piece along the ceiling and a lower piece along the floor. They then install the upper piece first to avoid any gaps at the ceiling. They next install the lower piece to butt up against the upper piece. This leaves a small gap where the drywall meets the floor, which will later be covered with carpet or baseboard.

The drywall installers try to stagger upper and lower ends of the sheets every 4 feet. This approach strengthens the wall and makes the vertical joints less visible after painting. Except at corners, the ends of the upper and lower sheets are not placed on the same stud.

You may notice that in some places the builder uses specialty drywall. For example, thicker drywall or other special fire-resistant gypsum board is sometimes used between the house and garage. Also, while white or gray paper covers most drywall, the builder places a special water-resistant drywall in high moisture areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms. This drywall is covered in green paper and derives its water resistance from a wax emulsion.

Sometimes the builder may use drywall panels with factory-installed decorative vinyl wall coverings and pre finished edges. To install these panels, the builder glues, rather than nails or screws, them to the studs to keep from destroying the decorative pattern.

Otherwise, to finish installing the drywall, the installers drive the heads of the drywall nails or screws slightly below the surface, which leaves a slight dimple in the surface of the drywall. The drywall finishers then apply a drywall finishing or joint compound to fill these dimples. This compound comes as both a powder or, more commonly, premixed in 5-gallon buckets, which is what most drywall finishers prefer to use.

Besides using this drywall finishing compound to fill the dimples in the surface of the drywall, the finishers also use it to apply a layer of 2-inch-wide drywall tape, which is simply heavy paper, over the edges of the drywall joints to smooth the surface and reduce the chances of cracking. (See photo 5.2.) The finishers then use a wide spackling knife, somewhat like a putty knife, to spread the compound onto the edges of the drywall joints. With the knife, they force the compound into the recesses of the joints and dimples. They then apply the compound to the tape and joints.

The joints and dimples in the drywall must then be allowed to dry between coats, usually overnight, although the finishing compound can take a lot longer to dry in damp or cold weather. Because the compound shrinks below the surface as it dries, the drywall finishers then apply a second coat of compound with a wider knife. After the joints and dimples in the drywall are dry and smooth, the finishers sand them to prepare the drywall for painting, wallpapering, or the application of textured coatings.

Exposed exterior corners of the drywall are particularly vulnerable to damage. When the drywall is installed, the builder covers these corners with an angled metal corner piece, which comes in 8-foot lengths. The purpose of this metal corner piece, sometimes called a corner bead, is to pro vide rigidity and strength to the corners of the drywall. The finishers cover this metal corner piece with two or three coats of compound so that it's indistinguishable from the drywall that it protects.

When installing and finishing the drywall, a builder’s methods may vary, whether for marking and cutting holes for electrical boxes, dealing with difficult corners, or finishing smooth or textured ceilings or walls. Regardless of the techniques used, however, all of these methods require experienced, professional drywall specialists to complete this very basic part of the finish for the home. A professional home builder will have one or more experienced drywall crews, either working directly for the builder or more commonly subcontracted, who can provide a proper dry-walling job for the house. After finishing the installation of the dry wall, the builder can begin to put the interior trim in place.

Interior Trim

Installing the interior trim has four basic steps: door and window trim, moldings, cabinets, and finish hardware. In addition, the interior staircases are usually completed at this point. The steps to interior trim might not happen at the same time nor may the same carpenters complete each step.

For example, a builder often subcontracts cabinet installation, particularly if the cabinets are built off site or provided by a specialty cabinet company. Although this approach is increasingly rare today, if the cabinets are built on site, then the builder may hire a custom cabinet craftsperson. This per son and any assistants need undisturbed access to the house until they finish installing the cabinets.

In addition, the builder usually has an interior trim crew, either on the payroll or subcontracted, who installs the interior doors, door and window trim, baseboard, and other moldings. Finally, after the staircases and other interior finish work are completed, a carpenter installs the finish hardware.

Door and Window Trim

The builder needs to select moldings for the doors and windows early on. This is because the doors, hinges, and trim are usually ordered from a factory in advance where they are preassembled and then delivered to the home site at the proper time.

