Time to do my floor. It's been just over 7 months since I started my apartment remodel. This is a converted garage, so I had to do some serious leveling to get rid of that inch and a half slope toward the front of the building. That was done months ago and I did a final coat of Feather Finish yesterday to prepare for the Konecto Prestige I got from FlooringMarket.com.
Today I thought I would just get a little head start on an expected visit by SteveO (skhardwoods), who generously volunteered to come help me install the floor. I was worried because this is the kind of floor that needs to get done without too much delay because of the exposed glue strips that are attached to the material. With the positioning and all the rolling and such, I figured I wouldn't be able to put more than a couple pieces together at a time.
At 2PM a former competitor came by to lend me his 100# roller. I then went out and bought a roll of 30# felt for the insulation properties, since this is going on a slab floor and Winter has arrived full-force. But my room is warm and the floor is comfortable in bare feet, so I am not overly concerned.
The material is surprisingly easy to install. With all the complaints we have here in other topics, I expected the worst. And I expected it to be an energy sapper for me because my lungs don't work so pretty good. But I was able to get 6 rows done by about 6PM - that just a little over 3 hours of actual working time for me.
I'm sorry I didn't get in-progress pictures. That woulda been difficult for me. I started by scraping, sweeping and vacuuming the area I was going to lay the first sheet of felt down in. I racked enough planks to do a couple rows and used my 6' straight edge for a guide to butt the first row to. I continued to use it to back up that first row when I did the second row.
Once the 2 rows were done, I slid the material to butt the long wall in my living area. The wall wasn't straight and I needed to take about 2" off the side to make it balanced across the room, so my framers square worked perfectly as the scribe tool to cut the 2" off. Breaking off the 2" of waste was a little hard, but it broke off evenly. Then I slid the material to the wall, leaving the requisite quarter inch gap along the long wall and the two ends.
Since there's no tapping and smacking the planks to position them, I didn't need any blocks to maintain the expansion gap. But I did keep my eye on it to make sure my movements and work didn't cause the material to move. I think the felt paper and it's natural kinda sticky quality helped.
I bent each new piece's leading end as prescribed to reduce the chance of a dip where it attaches to the previous plank. It's easy to do and it became a habit. It also helped with the alignment. I butted the end, beginning in the very corner of the adjoining row and end pieces - very much like how you lay in vinyl tile. The long side was a tight fit purposely. I wanted to sort of snap the side in as I slid my hand long the plank to press it into the glue with my thumb. It got faster the more planks I installed. It seemed pretty much effortless and I found I did not have to twist or bend the material to get it to close a gap. I think starting the piece right makes it lay into position perfectly and without trouble. I did notice one very slight gap in an end, maybe as wide as the thickness of a piece or 2 of paper. No, I didn't take it up to fix it - it would have meant taking up 4 planks. I'll live with it.
Konecto snaps across a score pretty easily. Much easier to snap off a cross cut than a rip. The broken edge is a little ragged, but if you are concerned about the gap or fit, it's easy enough to trim smooth with a sharp utility knife - that's the knife I'm using to cut this stuff.
Here are some pictures of the first phase of the installation. I think I will eat something now and maybe I will be able to get some more down later tonight. I usually stay up 'til 2 or 3, sometimes later, so I might get another 3' done before bedtime. I am really enjoying doing this and it reminds me a lot of how much I miss installing floors every day.
Yeah, it looks like I will be able to handle this myself. I'll certainly miss meeting SteveO, but now he can make money instead of spending money.
A little while ago I finished another 6 rows. That takes me about half way across the room (not counting the entryway). I'm beat and my back is sore, but I am proud of what I've been able to do. Well, I knew I could do it, but I didn't realize it would go so fast. I really figured this could take me a week or so to do on my own. I might just finish the floor part tomorrow. Then I can do all the base shoe.
Here's what's done and what's left. I'll cover the glue strips with the slick paper to keep the dust and dirt off it 'til tomorrow.
2am, and you just finished another 6 rows??? Man, you work some late hours, I may have lucked out, I doubt I could keep up with you. I was looking forward my apprenticeship. It may have been my only chance to work with Konecto.
Thanks, you guys. The house warming party will be whenever you show up.
I finished the flooring about 1:30 tonight. I really should have stopped when I finished getting the appliances put back. I had to do the base shoe and other trim in those alcoves, touch up the paint, caulk and do some TV cable connectors so I could hide the cable behind the baseboard where the refer is.
Those little areas always seem to be the most time consuming and frustrating. I took a break to eat and watch some TV, but I just couldn't leave it alone. I had to finish. Well, now I can concentrate on the base shoe and trim tomorrow, touch up the paint and then maybe I can get my furniture out of storage.
I sure hope I don't find too many mistakes tomorrow. I was too tired to be doing this. I won't be able to say, "ya cain't see it from my house" - it IS my house. So, whata ya gonna do, fire me? Send me ta 'Nam? Been there, done that.