Monday, May 16, 2011

Attic Construction Continues... flooring nightmare!

Our current challenge with the new room is the floor.  We bought locking bamboo from Lowes, in a nice dark color called Jacobean.  It says: no nails, no glue, easy installation.  Well, I wouldn’t say it was easy!  The instructions it came with were a bit on the vague side.  Luckily, my brother Don had used the same flooring in his own house and had great tips!  And Eric(my husband) was willing to work on it to prevent his very pregnant wife from going crazy with her inability to nest.  He got about half of the floor in today, with me helping click them into place after he got it all sawed and lined out.  I think the key is not to get angry and pound too hard on the boards, which breaks the little groove thing.  After a while you really do get a feel for it!  And then you get to a doorjamb and cry a little bit.  Here’s what we learned about the bamboo:

1.)    Put the entire long row together before trying to click it in to the previous row (all the short sides connect, then take the long row you created to put it into the previous row.)
2.)    Buy the tapping block, you don’t want to be pounding directly on the groove, it breaks the little wood bits and if you get anything down inside those grooves, it won’t go together right.
3.)    Don used scrap pieces of the floor, turned upside down and stuck under the edge that you aren’t clicking to hold it at the correct angle while tapping in the row.  It definitely helped! 
4.)    Sometimes creative solutions are needed for edges and doorjambs that you can’t angle into place.  I’m not sure that I would recommend what we did, but I’ll tell you in case you get as desperate as we were.  On the piece that slid under the doorjamb, we left one piece off the far end, and used the tapping block to tap that whole row under the doorjamb.  Then we took the last piece and chiseled the lip off the tongue on the side, so that we could just slide and tap the piece into place without angling.  It worked…  and it was just cheating a little bit I hope.  Once the next row is firmly in place I think it will be fine to have one unlocked piece right in the middle.  I hope. =) 
5.)    We had a plunge saw to saw back the doorjamb, and it was sooo nice. 
6.)    We’re just halfway, but we took it very easy today.  And this is a room with crazy angles, a square one would be much simpler!   

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