Wednesday, 7 May 2008

[Progress.121] Timber floor completed - 1

Our timber floor was finally completed last week after 2 weeks of hard work. Compared to other activities, the amount of effort involved for timber flooring seems to be a lot more. I will try to cover most of them in a few posts and this is the first one.

Before everything starts, our garage was full with boxes of timber floor boards, more than 150 boxes of them...

When the team arrived, first thing they did is to move lots of boxes upstair as they started with the upper level first, and then they remove all the skirting boards and label every pieces carefully so that they can be correctly put back later.

After the skirting boards been removed they picked up a problem with the floor ---> the floor lipping bug bites again! As shown below, the area I marked in red was previously covered by the skirting board and therefore wasn't properly leveled during the floor sanding process. You can cearly notice the difference by comparing the floor board colour with the area right below it.

They have to use this small handheld grinding machine to cut off the surface a bit to make it more leveled. The area I marked in red in photo below is what it looks like, while the guy is working on the next floor board join area. So my first tip to anyone who plans to do timber flooring is to ask your builder NOT to install any skirting boards, or don't forget the areas under the skirting boards for floor sanding...

After the painful grinding process, they then mark and cut off the bottom part of all the door architraves. This is to save the effort as the floor board can then easily slide under all the architraves, rather then cutting out a matching shape. My second tip for everyone will be: ask your builder to cut off the bottm bit of all architraves if you plan to do timber flooring. This will save lots of time and effort as it's much easier to cut it during installation then afterwards.

They then found another issue: the stairs have a bullnose for every steps. If they leave it as it is, it will be very difficult to properly cover the bull nose with the timber board. So as shown in the area I marked in red below, they decided to cut out the bull nose. My 3rd tip: if you want to cover your stairs in timber, don't ask for bullnose! It's quite painful to remove them afterwards...

After all these painful pre-work, the team found another problem: the walls in the upper living area are not parallel to each other! Which means if they use one wall as reference point, when it reaches the other side, it won't look good. After some discussions, they decided to use the first step of stairs as the reference point and then move towards both sides of the room. In this way, even if the walls are not 100% parallel, the edges can be covered by the skirting boards and it won't be that obvious. So as shown below, after a few careful measurement, we finally have our first board laid on the first step of the stairs in the middle of the upper living area.

After first one, the rest are done a lot quicker, the 2nd one, the 3rd one...

This is how they install the boards (for upstairs only): first they apply some special glue either on the board or directly on the floor.

Then they use a special machine to firmly nail it to the floor board below.

This is what the machine looks like, it's powered by a compressor. Very noisy little monster...

I have this short video to show you how it works. It's quite funny that they have to hit it with a hammer to drive the nails...

After a whole day's hard work, they finally covered most of the upper living area. The machine at the back is the compressor they used to drive that nailing machine.

This one viewed from a different angle. There was dust and glue marks everywhere, definitely need a proper clean up after everything completed...

One of the guys spent lots of time just to cut the bull nose from the stair steps... This is what it looks like early in the afternoon and you can see the cuts.

Late in the afternoon, the bull noses all gone...

Even the last step, which has a round bull nose and it looks a bit weired without it...

We spent some time picking the boards and organised to have all those boards with lots of dark pattern/mark to be used in the wardrobe, and this is one of them...

To be continued...


4 comments:

Build First Allcastle Princeton home said...

Allan
Did you lay the upstairs floor boards perpendicular to the underlying floor joists?
thanks

Allan said...

Can't remember now unfortunately, and as there's floor board in between, we can't really tell from upstairs. So probably it shouldn't really matter that much. Also, at different part of the rooms, the floor joists might be laid differently.

Don't forget if you are installing timber flooring for both upstairs and downstairs, they have to be in matching direction. Wouldn't look good if both are different just because you want the upstairs one to be perpendicular to the underlying floor joists, right??

Build First Allcastle Princeton home said...

Allan
I saw the nails pretty long, is it a chance these nails hit aircon pipes under floor joists?
thanks

Allan said...

Hi, No idea about that to be honest, hope not :-( ....