9.18.2012

Floored

Our floor project was surprisingly easy - how often does that happen? It only took one day and since I had to work on Friday S tackled most of the project himself. He did one trip to the hardware store on Friday after dropping M at daycare and another Friday night after M went to bed. How often do you only make planned, scheduled trips to the hardware store - no mid-project trips? It never happens here. Never.

We kicked the project off by rolling up my two round, sisal carpets and putting them outside, then moving all of the lighter weight furniture out of the room - desk chair, plants, slipper chair, toys, etc. Then as I moved my laptop to the kitchen table, S moved all of my office furniture to the center of the room. I'd organized the cords at my desk a few months ago, so he was really careful to keep everything together so he wouldn't undo my hours of work.

With the furniture out of the way, S went around the room very carefully prying off all of the molding.

We've done this a few times before in this room when we replaced the windows and when we removed the fiber board ceiling. Neither S nor I can recall why we removed the floor molding before, but we did 'cause it was all labelled on the back in S's handwriting. We broke one piece the last time we pried off molding, but this time we managed to remove it all, pound the nails out and salvage every single piece.

When we first converted this room to an office we caulked around the entire room closing up any drafty gaps in the pine paneling. Of course this meant S had to scrape off all of the remaining caulk because the new floor would be on top of the old floor, which meant the molding would be raised 1/4"+ from where it used to sit and the old caulk wouldn't let the molding sit flush. Make sense?

I think it was at this point that S said the project wasn't fun anymore.

When the caulk was finally off, S called me into the office to discuss how he should lay the floor. The room is off-square by about an inch so we were trying to figure out whether we should start at the threshold of the door or the far wall; which way would require the fewest cuts and how we could make sure we weren't left having to piece together a sliver of flooring at the end. We dorked around a little bit:

 And did some math:

And then we did the only sure-thing to make sure our calculations were right: we lay flooring straight across from one side of the room to the other.

It turned out that the floor fit perfectly with just enough of a gap at the threshold of the door for a "T" threshold piece. So S took all the flooring apart again, lay down the underlay - we used the premium stuff just because it was sized perfectly for the room and we'd only need one roll v. two of the lower quality - and started for real at the wall farthest from the door. He had picked up a bunch of 1/4" Pergo floor samples at the hardware store to use a spacers along the walls and shimmed them all around the room. Ingenious.

The rest of the afternoon consisted of lots of measuring and cutting and S walking past me in the kitchen to the backyard where he had a table set up for cutting.

We don't have a tablesaw, nor space for it, and we don't have a jigsaw, so S just used his circular saw with the flooring clamped in place. The cuts were surprisingly smooth, which didn't matter in the end since all of the cuts are covered by molding anyway.

Baby M found the entire scene very interesting before he was whisked off to daycare.
In the end, S made a few long cuts to fit the final pieces around the brick edge of the room, left the threshold open and nailed the trim back into place.
Saturday morning he went around with the hammer and countersank all the nails in the molding as I followed behind him filling all the holes with wood putty, wet sanding and painting all the trim.
By the time Baby M woke up from his morning nap, we were hoisting furniture back into place and I was patting S on the back and commending him on an awesome job. We saved screwing the threshold piece into place for Sunday just because we needed a countersink drill bit, but I don't think that should count as a mid-project run to the hardware store, do you?

In only one work day (given the late start on Friday, S says we're doing a 24 hour day count) my office was totally transformed from odd looking porch floor to what looks like an continuation of the main living space. It left us wondering why we'd waited a year to finally use the boxes of flooring we bought. All these little projects going off without a hitch have us looking at the upstairs bathroom quite seriously now - it's had a facelift, but it could use a total overhaul. Maybe next week. Ha.

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