Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

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Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Mr. Coffee » 2015-02-12 07:12pm

Edi wrote:So, what happened to flooring, or have you branched out?


Well, I started getting to old for that shit, bro. Like, literally. My knees couldn't take it any more. So I made my partner an offer to buy me out of the business. Now I'm working for a friend of mine running his detail shop. Brother, let me tell ya, who ever wrote "Working at the Carwash, Yeah" never worked a goddamn day at a wash, yo.

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Edi » 2015-02-13 02:30am

Mr. Coffee wrote:
Edi wrote:So, what happened to flooring, or have you branched out?


Well, I started getting to old for that shit, bro. Like, literally. My knees couldn't take it any more. So I made my partner an offer to buy me out of the business. Now I'm working for a friend of mine running his detail shop. Brother, let me tell ya, who ever wrote "Working at the Carwash, Yeah" never worked a goddamn day at a wash, yo.

I expect there's all kinds of songs about jobs the singer never had to do that just get it all assbackwards.

I can imagine the flooring business being hard on the knees. Renovations of any kind, really. I've lost 2 kg of weight in the past week with all the mucking about. Which is all good, now I could stand to lose another 10 kg easily and preferably 12 to 15. Though I'd be happy with just another 5.

Yesterday was by far the worst of the week and I caught a bad cold into the bargain. Bad enough that I'm out of commission today and probably tomorrow too. The upside is not needing to go to work, downside being that I can't do what I need to do. The flooring guys will be coming at 8 AM on Monday and walls and ceilings should be painted by then. The ceilings are not so bad, since I can just tape wall to wall plastic sheets to cover the new floor if I need to do them afterward, but the walls are a bitch when you need to be careful all the time.

Out of curiosity, how common are all hardwood floors in the US? I've understood that it's mostly carpet (what we call "full floor carpet") rather than hardwood or laminate, which is what is the prevailing type here.
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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Borgholio » 2015-02-13 08:41am

Out of curiosity, how common are all hardwood floors in the US? I've understood that it's mostly carpet (what we call "full floor carpet") rather than hardwood or laminate, which is what is the prevailing type here.


Hardwood floors are considered an upgrade over here. They're common enough that people don't think much of them. Typically you walk into someone's house and say, "Oh hey I like your floor.", but that's about it. Carpet tends to be cheaper mainly due to materials so that's really the only reason you see it more often. The two biggest reasons for getting hardwood floors are looks (it does look nicer than carpet), and ease of maintenance (don't need to vacuum and don't have to worry about stains. So if people can afford it they often take that route.

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby General Zod » 2015-02-13 09:34am

Hardwood floors are pretty common in New York.

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Zaune » 2015-02-13 09:48am

Over here in the UK they're not terribly uncommon, but they're pretty expensive; my parents thought getting a hardwood floor for the hallway was a pretty big deal, and never mind that it was cheap pre-cut stuff that was probably composite lumber and we had to walk on plastic sheeting over the underlay for weeks because my stepfather insisted on doing it himself despite seldom being around except on the weekends.

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Edi » 2015-02-13 04:46pm

Zaune wrote:Over here in the UK they're not terribly uncommon, but they're pretty expensive; my parents thought getting a hardwood floor for the hallway was a pretty big deal, and never mind that it was cheap pre-cut stuff that was probably composite lumber and we had to walk on plastic sheeting over the underlay for weeks because my stepfather insisted on doing it himself despite seldom being around except on the weekends.

Stuff like that is good for outside things like veranda, stairs etc, and inside maybe as the hallway floor material, but for anything else like actual living spaces, it's heresy. The feel is different and depending on the material used, can be more abrasive than actual hardwood, collect more dust and hair (static electricity effects) and similar things, which in the long run can be hugely annoying. It is more stain and scratch resistant, but for me at least, real hardwood is always the first choice. The trick is picking out a suitable one, since a softer wood scratches more easily. Birch vs oak vs ash vs maple for example has significant differences in hardness and hence scratch resistance.
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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Enigma » 2015-02-13 08:30pm

Edi wrote:Out of curiosity, how common are all hardwood floors in the US? I've understood that it's mostly carpet (what we call "full floor carpet") rather than hardwood or laminate, which is what is the prevailing type here.


