Here’s a quick update on the Floor Project From Hell:
We’re almost done! Except we’ve had scope creep! We started laying out the floor after it acclimated on Friday. It’s now Monday; yes, we’re slow, but we hit a minor snag and we’re now setting up for a big finish. Which involves totally repainting the room in a slightly darker color. I’d gone through hell patching about a zillion screw-anchor holes in that room 5 years ago – but there were a couple of dings and places I hadn’t done a very good job.
First of all, we knew we needed some “approved glue product” for one board we had had to rip in half in the doorway, and for the eventual gluing of the last row of ripped boards. This was not carried by Lowe’s but they offered to order it for us. We went across the street to Home Despot to see if they carried the glue. Nope, but a very helpful woman named Chris called Bruce Flooring to find out exactly what the “approved glue product” was (actually, it’s “Bruce Everseal Adhesive“) and determined that they could get it for us… in a week. Or, we could take our chances with another brand, but our warranty might be voided if something went wrong and it ruined the floor along the one edge.
So while on our way to Menard’s to check to see if they had the glue (and also buy something else unrelated to the project), I called iFloors up in Palatine. Remember the weird storefront? I’d seen some glue in bottles near the door and wondered, since they carried the Bruce Foldamp;Lock, if they also carried the glue. I spoke to a very helpful guy named Larry, who regretfully informed me that they didn’t have any Bruce Everseal Adhesive in stock, and wouldn’t be able to get it delivered until Monday. However, if I could get to his wholesaler in Elk Grove Village within an hour, we could order it from Larry over the phone, and pick it up ourselves with a reference number.
So I gave Larry a credit card number, and he emailed me back the reference number, which I got on my iPhone will sitting in the parking lot of Menard’s… where David was picking up something or other for the project.
As it turned out, I ended up driving to Elk Grove to get the glue while David went home to get more done. I found my way to a huge, huge warehouse with a little tiny “Customer Pickup” lobby, gave the reference number, and presently a teenage guy in a black Goth T-Shirt brought me my one 16 oz. bottle of glue. I drove away exulting. After farting around for a while, we got the one short, ripped board in place; all that was necessary was to shave down part of the locking edge, run a bead of glue, and slip it into place with the 1/2″ of clearance from the wall that it required. It’ll be much the same when we get the very last row ripped, shaved, and glued.
So we continued, off and on, laying floor Saturday and Sunday. It went into place pretty well and didn’t take that much effort to install; “tapping” really was just tapping with the block and rubber mallet. I didn’t go to church in the morning, feeling 1) tired and 2) like I didn’t want to burn half the day. So since I wasn’t going, David and I went to Walker Brothers for a really solid breakfast before starting in again.
There was one bit where I thought I’d put in boards fairly tightly, but there was a huge gap at the ends of two boards. No problem, though! The floor came back up easily, I kept the rows in order, and I relaid the 4 rows or so back to the place where the gap was. It was somewhere around Saturday afternoon that we realized that the final row of boards was “short.” In more ways than one.
The last two rows were from a box that had mostly shorter pieces and only 1 long piece; the product comes in “random lengths” which means you don’t have to make as many cuts and can break up the “line” a little so the joints don’t line up too closely. It was with some gnashing of teeth and not a little wailing that we found that not only was the very last row all short, choppy boards and requiring a rip-cut to fit in the space, the last row was short by just TWO LONGISH BOARDS. The waste material from the ripped boards would have fit in the space remaining… we just estimated it a little too closely. It turns out that if we’d chosen the 3″ width instead of the 5″ width, we might not have had to rip the last row, and wouldn’t have needed the 6th box.
So it was back to Lowe’s we went on Sunday afternoon for one more box of Bruce Fold;ampLock Gunstock flooring. While there, we also bought matching quarter-round (reasoning that at this point, we don’t want to mess with staining pine to match) and also some MDF shoe moulding with a nice detailed edge, because some of the 1/2″ expansion gaps we had to leave around the edges of the floating floor were more like 3/4″ gaps. The shoe moulding was pre-primed; we also bought white trim paint in a satin finish, and two gallons of a kind of deep salmony color for the walls. Yes, I had previously painted in there with a friend. But the shade was a little bit too pink, and there were some places where the walls had gotten gouged in the ensuing years, and in the course of laying the floor there were a couple of places around the closet door that got messed up, so we decided to paint again.
