Weekend is over, carpet is out, and bamboo flooring is in!
As usual the husband and I underestimated the project at hand. While the actual flooring portion of the project went pretty much as expected we failed to factor in all of the other support activities for the project: activities like moving furniture out of the room, taking down doors, removing baseboards, pulling staples, sanding the floor, and painting. Whoops! As predicted it is now a mad rush to finish off the project before friends come over for the “Big Game.”
Saturday – Day One
The husband and I woke early on Saturday morning filled with enthusiasm. As soon as we started moving furniture out of the study our enthusiasm faded and artificial vigor in the form of coffee was required. As the study remodel was scheduled to be a short-term project we moved all of the furniture into the living room. I am concerned that visitors to the house right now may assume they have just walked into an episode of Hoarders. We have a small path cleared between the love seat and the wall that we are using to pass from one room to another but that is about it.
Next up was removing the baseboards and carpet. Both the husband and I gave a moment’s pause before ripping as we had just upgraded the baseboards less than 9 months ago and the carpet is just over 2 years old. Why can’t we leave well enough alone….Baseboards off, carpet and carpet pad up. I have to hand it to criminals that are disposing of dead bodies by wrapping them up in carpet. It is not easy to get a big mass of carpet to roll tightly enough for one to get their arms around it without it failing apart. After the amount of time and frustration it took for the husband and I to roll and remove the carpet from the study I suspect we will have to put our criminal spree on hold.
Once the carpet was gone we began the tedious task of removing the tack strips and carpet staples. After spending the better part of 2 hours on my hands and knees plucking staples out of the floor one at a time with pliers, I was cursing the project. It could have been worse I guess. At least our floorers didn’t go completely crazy and put a staple every inch...they only put them every other inch.
In order to minimize squeaks, shifts, and shimmies it is important to have as smooth and dust free a surface as possible for your floors. We were pretty lucky in that we only had to sand down a few spots here and there in order to make them all even.
Before we laid down our water guard underlament backing we gave everything a really good sweep/vacuum to try and get all of the particles out of the way. We also needed to cut down the door casings so that the wood paneling would fit underneath. There was a height difference from the carpet and the wood.
Finally after a half a day of prep we were ready to get started on the actual floor. The husband had done research and determined that the best method for our home and this particular room would be to put down a “floating” floor. Doing a floating floor would mean that we would not have to use any glue or nails. It would also mean that if we decided to do something different with the flooring later it would be easier to pull up. The only really tricky thing with a floating floor is making sure that you have enough wiggle room on the sides for the flooring to shift a bit as it expands and contracts.
To ensure a gap the husband cut some shims that we used around the parimeter to keep the bamboo panels from butting right up against the wall.
Holy cow there is a learning curve with the locking wood panels and we unfortunately spent the better part of Saturday figuring it all out. To make matters worse we started along the wall with the most issues (vent hole, jutting out corner, etc.). By the end of the day on Saturday we were a bit beat down and only had 3 rows of flooring in.
Sunday – Day Two
Sunday morning we were at it again only this time we started to get a rhythm going. After our sad showing on Saturday we were determined to bang it out. We soon determined the best way to position the panels into place and then set/lock them together. The one unfortunate thing was that the best method involved the wife using her thumb and pushing with a fair amount of force while the husband tapped the panel into place using a hammer and soft piece of wood for protection. Those of you that read the headboard post may remember that one of the casualties of that project was the wife’s thumb. I am sorry to report the thumb has yet to regain feeling and it now has limited mobility as far as bending is concerned.
We made quick work out of the middle of the room and when we got to the far wall we were much better prepared for the juts and jogs. After a particularly tricky use of a crowbar and shims the husband even exclaimed “Score one for Wood!”
That brings us to the final board. After all our hard work we were excited to put the last board in and call it a weekend. Much like the final piece of a puzzle we anticipated hearing that final “pop” signifying the flooring part of the project was complete. That final piece turned out to be a real bugger as there was no real good way to set the piece around the door casings on both sides...but we jammed it in there. Pop.