It isn't uncommon to find hardwood flooring. My parents, when they bought their house (a little over 30 years ago), it was wall to wall carpeting everywhere but the basement, bathroom and kitchen. It was only a decade later when my father pulled a corner of the living room carpet that he saw the floor was hardwood. He was a bit pissed saying "Why would someone cover the hardwood?". We removed all of the carpeting and found that underneath it all was hardwood flooring.

Someone was able to lay all that hardwood and then later cover it with dark brown carpets (my parents bedroom had a mix of orange and yellow shag). Unfortunately, the years of neglect left the floor stained so he had to get someone to sand refinish the floors.

Lol, then a year later my parents adopted a couple of cats and you know what they can to do floors.

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby DaZergRock54444 » 2015-02-14 11:40am

My experience in recent past is that most older houses in the US have hardwood floors. One place I lived in had carpet over hardwood in the lower floor. My dad promptly pulled it up, only to find that some bozo must have parked motorcycles inside the house, so portions of the wood were ragged. Eventually my dad put some floating laminate in over top, just so there would be some nice looking flooring in the house. But the upstairs, he had stained and sealed that wood himself, lots of work, looked gorgeous afterward though.

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Broomstick » 2015-02-14 08:34pm

Flooring in the US is all sorts of things. Prior to 1960 hardwood was the default, with area rugs if you wanted that sort of thing, and tile/laminate in places like the kitchen. The 1960's was the start of the wall-to-wall carpet era, and a lot of old hardwood wound up carpeted. Hardwood floors went out of fashion for awhile, in fact. In the 1980's they started to be perceived as upscale again, some old floors were uncovered and refinished, in other cases flooring was installed over substrate that was, essentially plywood, intended to be covered by carpet or laminate.

I don't really like wall-to-wall carpet, but that's what the landlord installed in this place so that's what we have. Underneath is padding then concrete. I know this because, after an accident involving water, we had to pull up and get rid of the bathroom carpet (?!? - carpet in a bathroom? Yep...). Underneath was concrete. So our bathroom has a concrete floor. Well, at least it's easy to sanitize. We use throw rugs in there during the weekend (basically, doubled over ragged towels. Really, I would have made a good pioneer wife.)
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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Mr. Coffee » 2015-02-14 10:02pm

Edi wrote:Out of curiosity, how common are all hardwood floors in the US? I've understood that it's mostly carpet (what we call "full floor carpet") rather than hardwood or laminate, which is what is the prevailing type here.


Well, sir, that depends on exactly what you mean by "common". Actually, that's a lie. There's a right way, a do-it-yer-selfway, and what the home builder specifies.

See, were it up to me, all floors would be like my dick... hard wood. Besides lending itself to my juvenile ways, hardwood floors offer the sort of value and durability that a right thinking man (or woman, or transgendered person (seriously out of the goddamn loop on gender pronouns, dicks)) should want in their homes.

After that I'd rather go vinyl flooring just because liquids are easier to clean.

Then carpet. But not just any carpet, some sort of poly-whatsits-fiber-shit-you've-never-heard-of with 9lbs padding if God doesn't hate you. But for a small fee, you can have selected areas of your home not made of piss magnet fibers. For a "small fee".


Guess which is the right way, the dumbass way, and the homebuilder way? T

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Edi » 2015-02-15 10:13am

So, aside from putting a second coat of paint on the kitchen ceiling (and boy does it need that, the first coating is a fucked up atrocity over 75% of the surface), I've got everything painting related done.

I hope I can manage that later today once the first coating has dried enough, but might not be viable. The good thing is that I can do that even after the new floor has been installed, the place is easy to cover in plastic sheeting without a hassle.

