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Floored!

11th January 2007

Dave

Tiling the kitchen went quickly without incident. The tiles were uniform in size and cut easily. I used a good quality thin set (Versabond) to set the tiles and 5/16 inch spacers. I would make a couple of changes later though. I increased the path from the french doors and also added tile to the kick space. Once I had the tile grouted I was ready to lay carpet.

The carpet wasn’t as easy as the tile. It seems counter intuitive that the the carpet would be harder than tile but it was in my case. The first problem came from trying to nail down new tack strip. Most of the nails blew out the surrounding concrete. It didn’t matter what size the nails were small or large or how I hammered them down they all failed. Several internet sites had different ideas on how to do it but none of them worked for me. One idea was to drill and use plastic anchors. I found a better solution though. I drilled pilot holes and then used a slightly larger masonry nail and it worked perfectly every time. I did discover that a hammer-drill is actually much easier on carbide drills than high speed drills are. I went through my fist bit half-way through the first room. After switching to a small hammer drill I was able to complete the installation with just 2 more bits. At first I glued the strips before drilling, but quickly gave up that step. It just wasn’t necessary.

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Installing the padding wasn’t any problem. I miscalculated on how much was required but that was easily solved by an extra trip the home center. Laying the carpet had it’s share of surprises though. When I walked into the garage for the first time I was surprised to see several huge rolls of carpet left by the previous owner. Two of the rooms had the same carpet already installed. There were some serious stains on the carpet in the bed rooms but I assumed it was from the kids that had been using the place as their club house. Other than the stains the carpet looked almost new. Not only that but it was a very high quality carpet. I rolled it up and stored it on top of the other rolls in the garage before I started the demolition work. I planned on cleaning it after re-installing it. I assumed the rest of the rolls were of equal quality. Boy was I wrong.

Reinstalling the cut pieces actually went pretty well. I would have to add pieces to do the closets but that was no problem. Once I had the two previously cut pieces laid I began to roll out the carpet that had been stored in the garage for the past few months. It turned out that the carpet was used. I’m guessing it came from some sort of show room because the pieces were enormous. Some of the carpet looked brand new while other parts were heavily worn. The previous owner must have selected a part of the carpet that had little wear for the 2 bedrooms. I still had to carpet one bedroom, the hall and the living room. The bed room wasn’t a problem. I was able to find a piece large enough out of the wear pattern. It was like new. The living room was a little more difficult. I cut out the largest piece I could of good carpet to fit most of the room. I would have to seam a strip on the side but at least it was all nice carpet. Doing it this way didn’t give me a low traffic piece big enough for the hall so I would have to splice a couple of pieces together. Once it was down it looked Ok but I will have to make some changes. I’ve decided to remove the carpet in the living room and re-use it in the hall. It will be plenty big enough to do the hall in one piece. I’ll lay hardwood or bamboo floor in the living room. Beside that a light tan carpet in the living area isn’t a good idea for me. It would be far too difficult to keep clean. The new floor will have to wait until the end though. It looks OK for the moment. I ended up taking a large trailer full of carpet scraps to the dump. I ended up using less than a third of the total carpet. Most of waht went to the landfill was the heavily worn areas though. At least part of it got recycled.

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The place was finally beginning to look habitable. Still a lot to do but a lot had been done.

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