The builder or homebuyer can select finish trim from a variety of moldings for around doors and windows and the intersection of the walls with the floor and ceiling. Moldings that can be finished naturally are often made of oak or other hardwood, while moldings that the builder plans to paint are usually made of softer wood. Prefinished molded wood fiber and plastic have also recently met with success in some applications for moldings.

Doors and Door Trim. House plans show doors partially open, so the builder and the homebuyer can tell which way the door is supposed to swing and whether any obstructions may prevent the door from opening or closing in that direction. Bedroom and bathroom doors usually swing into those rooms because if these doors swing into hallways they may interfere with traffic. Closet doors usually swing outward, because closets have no room for doors to swing inward. Doors between two rooms, such as a kitchen and dining room, swing whichever direction will least interfere with future furniture placement and traffic patterns.

Interior doors usually come approximately 6 feet and 8 inches high and in a variety of widths. The most common width for bedroom doors is 2 feet and 6 inches, while bath room doors often range from 2 feet to 2 feet and 6 inches wide. The widths of closet doors are in the same range, although walk-in closets often have wider doors. If the homeowner anticipates needing wider doors for wheelchair access, he or she may want to work with the builder to plan for wide-passage doors—at least on floors where a wheel chair may be used.

Closet doors come in a variety of types and styles. For example, closets may have hi-fold doors, which are really two doors hinged together. Each pair of doors is then hinged at the side so that the doors fold open and close accordion style on a track at the top and sometimes the bottom of the door opening. Bi-fold doors come in patterns to match the other doors of the house or in other patterns such as louvered styles that are particularly useful for utility closets.

The builder may also use special accordion or sliding doors for closets. An accordion door has a series of hinged vertical components, made of material like vinyl, that typically fold open and close on rollers along an overhead track like an accordion. Sliding doors also move on rollers in a track at the top or bottom of the door and usually slide in front of each other in the door opening. For some closets and other places in the house where neither swing direction is appropriate, the builder may use a sliding pocket door. For convenience this type of door slides on a track into a cavity or pocket in the wall.

Bi-fold, accordion, sliding, and pocket doors are usually not pre-hung but rather are delivered with a hardware kit. A skilled trim carpenter then assembles and installs these doors on site. The builder needs to plan all doors and door openings at the framing stage, because the rough openings for doors can vary greatly in size and thus affect the wall framing. As one example, the pocket door frame has to be planned as an integral part of the adjacent wall from the beginning.

As the final step to installing the interior doors, the builder applies the casing trim around the door openings. As part of this process, the trim carpenter nails the door casings to the door jamb or door frame and through the drywall into the wall framing with finish nails. To secure the hardwood casings, the carpenter may have to insert nails in moldings through predrilled holes, which prevent them from splitting.

While trimming the interior doors, the builder also trims the interior windows.

Window Trim. The casings around window frames on the interior of the house should match those used around the interior door frames. Since molding patterns may vary among suppliers, the builder needs to coordinate the style of the windows with the style of the pre-casings used to finish hung doors to ensure that the desired moldings are supplied.

5.3 Window Trim

Besides the casing, interior trim for a window includes the stool and apron. (See drawing 5.3.) The apron is a piece of molding similar to the casing used below the stool. The stool is the ledge located at the bottom of the window on the interior of house.

Window stools are sometimes pre manufactured with an angled notch to match the angle and depth of the window sill.

Windows also have several other parts. The sash is that part of the window that contains the glass. The sash stop is a narrow vertical strip that holds the sash in place. This stop usually comes as part of the window unit, but a molded stop similar in style to the casing may also be used with traditional wood windows.

Window casings, stools, and aprons come in many sizes and patterns and certain types may match a particular style of window better than others. With pre-built window frames, the other trim shown in drawing 5.3 usually comes preinstalled. For example, the parting strip, which keeps the upper and lower sashes of a double-hung window apart, is often part of a pre-molded plastic jamb liner. This liner also contains a spring device that aids in opening the sashes and keeps them from falling down when they are in the up position.

Interior Moldings

As the builder completes the installation of the interior door and window trim, the builder also puts other interior moldings in place. Interior moldings include base, ceiling, and wall moldings.

Base Moldings. Sometimes called base or baseboard, base moldings serve to conceal the joint between the finished wall and the floor. They come in several widths and styles and should generally match the style of the interior door and window casings, such as contemporary clamshell or traditional colonial. In custom work, the builder may use a two-piece base molding, consisting of a large baseboard capped with a small piece of decorative molding called a base cap. This smaller molding serves to conform closely with any variations in the wall.

