Sunday, September 22, 2013

A day off from my day off

Friday and Saturday were spent cleaning, sorting and throwing out stuff. Oh no, slick Willie is having a neat attack! Rather than throwing things out indiscriminately, I read or identify each scrap of paper. This slows me down a bit, but I find stuff that was misplaced. For instance I found my 2005 tax returns. Normally my tax documents are in a filing cabinet near our family computer, how it got mixed in with the photos of the family reunion, I'll never know. Side note: I was audited a few years back and got a copy of my missing tax returns sent to me, so I'm good.
At this point I'd like to thank my lovely wife for helping me with this project.  Minion # 2 and 3 helped out too, mainly as sherpas.
Sunday morning we got the bed out. 
Ignore the closet, it doesn't count

Vinyl tiles were from an earlier project
 A few months ago, some Pergo wood flooring came my way. 14 Boxes worth. There were more, but that's all the powers that be at Lowe's were willing to part with. Hindsight being 20/ 20, I should have asked for two or three more boxes. Let me show you why.
Oh hey look, the sun
 Floor laying 101: always lay the planks in the direction of the sun. If the sun comes in through one certain window, that's way you lay them. This hides mistakes and looks better when the project is finished.
Always start in the middle
One side finished

Now here's where I cheated. I finished a complete row of planks and pushed the floating floor the 3 inches over. This way I didn't have to rip cut (lengthwise) the planks. I was running low on material.
Looking back, I just realized I used a few terms people might not be familiar with.
A floor put down with no glue is called a floating floor. In the same way a house contracts and expands between summer and winter temperatures, the floor will go along with it. We've all heard of a house settling. That's all this is. A floating floor just makes sure your floor stays where it's supposed to. It will 'breathe' along with the house.
Normally you would trim a plank vertically to fit the length you need. A rip cut is a horizontal cut, turning a 2X4 into a 2x2.
Cutting the planks, you would need something that cuts in a straight line. A circular saw or a miter saw is perfect for this. You can get away with short cuts using a jigsaw, but only if you can cut a really straight line. Laser sights are not cheating, they are the weekend warrior's equivalent of spell check.
My wife cuts a straighter line than I do
 I've used several brands of wood flooring and wood laminate. Pergo is great and pretty easy to put in. Ever play with Legos as a kid? Same concept.
Here are some essential tools you will need: A rubber mallet, a pullbar, and a tapping block. An L square, pencil and measuring tape would not go amiss either.
Wherever you go to buy the wood flooring, they will have the items I mentioned above.
I was just thinking I could turn this into a post about tools every person needs for DIY projects. I still might do that. Here's what the floor looks like now.
Almost there
 All told it was about 8 and a half hours work. Don't forget to stagger your planks. the picture where I first started laying the floor down is a good example. This adds strength to the floor and looks nice. If you were to put the planks side by side evenly, you will break the boards when you walk on them, that much I can guarantee.

We figure two and a half boxes more and we'd be done

There is a special saw to get around door jambs and trimwork. I forget what it's called, but it looks like a spatula. Basically it'll trim the bottom centimeter or so off the door jamb so you can put that last troublesome piece in.
One transition piece coming up
I used the scraps with every layer of new flooring, thereby staggering the planks. Also, the pieces in the doorway are all scraps. Neat job, huh?

Some people will say, it's not the same color or style. Well, beggars can't be choosers. This stuff was given to me and I consider myself lucky to have come close.
Next time I'll talk about what tools every person needs in their toolbox.

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