Every time I visit my house I learn more and more about the area. I was so excited to get started on flooring this week that I arrived early. I couldn’t help myself, I had to race to the entry window and look inside to see all of the unpack-aged wood. On my way back to the car this beautiful white rabbit was just hanging out next to the sidewalk. A sure good luck symbol as we near completion.
This week we focused on getting flooring into the kitchens. We need to get them complete, so the wood workers can get our cabinets installed – how cool is that! It was my first time tiling and installing wood. Both of them have very strategic processes to be completed the correct way.
For the tile the construction managers had already laid what is called a kings row, which is basically the starting tile piece which all the other pieces will be based on. Before we could place any of the tiles on the ground we had to mix the thin set, a cement mixture, which the tiles will stick to. When making the thin set, small batched are best because we can get a better consistency and a little mix goes a long ways so this way we don’t waste any material. We mixed the cement in the same buckets we used for painting – finally we get to reuse something and not waste it! Slowly adding water and the powdered cement, we mixed the concoction with a drill which had a paddle like a mixer secured to the end. When the cement had a cake batter like consistency it was ready to go down on the floor.
We scooped the cement out of the bucket with a trowel, a spatula looking device with teeth on two conjoining sides and a handle on the back of it, and smeared the mixture on the cement board then using the kings row, we placed the next tile down. To make sure the tiles were equidistant from each other, we used small plastic spacers. To make sure all the tiles were the same height we used a silver dollar and rubbed it from tile to tile. If the coin gets stuck in the crack either your tile is too high or too low. Once your tile is properly place it’s on to the next till the floor is complete.
Installing wood is a completely different process. The wood comes in individual planks and each plank is a different length. On each plank there is what is called tongues and grooves. The tongue is what it sounds like, a small notch sticking out on the side of the wood that fits into the groove, a small indent in the side of the plank. All the pieces fit together like a puzzle and finding a pattern is a puzzle.
Before any wood can be placed on the floor we must create a pattern. The pattern consists of the different lines the planks create when they’re put together and makes the wood look natural. The pattern is laid out on the floor three rows at a time and then we install them.
To install the floor each plank is placed one at a time. The tongue and grooves are hit together with a hammer and then a contraption called a flooring nailer is used to hold them in place. The flooring nailer is at best described as a reverse nail gun. You step on the gun and bop a large nob on the end of it to shoot the nail into the floor. It makes an intimidating crash when you hit it.
I can’t wait to see the floors complete and I think the cabinets will completely transform the kitchens.