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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

We are Floored By This Next Step

Sorry I didn't get a blog post written yesterday. I spent a delightful day with my dear friend Connie who came up to visit from Oshkosh. We spent the entire day talking and chattering, sharing our quilting projects, catching up on family situations, and having a wonderful lunch together.  Dangnabbit, I forgot to get any pics of us together!

After a day's hiatus from writing the blog, I am back to the catch up posts about the work we did in October on the she shed.

As I said in my last blog, we had reached a fork in the road and needed to stop for a minute and make some choices.  We've reached a point of decision making. Originally, a few blogs back, I talked about the wonderful load of 660 square feet of Douglas fir flooring that we had picked up to do this entire room. It was a great idea and the wood tongue and groove flooring was beautiful.

But then I started imagining all of the work ahead of us. Thinking of renting the air-powered nailing tool and doing all of the work to nail each floorboard into place. Then of course we would have to rent the big sander and buy piles of disks to sand everything smooth and prep it. Filling in knot holes and removing any blemishes. Then the next step of course would be cleaning up all of the sawdust and starting the staining process. Lots of hands and knees work. Then finally following up with coats of polyurethane. This could take weeks. I think, myself personally, I was hitting some kind of a brick wall.

I started to dread the thought of doing the wood floors. The rest of our entire home already has hardwood flooring. I love hardwood flooring, but I just think I had enough of the work involved in making this raw wood into a beautiful floor. When I had initially envisioned this addition room, I had thought about wide gray plank flooring, either a textured laminate or vinyl plank.

Although Steve had made a really good choice and a great bargain on buying this flooring, I thought this would be probably the fork in the road moment of deciding what to do next. We talked about alternative plans.  Steve thought I made some good points, so we should delve into alternative ideas before going any further.

We went and looked at grey plank flooring. Some of it appears blotchy from end-to-end on the four foot long strips, being lighter on one end and darker on the other. It made big sections of open floor appear leopard printed. I didn't care for that.

I did find a nice textured laminate flooring with much more even tones of gray coloring and not such contrasting streaks. Actually, these planks were even wider than the first stuff we looked at. This was much more to my liking, and a lot more of what I had initially envisioned for the room.

Steve really liked this too. 

So after talking it over and thinking about the steps involved in doing the Douglas fir floor, we both agreed to swap horses midstream.  Being flexible is important when working together.

We put the wood up for sale on the Facebook marketplace and immediately we had four or five people clamoring to buy it. We sold it for what we paid for it, and a woman gratefully drove here all the way from Rhinelander, Wisconsin to pick it up. We helped her load it up and away it went. She was happy and so were we.


But now we had to wait for a sale on the flooring that we had decided on.

In the meantime, we picked up the 4 by 8 sheets of subfloor that we needed to cover the entire room over the floor joists. Before laying each one into place, we put a bead of heavy construction adhesive on the top of each joist before screwing the subfloor into place. This will prevent any squeaks.

Steve added the floor vent and ductwork from the main part of the basement.  Now the room will have central air and heating!  This is the partial door entrance scuttle hole into the basement, and the closed off old stone stairs from the past blog.  This grey door will be covered over with some cabinet doors to disguise it to look like a built-in cabinet instead. 

It felt like we could do a barn dance in this room once all of the subfloor was in place. it was so huge! I was delirious in how much space that is she shed was going to allow.

Our son-in-law Waylen helped carry over a big wall cabinet unit to mount on the wall over the scuttle hole.  I will write more about that later in the next blog, but it appears in some of the pics now.

Next we working on making the new stairs.  We had been using the original old stairs which we put back into place each time we pulled them away from the wall to do work.  They were many many years old and worn and not of the right riser and tread lengths for the space needed.

Steve is really good at figuring stairs out, and cut the stringers correctly the first time, do I ever doubt him?  Nope. Not with these projects!   He made the stringers with super strong with 2x12 boards, placing three of them to span 44 inches. 

Then we bought long lengths of bull nosed stair treads and I gave them double coats of thick oil based grey porch paint.  

Once they were dry, Steve cut them down to lengths of the treads and mounted them into place. We would construct the railings later, after the flooring was finished.


Now it was time to wait for the next sale.  Even the 11% rebate sale would net us about $100 savings on 380 sq ft of flooring.

3 days later the plank flooring I wanted went on sale!

Just check out that happy face, this is like the home stretch!!!

We loaded up our little trailer and got our bundles of flooring back home and unloaded them into the room to acclimate for a day.  That way we are not constructing under too damp or too dry conditions with flooring fresh out of the box from the store.

