…in the kitchen and family room turned out to be a lot of work (which we were totally expecting). But the hard work definitely paid off in the end!
As mentioned in a previous post Craig and I decided to install our new carbonized, strand-woven bamboo floors ourselves to try to keep the overall cost for our big kitchen/family room renovation project down. Since our house was build on a concrete slab we had no choice but to glue down the new flooring.
Before we could start installing things we had to “prep” the old floors by patching the holes where the old base cabinets used to be and leveling out some of the high spots (most of this we could do with a sander, but some areas actually required Craig use his router to take the old flooring down by as much as 1/4 inch). We also had to prep the new flooring by opening the ends of the boxes and letting them acclimate for three days prior to installation.
Once the prep work was done we were ready to install. The flooring guys at Lumber Liquidators told us that it would probably take us 5 days to glue down the 1000 square feet of flooring that we bought (not just for the kitchen/family room, but also for the hallway, living room, and dining room). We decided to take advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend to get a 3 day start on the installation. Thankfully my parents were able to come up and help. My mom kept Bailey entertained for the whole weekend while my dad helped Craig and I with the floors.
Before we started we opened up several boxes so that we could pull a mixture of planks for each row to be glued down (to make sure that we got a nice, random mix of colors). We also laid out our first couple of rows to make sure that we had the color combination that we liked.
Then Craig measured things out, snapped a chalk line (to use as our guide for the first row) and began spreading the glue. While Craig worked the glue down the line, my dad and I started laying the planks. We had to be extra careful to keep the rows straight (or it would throw off the rest of the flooring) and tap out any of the gaps. After doing this we taped the rows together (to try to prevent any gapping or movement) and then rolled the new floors over with a 100 lb. roller (to make sure the boards had good contact with the glue).
The glue had to set for 24 hours before it could be walked on, so we had to do the work in sections (so we’d have a path to get in and out of the rooms). By the end of weekend we had completed the kitchen, family room, and about 1/2 of the hallway. Not bad for three novice flooring installers!
And now that the flooring in the kitchen is done we can move in the new refrigerator and dishwasher! Which means we’re one more HUGE step closer to being finished with the kitchen … unfortunately we’re still far from getting the whole house back to normal since we still have to rip up the old carpets in the living room and dining room and finish installing the bamboo flooring throughout the rest of the house (with the exception of the bedrooms and bathrooms).
Oh well… there’s always next weekend! Anybody want to come
visit help install some floors? We can pay you with pizza and beer! And hey… you would be learning a new trade in the process! Doesn’t that sound like a fun way to spend a weekend?!?