When the finish floor material is hardwood or vinyl, then the builder may attach a base shoe to the base molding. The base shoe is a strip of molding that covers the intersection of the floor and base molding and conforms with any variations in the floor. When using stained hardwood for floor covering the builder may install a hardwood baseboard that is stained to match the wood floor.

First the floor covering is carpet, then the builder usually eliminates the base shoe. As an alternative, when installing vinyl flooring in bathrooms and kitchens, the builder often uses a rubber base molding because it will not be damaged when the floor is washed. Similarly, ceramic base pieces are often installed with ceramic tile flooring.

Ceiling and Wall Moldings. Particularly in traditional homes, the builder sometimes uses crown moldings at the junction of walls and ceilings for architectural effect. In con temporary or vaulted ceilings, however, these moldings are typically not used. Also, in dining rooms of traditional homes, the builder may install a chair rail parallel to the floor at about the height of the back of a dining room chair. This molding serves both a functional and decorative purpose because it protects the wall from damage when the chairs are pushed against the wall.

Finally, the builder may want to apply moldings and trim to other parts of the home, particularly in more traditional styles of homes where the wood craft techniques of past generations might be especially appropriate. With modern materials and tools, the builder can readily duplicate many of the details used in older homes.

Cabinets and Other Millwork

As a general term, millwork includes most of those house components manufactured from wood or wood products, including door and window frames, moldings, stairs, and cabinets. While some traditional cabinets are built on site, this approach has become rare. Instead, today most builders purchase cabinets—whether for the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, or other parts of the house—from a specialty cabinet manufacturer.

5.4 Installation of Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen Cabinets. The kitchen usually contains more millwork than the rest of the house. Manufacturers construct kitchen cabinets, both base and wall units, to a standard height and depth. For example, the normal height for the base cabinets is 36 inches and appliances for the kitchen, such as dishwashers and ranges, are manufactured with this in mind. (See photo 5.4.) Wall cabinets vary in height, depending on their location. Typical wall cabinets are 30 inches high. Traditionally wall cabinets don't extend to the ceiling. Furthermore, the top of wall cabinets is usually set at 7 feet because at that height the area is inaccessible to the average person.

Today, the modern kitchen has become a storehouse for more stuff than is found in a typical Army mess hail. As two-wage-earner families have increasingly turned the kitchen into the center of activity, the number of kitchen appliances, implements, and specialty food products has increased dramatically. Some millwork manufacturers have responded to this trend with special ceiling-height cabinets to increase the storage area in the kitchen.

The array of specialized kitchen cabinets seems endless. For example, the builder can place cabinets over a sink or stove. The cabinet over the stove is usually 18 inches high to provide space for a vent hood with a light, either externally vented or internally filtered. In addition, the builder usually installs a 12-inch-high cabinet over the refrigerator.

A kitchen may have a variety of other storage cabinets, such as a lazy-Susan cabinet in an otherwise unusable corner, which makes for efficient use of space. Some kitchens may also have special cabinets with sliding racks to aid in storing big pots and pans or rotating recycling bins. Other kitchens may have special cabinets used to mount micro wave ovens or, for that matter, to mount built-in ovens, convection ovens, or any combination of these in a handy arrangement.

Just as the selection and coordination of kitchen cabinets must be carefully planned, the builder must also plan and coordinate the installation of the bathroom cabinets.

Bathroom Cabinets. Builders often purchase bathroom cabinets from the same millwork manufacturer that provides the kitchen cabinets. Like kitchen cabinets, manufacturers build bathroom cabinets to pre-established standard sizes, which ensures that the sinks and vanity tops will match. This is critical, for example, if the builder wants to use a molded plastic sink that is an integral part of a plastic countertop in the bathroom.

While natural wood cabinets are available for bathrooms, builders often use plastic laminates because of the heavy exposure to moisture in the bathroom. Countertops come with single or double sinks and the cabinets must conform to the number and location of the sinks. The choice of bathroom cabinets and sinks must be made early, since it affects how the builder roughs in the plumbing for the bath.