Mr. Coffee wrote:
Edi wrote:Out of curiosity, how common are all hardwood floors in the US? I've understood that it's mostly carpet (what we call "full floor carpet") rather than hardwood or laminate, which is what is the prevailing type here.


Well, sir, that depends on exactly what you mean by "common". Actually, that's a lie. There's a right way, a do-it-yer-selfway, and what the home builder specifies.

See, were it up to me, all floors would be like my dick... hard wood. Besides lending itself to my juvenile ways, hardwood floors offer the sort of value and durability that a right thinking man (or woman, or transgendered person (seriously out of the goddamn loop on gender pronouns, dicks)) should want in their homes.

After that I'd rather go vinyl flooring just because liquids are easier to clean.

Then carpet. But not just any carpet, some sort of poly-whatsits-fiber-shit-you've-never-heard-of with 9lbs padding if God doesn't hate you. But for a small fee, you can have selected areas of your home not made of piss magnet fibers. For a "small fee".


Guess which is the right way, the dumbass way, and the homebuilder way? T


I expect that the right way is a hardwood floor installed by a professional who knows what he's doing, which is, incidentally, the option I'm going with. Couldn't agree more about the value and durability stuff.

As for the other two options, I really don't give a damn about which is which, since I ain't picking either of them.

A coworker of mine installed a vinyl/laminate floor himself, but then again he got a set of the stuff way below bargain basement prices (something like less than 200 euros for 43 square meters and change), so he decided he might as well try and see if he can do a passable job of it. Apparently he's quite happy with the result. at that sort of prices for materials, I might be tempted to do the same. But since I'm looking at this like an investment and I'm paying for quality materials, I'm sure as fuck not going to rely on my own amateur skills (as in, have never done floor installations in my life) to get it right.
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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Edi » 2015-02-15 04:17pm

And the bloody second coat of paint was applied and behold, it was excellent!

Which means I just managed to do everything that I needed to get done, so things will be a little easier going forward.

Though it seems today's little 12 hour renovation spree has managed to rile up the flu again. Hopefully a good night's sleep will do away with it, else I'll be having yet another sick day. Last Friday I was off sick, except I had to go to a meeting at work anyway, then on Saturday I had to go to the doc and if this shit doesn't quiet down, tomorrow means another doc visit.
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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Mr. Coffee » 2015-02-17 10:22am

Edi wrote:I expect that the right way is a hardwood floor installed by a professional who knows what he's doing, which is, incidentally, the option I'm going with.


Good man. Not to bag on do-it-yer-selfers, but after years of having to fix problems cause by homeowners that watched one to many episodes of This Old House, I get the heebie-jeebies whenever someone utters the cursed words "home improvement project". You'd be amazed at just how many people don't understand how much work and how many different disciplines of construction are needed to, say, remodel their bathroom. Worse, most of them don't have the sense to understand when a project might be a little above their ability and call in a professional until it's to late to save their remodelling budget.


Edi wrote:Couldn't agree more about the value and durability stuff.


Observing proper maintenance rights, a properly installed hardwood floor made with quality woods will last for-fucking-ever. Also, it's easy as hell to decorate around. THink the room needs a little more coziness or something? No problem, put down an area rug or two. Don't like the way the area rug clashes with your new couch? No problem, go get a different rug, the hardwood won't mind. Don't want to bother with a rug, it's all good cause you've got hardwood floors that look great bare. Don't like the stain? No problem, sand that shit down and restain it to match your chair rail or whatever.

Seriously, the shit is like the MacGyver of interior decorating.

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Edi » 2015-02-17 11:27am

Of do-it-yourselfers, there are a few kinds:
  1. Those who know what they can and can't do and stick to what they can do well or passably. Won't try to do shit they know nothing about.
  2. Those who don't know what they can do, but are willing to put in the effort to learn (and have the ability to learn).
  3. Those who don't know anything about anything and know it.
  4. Those who don't know anything about anything and don't know it. They usually won't even listen if someone tells them something.
  5. Those who think they know what they are doing, and may even have some knowledge, but just fuck it up to some degree every time.
  6. Those who think they know what they are doing, but haven't got the faintest fucking idea of what they are doing in reality. They will never listen to any opinion that contradicts their own overblown estimation of their abilities.

