Showing posts with label flooring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flooring. Show all posts

Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's not janky, it's custom.

When I moved into my house there was this huge custom stainless steel plate around the floor register in the kitchen.  I didn't think long on it (I believe my whole thought on it was, "Weird.") because I had to tear out the kitchen floor shortly thereafter.  This is literally the only picture I could find of it.

When the new floor went in, they cut the hole for the vent to the exact same size as before.  Which in retrospect explains the stainless steel plate.  The hole is too big for the register.

For some reason, people like to stand on the register, which makes no sense to me at all.  People kept standing on the register and it started to bend and crack the Marmoleum beneath it.
Fun fact! Registers come in very standard sizes.  They are either 2 inches wide or four inches wide.  They are never 3.4 inches wide, which is what I needed.  I hunted and hunted and finally found a register at Reggio Registers with a two inch bottom and a 3.5 inch top.  The only problem is that it slid around, sometimes showing the hole beneath.  I thought if I could bulk up the base then the register wouldn't slide around and I wouldn't have a stroke every time someone decided to stand on it (but seriously, WHY).

One cheap paint stir stick from the Home Depot on each side, plus some 1/2" square dowels, stacked and nailed into place.

I'm sure this is how a real carpenter would do it. What else are those stir sticks for?

But it worked! Son of a bitch doesn't move!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's always something.

I'm prepping the basement for laminate flooring, which means Dryloking any cracks in the basement floor and moving everything out of that space.  It also means a little bit more scraping in the alcove, where there was no vinyl tile laid down; there was just padding glued down on the cement slab. 

Good enough.  I whipped up a container of Drylok (please please remember that Drano melts this stuff) and worked incredibly fast, filling the holes that were created by the carpet tack strips being nailed into the concrete.  


I missed a hole, can you tell where?  I don't know how I did that.  But a funny thing happened while I was trying to loosen little bits of vinyl tile from under the perimeter where the drywall made it difficult to scrape: I found crumbled bits of wood.  Sort of like you'd see with termites.  

I think.  

It's just in one spot and it could be dry rot.  Or it could be termites.  Termites in Oregon are subterranean, so it's totally plausible that they'd be in the basement.  The wood gives when you poke it with a screwdriver.  While I had my cheek pressed to the floor, peering into the half-inch clearance between the Drywall and the floor, I noticed that there was wood paneling underneath the drywall.  Awesome. Why remove that when you can just add more layers on top?

So I called my trusty exterminator dude and he's going to come out tomorrow to tell me what he thinks.  I'm just hoping he doesn't tell me that we need to remove the drywall from that area.  

He's probably going to tell me we need to remove the drywall from that area.  So it goes.

Super awesome update: No sign of termites but the guy did a quick spray for me, behind the drywall, just in case any termites think about coming in for a snack.  EcoTech NW is highly recommended, if you're local.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Unearthing the basement floor

Removing old vinyl tile from a basement floor is fun stuff.  Oh no, wait, what's the opposite of that?  It's the opposite of fun stuff.


It feels good to get this old mildewy stuff out of the basement, but I wish getting it out didn't make my wrists so sore and my hands so blistered.


People actually pay a lot of money to make their concrete floors look like this.

I would gladly give it for free if someone would remove the rest of the tile for me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The new kitchen floor

The Marmoleum I wanted usually takes about three weeks to arrive.  They send a big truck from the midwest and it travels around delivering linoleum happiness to people.  With the economy in the crapper nobody was ordering flooring, so the truck was just sitting there, waiting to be filled.  Three weeks after we ordered the tiles they said it would be at least another three weeks.

As I mentioned before, I was brushing my teeth in the kitchen sink because my bathroom vanity was on order, and the kitchen floor was just dusty subfloor.  I think it was a real testament to either 1. how much I love this house or 2. how tired I was, that this didn't make me crazy.

I had waffled over the kitchen floor, wondering if I could install it myself.  I had been warned that it's not as easy to install as ceramic tile, that to get the seams sealed required some skill.  The Marmoleum Click tiles, which snap together like laminate flooring, would add height to the floor that I didn't want.  I found out that Marmoleum comes with a 25 year warranty if you have a certified installer put it in.  So I decided to spend the money to have it installed professionally.  I got a ridiculous number of bids and selected A-1 Linoleum.  I can't say enough good things about A-1.  They were fantastic, they were honest, they were NICE.  The owner split the difference of rushing the tiles out, which was about $60.

Worth every penny. Having a real kitchen floor again made me feel like a princess.  I love the feel of the linoleum under my feet.  A lot of people complain about old linoleum in their apartment or house and I have to point out that they have vinyl tile, which is a totally different thing.  Linoleum is made of renewable materials and uses no toxic chemicals.  So if I ever sell the house and the new owner doesn't like the floor (and MANY people dislike my flooring choice) they can rip it out and I don't need to feel quite as guilty if it ends up in a landfill.

The only problem with putting new things in your house is that it highlights how much other things need sprucing.

How bad does that weird carpet in the dining room look, now? Someday down the road I'll fix that . . .

But for now I really really love my kitchen.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The kitchen floor debacle

I had to go back to work the next week, which was probably for the best.  My fingers and wrists were so swollen and sore from gripping tools, scrubbing things, and holding a paintbrush that I woke up in the morning with my hands frozen in a claw.  None of my rings fit and my back was a mess.  I stopped by the house after work to throw another coat of paint on the closets and built-ins and found that the cheap styrofoam cooler of beer I had in the kitchen had cracked and leaked all over the kitchen floor.

 The kitchen tile before

Since the tile was cracked and lifting in places (which you really can't see in the photo), all the water traveled into the subfloor.  Luckily, I was already planning on replacing the kitchen floor and had already gotten six bids and ordered the materials. 

I pulled up the tile right then and there until I hit dry floor.  The water had spread the 9 ft length of the kitchen, to about a six feet width.  I pointed a fan at the floor and hoped it would be okay.

The upshot to this whole situation was that the mortar and grout that had been used to put the tile down scraped off quite easily.  In retrospect I wish the water had spread MORE because that last 30 or 40 square feet that stayed dry was a pain to clear.  I rented a floor scraper from the North Portland tool library but I didn't have the requisite upper body strength or stamina to use it very effectively.

I had ordered black and white Marmoleum, to be laid in a checkerboard pattern.  The installers were planning to put down a 1/4" underlayment beneath the tiles, but the subfloor would need to be pretty smooth.  Ultimately I went to the hardware store and rented a belt sander.  Gary at the Home Depot really didn't think this would work.  He asked he if I had considered a power washer.  I reiterated that I was removing thinset INSIDE MY HOUSE.  In the kitchen.

He suggested Goo Gone.  I asked him if he knew what thinset was.  Was he familiar with ceramic tile and how it gets attached to things?

He really tried to talk me out of the sander.  I was really tired at this point.  He very begrudgingly rented it to me.  He and his coworker joked back and forth that it was going to take me all night, that it was good I had a sleeping bag in my trunk, that it was a good thing I could have the sander until morning.  He tried to sell me 15 sanding belts, because "I was gonna need them." 

And guess what happened?  The sander worked like a charm.  I had the sander back to them in less than two hours.  I had used two sanding belts, but could have gotten away with one.

Suck it, Gary.