Bedroom Closets. Since modern working Americans spend an increasing amount of time in the bedroom and bath, these days even the most modest homes have a great deal of design detail placed on storage space in the master bedroom. Most homes have significantly better designed and larger closets in the master bedroom than the average home of a generation ago. The need for storage space has also extended to the other bedrooms of the house.

As bedroom closets get larger, the desire for more efficient shelves and rods may also increase. Long, straight pieces of wood shelving are increasingly harder to find and relatively expensive. As a result, many builders now use particleboard shelves or pre-manufactured wire shelving, which is more adaptable to a variety of storage requirements. While the installation of this type of shelving takes less time, skill, and tools than working with shelving board, it still requires a trained and experienced person to install.

Other Millwork. A typical home may also have other pre manufactured millwork items. For example, the fireplace may need some type of decorative mantel. With a colonial or traditional interior styling, a well-designed fireplace mantel may have both a shelf over the fireplace and decorative wood trim beneath the shelf. The builder must locate the mantel at least 12½ inches above the opening of the fire place.

The formal rooms of some houses may even have elaborate wood cabinets that surround the fireplace. In these situations, the builder ensures that no wood or other combustible trim material is placed within a certain distance from the edge of the fireplace opening.

As the builder installs the door and window trim, interior moldings, cabinets, and other millwork, the builder also usually completes the construction of the interior staircases. However, the preliminary stages of staircase construction really begin earlier in the process.

Staircase Construction

The construction of an interior staircase begins at the framing stage. On the plans the designer locates the staircase between the first and second floor and , if relevant, between the first floor and the basement of the home with a careful eye toward anticipated traffic patterns and aesthetics.

As the first step in installing a traditional staircase, the framing carpenters put up the actual framing for the steps called the stringer. (See drawing 5.5.) They then cover the stringer with temporary treads, usually scrap 2x4s or 2x6s, for the workers’ use. Later, during the interior trim phase, the trim carpenters remove the temporary treads and install the finish treads. The finish treads may be made of oak or other hardwood, if the builder plans to stain them. Other wise, the builder may finish both the treads and the risers with finish lumber and cover them with carpet.

If two walls completely contain the staircase, the trim carpenters usually attach a hand rail to one wall of the stairwell. On the other hand, if the stairwell is exposed on one or both sides, then the trim carpenters install decorative guard rails or balustrades at the open sides of the stairs.

A few other important points about staircase construction are worth noting. First, the builder must make the finished staircase a minimum of 36 inches wide. That width provides sufficient room for moving furniture and , more importantly, people between floors. Also, most building codes require a minimum headroom clearance in a stairwell of 6 feet and 8 inches at any point on the stairs. The stairwell may be left entirely open to the second story, or the builder can put a sloped ceiling above the stairs.

5.5 Staircase Assembly

The builder calculates the width and length of the opening for the stairwell before framing begins, so the framing crew knows the exact location and dimensions of the staircase. Of course, these measurements as described assume a straight stairwell. However, many staircases turn at least one right angle and require a landing or may even have a curve. In those cases, the lead carpenter on the framing crew consults with the builder on the site to assure proper placement of the stairwell.

Today most new, two-story homes have staircases built in a millwork shop rather than on site. With this approach, the millwork shop prebuilds the staircases and then delivers them as packages for easy installation. Of course, the builder must still assure that these prebuilt units are properly in stalled in the home.

After installing the door and window trim, moldings, cabinets, stairs, and other millwork, the builder moves on to the final step of the interior trim—the installation of the finish hardware.

Finish Hardware

The builder may wait to install the finish hardware, since painting and other finish work can damage these items. How ever, the interior trim is not really complete until the finish hardware is in place. Finish hardware appears in many areas of the house, especially on the doors and windows and in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Door and Window Hardware. The most common types of door and window hardware are doorknobs, doorstops, and window locks. This hardware comes in a variety of finishes. The two most common are antique brass and polished brass. Builders may also occasionally use chrome hardware for these items. Since the manufacturer installs the hinges on the doors at the millwork factory, the builder selects this trim item early and coordinates it with the other door and window hardware for the house.

Interior doorknobs come in two general types: privacy and passage knobs. Privacy knobs are lockable from one side, although they usually have some feature that allows the homeowner to open the door from the other side in emergencies. Builders often use privacy knobs for bedrooms and baths. Unlike privacy knobs, passage knobs are not lockable. Builders may use these for closets and other rooms that don't need to be locked. Most homebuyers want exterior door locks and dead bolts to match the interior knobs. To ensure that all these items match, the builder usually buys all of the locks from the same supplier.

