The main floor is installed!
I spent all day today finishing up a 16×5 foot section of the main studio floor. It was tricky because I had a lot of little cuts at odd angles and had to rip the floor pieces to get in next to the walls. Those final pieces can be a real trick and I had to go to Lowes and spend $6.50 on an edge puller. It’s an angled piece of thick aluminum with pads on the bottom. You slip the last pieces of floor into place next to the wall, hook the edge of the tool over the small expansion gap remaining, and pound on the raised lip on the other end to pull the piece tight. Works like a charm.
I still have to do the isolation booth floor tomorrow, but that shouldn’t take more than a few hours (more tricky cuts followed by lots of easy rows). I got very good at installing unaltered rows of laminate and could lay down a 16′ section of wood in about three minutes, but once I hit the angled pieces and final rows next to the wall the pace slowed down considerably due to the amount of measure, cut, try, recut, retry, trim, retry, tweak, etc, etc. One piece took me about 20 minutes by itself!
I did a pretty good sweep job of the floor and Erin and I sat down on it tonight admiring my work. I can’t believe I’ve done all this myself.
After the iso booth floor is in I have a decision to make. I bought a bunch of faux wood floor trim to go along the wall and cover the floor expansion joint (remember I pulled out the original trim). I set a piece down tonight and stood back and realized that I don’t really like it. The color isn’t right and the silly stuff is just cheap foam with a faux wood paper veneer. I’m not even sure if the pneumatic nailer will work with it or if it’ll just nail straight through. I don’t think I’m going to use it. This really bums me out because my alternatives are:
1. buy premade wood trim from the lumberyard for about $200
2. buy raw oak from the lumberyard, spend three days machining it and making my own trim, and then attempt to match the stain of the floor. Spend two days sanding trim, then polyurethane over several days, then install.
3. buy preprimed wooden trim that matches the crown moulding, paint with oil based paint, wait a week to dry, mask off floor so I don’t get gooey leftover paint on the floor finish, and install the trim in about a week
I really, really, really just want to install the cheap stuff tomorrow and move on but I can’t bring myself to do it. I think after I sleep on it I’m going to return the foam trim and go the primed wood/paint route. It won’t cost me anything as I’ll get my money back for the other trim, but it will take another week until it goes in. Oh well, I still have to make the curtains and paint the doors so it’s not like there’s nothing else to do.
I counted up the days that I’ve been working on the studio. I broke ground on the project by dismantling the equipment and tearing up the carpet on March 26th. We went on our trip and I had a few days of work to do when we returned from California. If I just count the number of days that I’ve been in the room building, sheet rocking, mudding, painting, etc- the actual working days- I have been at this project for 46 days! Amazing. I told Erin that if I had known how long it would take and how many trips I’d end up making up the stairs (over 1000) I think I would have reconsidered. But now as I near the end I’m so glad it’s almost over. It looks fantastic.