Now the fun begins. We figured out where we wanted to start and where the baseline should be. Four rows done and this was easy peasy!

This flooring was a lot of fun to put together. We had already used some of it in the small laundry room and half bath earlier in the summer, so we knew what we were doing.

This has very nice thick pieces of engineered laminate flooring, with attached pad underneath each piece. No need to lay out large rolls of conventional padding like vinyl plank floors require.

To install this product, just lay one plank up against the previous row at a 45 degree angle, drop it down into place and it snaps into place.  Then give it a tap tap with the hammer on one end to join it to the previous piece. Then the edges meet up perfectly and you are done! Next piece, please.

We did careful cuts around the two electrical floor outlets.  I made little templates and we cut the planks with little rectangle holes to line up.

Then as were got further along, closer to the other wall, where the heat register was going to come into the room from the central heat and air duct. We made a template and carefully cut around to make it line up.

We completed the entire 24 by 16 area quickly (except three final pieces in the far corner under the stairs a.k.a The Cubby Hole. When I was a kid, we had a Cubby Hole in our house that went under the stairs. It was great to hide in, but it was also tall enough to hang our coats and snowmobile suits in. Kind of made a curtain to hide behind and nobody could find us back there.

The Cubby Hole in this she shed will now be a perfect hiding spot for the grandkids or the dogs.

When we got most of the floor installed, Steve helped me carry in rest of the white rattan patio furniture that we had residing out on the front porch. It had taken quite a beating over the summer being left out in the elements.

The week before, I spiffed it all up with a fresh coat of paint and we anxiously were waiting for the time to bring it in and set it in the room. This is the furniture that I had on the front porch at our last house.

Over the last few months during construction, I could envision it being used in this room.

Back to the floor installation: It was actually fun and when we were done, we had an instant floor. Now we didn't have to spend any time sanding and staining and varnishing.

The room was looking amazing,
and I was giddy with excitement! 
(the dogs --- not so much) 

With this weather resistant plank flooring, we won't have to worry about wet boots in and out, or dogs in and out with wet paws. Compared to our original idea of the wood flooring. This will be more water resistant and durable in the long haul.

We will add ceramic tile to the 4 foot by 12 foot entryway this week. We picked up a great bargain of some gray / black speckled ceramic tile from the ReStore that will harmonize beautifully with this gray plank floor.  We paid about 30 cents a tile and I think it will be perfect.

On the day after the flooring was complete, Steve went to spend the day with his brother and dad up in Sister Bay. Do you think I was going to just sit here and twiddle my thumbs? Heck no!

I started carrying in my big rug weaving loom, one piece at a time. Bit by bit, I carried it all in and started assembling it----

I can assemble this loom in my sleep. I have done it so many times. I had the loom all together except for the heaviest back beam which requires two people to carry it in and set it into place. I would have to wait for Steve to get home to help me with that part.

 after being packed away for 6 months

Next I started carrying in the pieces for my 12 ft long quilting frame. Each roller, each pole, each base piece etc found its spot along the north wall of the she shed. Soon I had that all put together too.

It was so exciting to see the things come in and start taking their spots in the room. This is the longest wall meant for my quilting frame, with the articulating lamps overhead.  Perfect!

I could close my eyes and see us setting in front of the big windows as the sun is rising with our coffee, or in the lovely mid day sunshine, or in the waning evening hours.  We could sit here looking out over the big backyard and the trees and the sky and nature and birds as they flutter in and out of our yard.

Actually, right now as I am typing up this blog, I am sitting on the middle of the couch looking out at the very scene that I just talked about.

Last night we had some gray foxes stop by, and we regularly have deer visiting us. The birds are fluttering up and down to the bird feeders eating the suet block, sunflower seeds, and thistle seeds in the feeders. Squirrels hop around and we haven't seen any bunny rabbits yet, but they left little paw prints in the snow this morning. There is word that there's a big old bear rumbling around town. We haven't seen him yet but he did leave some claw marks in the tree next to one of my bird feeders. Part of the feeder was cracked off and the seeds were out of it. So I know he came to visit.

This is the stuff that dreams are made of, having this room slowly come to fruition. Bit by bit, step by step. I am thinking I need to pinch myself to realize that I am not dreaming.

Tomorrow's blog post will be about installing some cabinetry, hooking up the natural gas stove and working on the trim.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful floor. Our son put something similar in that gray color in their kitchen as well as the hallway, kids' rooms & loft area upstairs. I also saw it at my dermatologist's new office. Had to smile over you moving things in before the trim is even done.


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