So last night I set up the shoe moulding on a couple of sawhorses that we bought, and put the first coat of paint on it.
Hurrah for scope creep!
Today being Monday, we farted around for a while. I put a second coat of white paint on the shoe moulding, and a first coat on the one piece that was somehow still up in the room (I thought David had brought it all down, he thought I brought all of it down). Then it was two trips to Menard’s to get painting supplies that we either knew we had on hand, or in the case of the second trip, thought we had on hand. We also got a countersink and previously bought finishing nails the other day at Lowe’s.
Yes, we’re a little… disorganized… in the way we approach home repair.
There has been a little snarling while setting up to do the paint job; we’d considered painting first so we don’t have to worry about getting stuff on the new floor and finick around with tape-down drop sheets and cloths to keep the step ladder from denting the floor. David’s dealing with some issues in the closet, which had never been painted and needed a lot of Kilz and spackle to bring it up to paintable. I’m recovering from a hissy I was about to have over putting the self-taping plastic drop cloth stuff on the walls where I’m going to start cutting in and painting. I’m hoping to be able to reuse the short bits of pre-tape stuff, about 18″ wide, as I go along the walls. I found pretty quickly that ripping off an arms’-length strip of the stuff resulted in a twisted, stuck-together mess.
Afternoon is not a good time for either of us to be frustrated – this at least we both recognize and sometimes we just have to down tools and walk away for a bit. However, once the fiddly prep stage is over with, the “color going on the walls” stage will go well enough.
Tomorrow after a second coat, we can finally lay the final two rows of boards (which need 48 hours in the room to acclimate), install the moulding, re-install the closet doors, and call it done.
Then I’ll find an inexpensive Persian-style rug, get Mom’s recliner up there, and David will install some shelves (or we’ll find some bookcases). I’ve got some lamps (a floor lamp plus a matching table lamp) and it’ll become a little library/reading room. But whatever goes in there, it’ll finally be a room again.
In the course of this project, we’ve made numerous trips to home improvement centers. We’ve bought and returned and re-bought an entire flooring system and a compound mitre saw. The first flooring system was the bamboo stuff, already described as undocumented and dicey. The first compound mitre saw was a Craftsman 10″ but David decided he could make do with a kind of complicated clamp setup so he could use a circular saw he borrowed from his dad. It was workable, but time-consuming and the cuts weren’t that good, so he went back and got a Craftsman 10″ sliding compound mitre saw. He was originally going to get a 7″, but it wasn’t in stock and he texted me that he was getting the bigger saw after all. “Oh well, ruh ruh ruh!” I texted back, and it really has made the latter part of the floor cuts go like a dream, and of course he worked out the mitred cuts for the shoe moulding and got it dry-fitted. The saw is in the garage, so he worked out several cuts at a time, carefully. It’s overkill, of course, but we’ve talked about redoing the floors in the other two bedrooms, and there are other projects we’ve talked about, too.
Later: David did the cutting-in in the closet, and then felt the need to escape to the health club. So I took over and finished painting in there, not without some angsty moments and strangled howls. The doors have been sitting in the garage for years… I originally took them out so it was easier to paint the first time. It was rather horrible painting in the closet, because of the angles and having a lot of corners and sides to paint, and my hand kept cramping up. I just painted the walls with one coat, and I may not go in and put in a second coat. I don’t care, I kept saying, because it’s in the closet.
The ceiling? I don’t care if my dearest love cut in onto the ceiling. I’m not painting the ceiling.
It’s In. The. Closet.
And I don’t care if you can see brushstrokes and patchiness and the occasional fibre from my big paintbrush, because It’s. In. The. Closet.
It looks like we finish painting tomorrow – once we get over the wittering period when we lay out the tape-on drop cloths and then the larger canvas drop cloth and cut in, the rolling part actually goes pretty fast. Once the moulding and closet doors are back in place, it’ll be a room again.
We’ll be heading out to see about dinner; I had put some chicken David was defrosting in a marinade with wine and honey mustard, but David now says he has a taste for Italian food. What the hey! We’re on staycation! Chicken can marinate overnight, it’ll be yummy tomorrow.
I may marinate myself a little, too. Mmmm, wiiiiiine.