May 27, 2011

#6, #13, #33, #48 Part 1- We're Floored!

After the crazy marathon that was the tile, lath and concrete removal, (almost as bad as a Jon & Kate Plus 8 Marathon), we instantly got to work on the new sub-floors.

Dining Room floor after tile removal

Kitchen floor after tile removal

Kitchen Floor after tile removal

It's not that we weren't tired absolutely exhausted and needed a break, because trust me, we did.  But the rough floors left behind after all the concrete came up were dangerous, with lots of little nails popping up, bits on concrete still suck to the floor, and even tiny pieces of that sharp wire lath pocking the surface.  So even though we would have much rather taken a break for awhile to recoup, we had to get right to work to make this home livable and safe for our family. 

All that danger lead to the "Shoe Rule", where no one walks in our house without shoes on, ever.

Why did we need to lay a new sub-floor on top of the one we just unearthed from tons of concrete?  Well, since we had removed over an inch and a half of surface from the original sub-floors, we had to lay down a new layer of wood to raise the height in those areas back up and make the floors all the same, level height.  We actually had to go up a 1/2" in the foyer to be level with the Living Room, and we needed just a 1/4" in the Dining Room and Kitchen.   Plus, the original sub-floors might have taken a little beating from all that chiseling and sledgehammering, so putting a nice strong layer on top of them would really help reinforce the surface.  Not to mention that no amount of scraping was ever going to get every bit of concrete and nail out of the original floors, so placing a new one on top provided us with a nice, smooth surface for our new floors.  Oh- but there still was scraping, and plenty of it!

Close up of a section full of nails, leftover concrete and lath. 

Step one was to start with a section, and then hammer, pull and scrape at it until the new sub-floor would lay evenly on top of it, without any wobbling.  Lucky for me, the Hubs took this project on, as I set up with my work station out in the garage.

As the more exact member of team One Project at a Time, I was the designated measurer and cutter of the new sub-floor pieces.  The idea is to cut your pieces so that they lay directly on top of the floor joists.  This way we could fasten them all the way into the joists, and not just the sub-floor below, for a strong, sturdy floor.  This is made a little trickier, however, because you do not want to just follow the same pattern as the floor below, but stagger the seams for more strength.  Throw in some wonky air vents, corners and room transitions and you've got a lot of complicated cuts in large 4' x 8' sheets of wood that need to be cut just perfectly.  After explaining this, Jason was more than happy to be "The Scraper."

Here's a close up on my tools:

1. B-C Rated Plywood to correct thickness (1/2" in Foyer and 1/4" in Kitchen and Dining Room) with smooth side laid up.
2. 4' T-Square for measuring exact placement of cuts on the board.  This tool was priceless.
3. Jig Saw for cutting small and difficult areas
4. Circular saw for cutting long and straight pieces. 
5. Measuring Tape.  (I needed about 3 of these, as I was constantly asking, have you seen my tape?  I need to finally unpack the tool belts!)
6. Mechanical pencil for always sharp, exact measurement lines.
7. Note pad where I sketched out all my pieces and measurements before cutting.  (For me, it was good to have a visual.)
8. Saw Horses.  I actually had 2 saw horses and 1 small work table, which worked well to balance my huge sheets of plywood, and avoided one side crashing down after I made a cut.

And for those of you who keep asking how we are able to get some much work done with a 2 year old in the house, here's the answer:

The truth is, he loves DIY as much as we do, and for the most part is a little expert at staying where he should, touching only what he is allowed to touch and just hanging out and watching the action.  His favorite thing was watching me cut the big pieces with the saw from his designated safety zone of the step, (as long as he had his protective ear wear on.) He's also sporting his "Fireman Boots" to make sure his feet were safe.  Hey- that's where my tape measure went....
So while Ry and I were outside cutting sheets, Jason was scraping and pulling like a mad man, turning the previously dangerous piece into this:

Then we just placed down our cut boards, did a happy dance or cursed under our breath depending on if they fit or not, and screwed them in with the 2" wood screws that the helpful man in orange at the store suggested.

Kitchen in Progress

Foyer in Progress

Dining Room in Progress

It was a little slow going since it took us nearly a half an hour prior to laying each 4' x 8' sheet to completely scrape and clean that area, but it was all coming together nicely.  Eventually we had this:

Kitchen Eating Area Complete!

Kitchen Complete!
Notice how most of these photos are taken when it is dark outside?  It was a few long days and nights, and it's just a fact of our lives right now that a lot more gets done in the evenings after the little pumpkin goes to bed. He was pretty hilarious when he woke up the next morning and they were completed though. "Oh Mommy," he said while motioning to the floors like Vanna White, "these new wood floors are beautiful!"  Ha!  Little does he know the maple planked goodness that is about to cover these bad boys.  And that post my friends, will be coming to you shortly.  That is, after the family and I take a little forced vacation from home improvement this holiday weekend.  I went back and forth about missing an entire 4 day weekend of home improvement time, especially since it's one of those rare times when Jason has Friday-Monday off too, (it's like an eclipse I tell you!) but in the end we decided that it was more important for our family to take a much deserved break together.  My Hubs knows me, and knows that there's no way we can relax and take a break as long as we are in The Lodge, so we're leaving town for the weekend, just to be sure I don't go anywhere near a paint brush or a hammer.  (I can't promise that I won't bring the iPad though and do a little blogging!)   Have a happy, and productive holiday weekend everybody!

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