Garrett is as Garrett does

An autoblogographic view of things.

'Garrett is as Garrett does'

Living Room Renovation (Stage 1)

April 27th, 2008
by garrett

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Most renovations start with the ceiling and work down from there. Ours is starting from the floor and working up from there. A real problem in renovating a space that is used to connect the kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, and the front door as well as housing the shrine, is that it is used extensively through the day. And the things inside of it ( sofa’s, TV’s, etc.) cannot be left outside for more than a few minutes. In IT parlance it must be accessible 24/7 and be hot swappable. Just to add drama, we’ve already taken delivery of the couch / loveseat set. The entertainment center and coffee table are due May 2. That means the ‘entertainment’ wall must be painted / and the floor immediately beneath it must be ready by the morning of May 2nd. Of course you really can’t do just a ‘part of a floor’ – so the whole floor must be ready by then. Laying down 240 square feet of self-adhesive vinyl flooring is not trivial, and the environment isn’t making it any easier:

  • The 5′ x 4′ hallway with 6 doors / openings.
  • The current entertainment center can’t move.
  • The sofa / loveseat set cannot leave the living room.
  • The wife and I are dead tired from the previous 4 days of hard work.

We scheduled one full day to clean, prep, and lay the floor. Hindsight now dictates we should have scheduled the entire weekend for it.

Anyway, after a breakfast of waffles, we formulated our plan of attack. Move the sofa / loveseat next to the entertainment center, clean that side, then move them to the other side and clean around the entertainment center. Cleaning the floor was a nine-step process:

  1. Mop floor with strong cleaner, leave mop water on floor
  2. Scrub with brush
  3. Vacuum up mopwater with Floormate
  4. Mop floor with strong cleaner, leave mop water on floor
  5. Scrub with brush
  6. Vacuum up mopwater with Floormate
  7. Pour clean water on floor
  8. Scrub with rinsed brush
  9. Vacuum dry with shopvac

Repeat that process for the other half of the room as well. Why so fussy? The floor is an old terrazzo concrete slab floor in good condition but it has seen nearly 40 years of use. Aside from all the dirt worked into the little nooks and crannies, it must be sealed so that the flooring adhesive will have something smooth to grip. Finishing up, that put us at 3 hours worth of work so far.

After a quick conference discussing where to place the first tile and verifying which direction the planking would go, we push the furniture around some more and start sealing one half of the room. Another half hour worth of work.

We start laying the vinyl planks, myself working under/around the immobile entertainment center, the wife laying the majority of the full planks and easier cuts along the open wall. Add three and a half more hours to the tally.

We move the furniture to the other side start sealing the other half of the room. Another half hour worth of work. To let the sealer dry in the cooling night, we head out for dinner. It was really nice out, still a little warm from the heat of the day, but a nice breeze to keep things cool as we dined in the open-air plaza at a local restaurant.

Now back to the floor. This section has the most cuts and includes the dreaded 6-opening hallway. For those keeping track that’s another 4 hours and another half hour for cleanup.

We are very pleased with the new floor, and it only took ( 3 + 1/2 + 3 1/2 + 1/2 + 4 + 1/2 =) 12 hours to do it. For the two of us, that’s (12 x 2 =) 24 manhours to cover 240 square feet. Meaning we average only 10 square feet of floor per man hour!? Ugh. Definitely good to know if we plan on doing the cat room, our bedroom, or finish up the kitchen with vinyl tile.

Looks something like wood floors, right?

Looks something like wood floors, right?

Aside from the dinner break, we worked straight through finishing at 0130 hrs on the 28th. I cannot fully put into words how badly I ache. And my hands. My hands are my livelihood. I can’t work unless I can type effectively. They are still stiff, raw, and cut up from trying to make tight joints between the planks



Remind me not to do that again without gloves. Thanks.

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Categories: Day in the Life of... · Medical · PersonalNo Comments

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