Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Long-Awaited Floor Pictures

It came! It came! My card reader came!  Now we can get back on track with posting on here.  Sorry for the long wait but when you live in the middle of the Frozen Tundra it's takes the horse and buggies a long time to deliver any packages....

So here we go.  As I stated in the first post about the floors, this first row took just about 2 hours.  I wish I was exaggerating.  But no matter if your first row of flooring has a big ol' radiator pipe bustin through the middle of it, the first row usually takes the longest.  You've got to make sure that this first row is the correct distance away from the immediate walls (to allow for expansion due to weather) and that it's perfectly straight.  If you start your first row crooked, every single row from there on out will be crooked (duh) and will become increasingly noticeable as you work your way across the room.  Even though it's DIY you don't want it to look like amateurs did it...
Once the first row or two was laid, the boys flew through the dining room and kitchen.  It was just straight shots other than a few cuts for the cabinets.
It's hard to see in the picture to the left, but our floors had a 'V-groove' connection system.  You can see it a little better in the picture below.  See how on the side it's like a 'V' cut out? I think it looks more like a 'U' but tomato/tomoto (that saying is hard to put in to type...think short 'o' sound).  The thin black layer at the bottom of our board is the pre-attached padding.  This was pretty slick because we didn't have to buy and lay another layer beneath the wood.  If you lay laminate and it doesn't have pre-attached padding, make sure you put down a layer first!  The padding smooths out imperfections in the subfloor, deadens noise, and also protects against moisture.
Laying the flooring itself really wasn't rocket-science.  Working left to right and finishing an entire row before starting a different one, you simply set the tongue in to the groove and push down.  If you have it laid in correctly, it literally sucks itself into a tight position.  Then you just tap on the exposed end until it is flush on the opposite side.  The picture with the pink gloves is Joe tapping to lock it in place.  Aren't his gloves pretty? He picked those out himself! (ok, just kidding. They're mine.  But the guys' fingers were getting pretty sore from pushing the boards into place so I let Joe use em)

When we got into the living room and entryway we had to cut off part of the trim around the door that touched the floor.  We wanted the trim to come down over the top of the wood instead of the wood butting up against it leaving gaps on both sides.  We cut off almost an inch from the bottom which allowed the board to slide right under it.  This makes it look like the floors were there first and then the trim was added after.
This was another tricky part.  Since you have to set the tongue into the groove at an angle and then snap it down, it was a bit difficult to lay the pieces under the baseboard heaters.  The baseboards aren't incredibly high off the floor so it took some finagling and family effort, but they got em in there. 
This picture was posted before but this picture is the answer to kids' question in math class of "Why do we have to learn this? We will never use this in real life!".  Kids, I'm here to tell you that yes, you will use those math skills in real life when you want to save $2500 and lay some really awesome flooring in your house and then write a blog about it.  My schooling is all coming full-circle here. I literally had a life ah-ha moment here, folks.
We had to use a jig-saw here to cut the curve at the bottom of the steps.  Notice the super high-tech flashlight we used...thank you iPhone.  Perry (Joe's dad) did the jig-saw work, Joe didn't want to do it so I couldn't blame him if it got screwed up.  But Perry did an awesome job!

And here, after over 21 hours of labor, raw knee caps, and only 1 hammered finger, the last board gets put in!!!!
The only thing left we have to do with the floors is put down quarter-round along the edges of the walls.  There is a small gap between the flooring and the walls to allow for expansion and contraction; the quarter-round will hide that while still allowing it 'breathing room'.  Here's a sneak-peak of me painting the quarter-round white to match the baseboards.  Once those get put in for real, I'll post pictures.
And here are the after pictures!  Some of them are still pretty dusty from all the commotion that was going on in the house; after we're all moved in the floors are getting some serious cleaning attention.  Also, please ignore the moving mess ;)

And the most important...Teddy approves!
Until next time,
NoDak Newlyweds


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