A doorstop is a piece of hardware that prevents the door and doorknob from slamming into the wall. The old- fashioned kind of doorstop is a decorative brass prop with a screw tip on one end and a rubber bumper on the other. To install this type of doorstop, the builder simply screws it into the baseboard. Once installed, the door hits the rubber bumper before it hits the adjacent wall.

However, in many homes today, the builder has replaced the traditional rigid prop with a spring that does not break off so easily if it's accidentally kicked. Also, another type of doorstop has recently been invented called the hinge-pin doorstop. Rather than screwing into the baseboard, this door stop attaches to the pin in one of the hinges. it's adjustable to prevent the door from going all the way back against the adjacent wall.

Window locks come in many varieties, but the most common is hardly different from the latches that builders have used for several generations. This type of latch is popular because it's easy to open, which is handy if the homeowner plans to use the windows for ventilation. The drawback to this type of latch, however, is that it may be less secure. If the homeowner does not plan to use the windows for ventilation, then the builder may want to install more secure locks, such as barrel locks. Today many manufacturers offer such locks with the windows, so the builder does not necessarily have to install them separately.

Kitchen Hardware. The kitchen hardware consists of cabinet doorknobs, hinges, and drawer pulls. Some cabinets also come with recessed finger grips instead of knobs. When installing kitchen hardware, the builder will generally coordinate the style of the hardware with the style and color of the cabinets, light fixtures, appliances, and the overall color scheme of the kitchen.

Bathroom Hardware. Hardware for the bathroom includes such items as towel bars, tissue holders, toothbrush holders, and soap dishes. The homeowner will probably want all of this hardware to match each other and the knobs on the faucets and toilets provided by the plumber. So the builder must coordinate the selection of bathroom hardware to ensure that the bathroom turns out aesthetically pleasing.

Other Finish Hardware. Many other hardware items may be located throughout a home. One example is a brass kick plate for the front door. This is a plate placed at the bottom of the front door to protect it from marring. Other hardware items in the house may include accent pieces for the dining room and decorative light switch and receptacle plates.

For starter homes, the builder usually specifies the hard ware to keep the costs down. For larger, move-up homes, the builder may provide a hardware allowance. The buyer must then carefully select the hardware, perhaps with the guidance of the builder’s recommended hardware suppliers.

Before the actual finish of the home but usually after all of the other interior trim work is completed, the builder begins to install the tile.

Tile Installation

Builders install tile less frequently in new homes today than in the past. For example, many new homes no longer have ceramic tile baths. Instead, in place of ceramic tile, builders use one- or two-piece fiberglass tubs and shower enclosures along with vinyl floors.

Because ceramic tile is expensive to install, alternative materials and methods can reduce the cost of construction and thus go a long way toward making homes more afford able. However, builders do continue to use ceramic tile in many luxury homes for bath floors and walls, kitchen countertops, and even floor surfaces in some rooms. Other types of tile products, such as brick payers or quarry tile, may also be used for decorative floor surfaces.

With the traditional approach, the builder installs ceramic tile over a continuous layer of mortar. As the first step in this approach, a worker trowels the mortar into reinforcing mesh attached to the wall or floor surface, much like plaster. The worker then applies the tiles to the surface and allows them to dry. (See photo 5.6.) The worker next returns and carefully grouts all the joints. This is both an expensive and time-consuming process.

Therefore, as an alternative, today most builders install tile to moisture-resistant gypsum board drywall with an adhesive, and the joints are grouted soon after. This approach eliminates much labor and drying time and results in lower installation costs.

The completion phase of constructing a house includes a few other tasks. At this point, for example, the builder installs the garage door, installs and trims the attic access door, and finishes the exterior painting.

5.6 Application of Ceramic Bath Tile

At the end of the interior finish phase, the fireplace and other interior brickwork are in place. The builder has applied the plaster or drywall and installed the interior trim, including the door and window trim, moldings, cabinets, and finish hardware. After completing the construction of the interior staircases and applying the tile to appropriate places in the house, the builder can now turn to the final completion phase of house construction.

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