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Monday, August 09, 2004

Hit the Floor

I did, in fact, literally hit the floor this weekend, probably close to a thousand times. My recap of the laminate flooring endeavor:

First, let me say that installing laminate flooring is not unpleasant. It's rather like a giant Lego/Erector/jigsaw puzzle combination. Kinda fun. Pulling up carpet sucks in at least eight ways that I'll refrain from enumerating here.

What I will enumerate, though, are the lessons I learned about flooring in particular. I think these would apply to other flooring surfaces, as well, so if you undertake such a thing, remember:
  1. Don't assume that your walls are straight -- they probably aren't.

  2. Also don't assume they're exactly perpendicular or parallel.

  3. Don't assume your floor is perfectly flat

  4. I suspect the difference between expensive and inexpensive flooring isn't that the expensive looks better, but that its edges don't chip and crack as easily as the cheap stuff. I have no experience with the good stuff to back that up, though.
We started in our front room, which turned out to be a good decision. It's a square room with no weird doorways to work around. It took about 5 hours to do this 9'x11' room (mostly because we were just learning), which was greatly encouraging. That was good, because the next thing we did was the 3'x10' hallway, with its 6 doorways. The first ten foot row of planks took me two hours to lay. The second and third rows took one hour each. The fourth and fifth took an hour total. That's five hours for one third the area as the first room.

If I'd started in there and thought it would all be that way, I would've sat down and cried. The 22' x 14' living room took about ten hours, but it was pretty straight forward.

Heather Marie was wonderful, pulling off baseboards and scraping carpet gunk off the floor while I cut and measured and hammered and cursed, and she spent a large chunk of her day off putting the baseboards back on. She's pretty incredible.

Now the biggest thing left is moving the furniture back onto the floor. That's not bad, except for our ugly 800 pound sleeper sofa. If that's an exaggeration, it isn't much of one. Not only is it heavy, but it has several large, heavy metal bars that hang beneath it all the way to the floor. The new floor. That I slaved over. Now I'm trying to decide if it's worth another $800+ to buy a new sofa that a) isn't ugly and b) won't destroy our new floor from its sheer weight. Anyone with experience putting preposterously heavy furniture on laminate floors, please feel free to chime in.

On another note, Guinness Draught in their special cans is pretty darn tasty. Remember: Guinness is Good for You!

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