Monday, December 29, 2014

how to install floating flooring

as part of my neverending bathroom remodel, i finally installed trafficmaster allure floating flooring; supposedly "the easiest floor ever!"  ummmm welp i'm here to say, kiiiind of.  if i'd been installing the flooring in a perfectly square room with nothing in it, yea i'm sure it would have been cake.  but a 6'x6' bathroom with a vanity, round shower, toilet, two pipe penetrations, and a hallway with a bracketed guided barn door is another story entirely. 
materials needed:
  • utility knife [with new blade]
  • speed square
  • straight edge
  • tape measure
  • heavy duty pliers [i misused my lineman electrical pliers..]
  • pencil
  • dremel or other fine sanding tool
  • tracing paper
  • scissors
  • tape
  • unending patience and a will to finish
for simple lines, measure your space twice [at least], and score a line the correct distance.  make sure the overlapping edges are all facing the right friggin direction.
hold down the "good" side of the plank and give the end a good miss piggy-style karate chop.  yell "hiiiyahh" if necessary.  do not drop chunk on toes.  if chunk does not break off easily, start bending at the scoring until the bottom layer begins to crack.  if fuzzy edges remain, give them a quick buzzy sanding with the dremel. 

protip: learn from my mistakes: the utility knife will only score the clear portion of the plank.  and maaaaybe a little of the "wood" portion.  but there is no way in hell it will ever cut through all of the rubber underneath, unless you are an entire brute squad. 

for difficult things like... pipe penetrations.  make a game plan.  how will the planks fit together?  how can i make a hole?  where does the hole need to be?  should i have hired a professional?  do i have an idea what in god's name i'm actually doing? 
also, make sure any overly plastered bits in the corner are knocked out.  alternatively, if you had someone who knew what they were doing prep the drywall, this may not be a concern.
protip: learn from my mistakes: bash that shit out with a screwdriver [or a utility knife], and vacuum up any loose bits.  

measure how wide the plank needs to be, and which side will snap into the existing edge.  make doubly sure you have the plank oriented the correct way.  check a third time.  not even kidding.  score the edge with the utility knife, making sure you are the proper distance away from the edge.  since there isn't enough edge to bash off with your fists of fury, use pliers to bend short lengths off the plank.
measure where the pipe penetration will be, and if necessary, make a paper template and cut out the corresponding hole.  using the dremel, cut out the hole in the proper place.  get possibly toxic rubber dust and bitty filings EVERYWHERE.  don't breathe.

shove the plank in place, realize it is out of place in a very conspicuous end and you can't easily remove the plank again, swear loudly.  carefully pry up the plank with a screwdriver, and re-place the plank.
do happy dance.  it isnt perfect, but whatever.  pipe escutcheons cover a multitude of sins.

repeat process for radiator pipe.  i used a shot glass to outline where the pipe would be.  i should have also taken multiple whiskey shots out of said glass, as this part was a complete cf.
protip: learn from my mistakes: again, measure everything thrice, and before you bash everything in place, check if it is easily removable again.  in case you've bungled it.

repeat all above steps as necessary. 
repeat happy dance.

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