Master Bedroom Floor Project

One of the bedrooms had some old, gray, stanky carpet. Before we even bought the house, we knew that was going to have to change.

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The start, of course, was tearing out the old carpet. It came up pretty easy. Upon pulling the carpet and padding up, I found something interesting. It looks like there had been a previous great flood, as part of the particle board subfloor (I think it is technically underlayment) had been replaced with plywood. There were water stains at the edge of the remaining particle board which made it obvious why that end of the floor had been replaced. Below you can see why I call it underlayment, as there is another tongue-in-groove floor underneath, above the crawlspace. I decided it was best to get rid of the particle board, as there was no vapor barrier to speak of... meaning the particle board was exposed to the crawlspace in places, and had obviously seen moisture. The stuff is just gross anyway.

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Notice that in the above picture, I started with a screwdriver, a hammer, and a pair of pliers. Turns out, the particle board was affixed to the subfloor with these weird sheetmetal stamped nails. Lots of them. Below, you will notice the addition of the SUPERBAR XL. Totally awesome. Like $18 out the door. So worth it! It pries wood and nails like nobody's business. Also got a small "molding removal tool" that works great on the baseboards, which also needed to come off.

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Look at them knot holes! No wonder it smelled funky in there. Those go straight into the dirt crawlspace. Being that particle board soaks up moisture like a sponge, it is no surprise it got funktified.

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The easiest way to get the junk out was through the window. Char's truck worked conveniently to catch it. After that it was off to the dump!

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On to laying plywood. For some mysterious reason, my dad and I got the super bro deal at the Home Despot. we only got charged for half of it. Bonus! We decided it's because of my awesome hair. We measured, and figured 6 sheets would do it. The existing plywood seemed to be about half an inch thick. Of course, at the store there were like 10 different thicknesses "about" 1/2 inch thick, and several different compositions to choose from as well. We picked one that erred to the thin side of 1/2 inch, with 1 sanded side. I kept the piece of particle board with the hole in it for the heat register, so I could use it as a template.

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Plywood Complete! Even did the closet. Damn I am good.

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Now for the proper underlayment for the floating laminate floor I intend to install. I got 3-in-1 stuff they had at the Depot. It acts as a vapor barrier, as well as sound deadening and cushioning. It's a little pricey but seems to be good stuff. It goes down in sheets, one overlapping the other with a sticky strip. It works very well, and is easy to work with. Following the instructions I put it up the wall on each side of the room so it keeps the floating floor sealed off from the subfloor moisture-wise.

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Underlayment complete! I will lay down the closet as well, but I don't have to right this second, as the closet is sort of its own floor since there is gonna be a rail down for the closet doors.

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On to the actual flooring! We are using bamboo laminate click flooring from Home Depot. I cut up the old baseboards and used them as spacers to keep the necessary expansion gap around the edges. I used blue masking tape to protect the boards during cutting. I can't remember if that was per the instructions that came with the flooring, or if I read that somewhere else. Just wrap where you are going to cut. If you do that together with flipping the planks over so that the teeth of the circular saw bite into the finished surface, it makes for clean cuts without splintering the pretty side.

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Tools for the job: Piece of flooring used as a "tap" block. Blue Masking Tape to protect planks during cutting. Rubber mallet to do the tapping. Pro-Puller bar. The puller bar was 10 bucks at Home Depot. It is totally worth it. It does a really good job of pulling the planks together, you just hook the bottom tab on the end of the plank, and wack the top tab with the mallet. It even has some soft material (the soft side of some velcro) on the bottom surface so as to not mar the floor. It also doesn't put a blood gushing hole in your knee if it slips like the Super Bar XL does when you try to use it for the same job... that sucker is sharp!

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99% done! Floor is down, baseboards are up, quarter-round molding on top of that. Baseboards are actually not wood... they are made of "Timbron", which is some sort of plastic. For the most part you can treat it like wood: cut it with a saw, sand it, paint it, put nails through it. I found that it has some drawbacks though. You have to be careful when sawing it, as it can chip or break on the edges. The big chips can be avoided by cutting into the rounded end. Also, care must be taken to put the nails into it when there is something solid behind it (like a stud). If there is any give behind it, it has a tendency to crack in half. Also, its a lot easier to use if you use the recommended nail size. The quarter-round is bamboo, and as it turns out is VERY hard. I was unable to put nails through it effectively without drilling a pilot hole. My handy dandy Miter box and Miter saw came in quite handy for cutting both the baseboards and quarter-round. I found it much easier to cut the angles than with the skill saw. It's a yellow plastic box, and both the box and saw came as a set from Stanley. It was like 10 bucks I think for the set and it has been awesome. Also, the skill saw with the blade I have caused more chipping.

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And that is it for now! I will post more when it get's done!!