Of these, #1, #2 and #3 are people you can deal with. Types #4-6 need a crowbar to the back of the head, stat. The previous owners of the current place I'm living in were type fucking 6. Everything, and I mean absolutely fucking everything they had ever touched, had to be redone, sometime more than twice over. The worst of it was that the guy was supposedly in the construction business himself and considered himself a quality professional. I've never seen such fucked up bullshit as he had done.

Electrical cables connected with Jesus tape less than two feet from the fucking shower, similar setups in the kitchen where the lines (lacking proper insulation) went close to the water intake for the dishwasher. Bathroom construction done with standard red brick without moisture insulation underneath, including the section built over the fucking floor drain. The only thing that has prevented moisture damage is that the bathroom is closet-sized and has both good ventilation and a huge-ass wall heater set at blast furnace levels, so things stay dry. You can probably imagine the level of skill he had applied to the flooring of the apartment. Surprisingly enough, the two small rooms with vinyl laminate were almost passable (a few millimeters too much clearance around the walls), but the rest of it... Suffice to say, when the house gets its pipes renovated in afew years, the kitchen and the hallway need to be refloored completely and the kitchen cabinets just need to fucking go.

So yeah, not to rag on do-it-yourselfers, but some of them are the kind of fuckwits that need to be beaten to a bloody pulp just on principle.
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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-02-17 11:42am

As far as flooring goes, I'm considering a DIY shiplap yellow pine floor in my office/workroom. Yes, it's pine, but there's yellow pine floors >200 years old bouncing around the US, so I'm not too concerned with it. I can plane a shiplap with my moving fillister in a minute or two, yellow pine boards are pretty cheap (and won't damage my tools if I drop them), and I figure it'll be easier to clean up than trying to vacuum wood shavings out of carpet. The trick is to get it done without tipping my wife off, I want it to be a surprise... (especially as it would entail getting rid of the massive 6-foot desk dominating most of the workroom now)

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Mr. Coffee » 2015-02-17 12:40pm

Elheru Aran wrote:As far as flooring goes, I'm considering a DIY shiplap yellow pine floor in my office/workroom. Yes, it's pine, but there's yellow pine floors >200 years old bouncing around the US, so I'm not too concerned with it.


Nothing wrong with pine really. It's just a softer wood, so it's a little more prone to scraps, dents, and dings (read as, shit you can probably just sand out and restain if it looks to bad).


Elheru Aran wrote: I can plane a shiplap with my moving fillister in a minute or two, yellow pine boards are pretty cheap (and won't damage my tools if I drop them), and I figure it'll be easier to clean up than trying to vacuum wood shavings out of carpet.


Shiplapping the planks will work just fine. Doing it yourself, while saving a bit of money vs pre-milled products, can be a chore, but you sound like ya got the proper tools, so have fun with it. Woodworking is good for the soul and is a quintessential Manly activity. Don't worry to much about saw dust and wood shavings. Just do your milling outside or something and do any adjustments over a drop cloth and you're good to go.


Elheru Aran wrote:The trick is to get it done without tipping my wife off, I want it to be a surprise... (especially as it would entail getting rid of the massive 6-foot desk dominating most of the workroom now)


Just hand her a credit card and send her off with friends or something. Or if she has relations in driving distance suggest she go for a visit. Lots of ways to get the little lady out from underfoot to conduct guerilla home improvement projects to surprise them with.

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-02-17 12:44pm

I'm not even planning on finishing the wood. Little spar varnish, maybe, but that's about it. The desk is so big I had to take it apart and reassemble it in the room, it's a full 36" deep. It's getting a saw through most of it and going out the window if I have anything to do with it. I'm tired of this damn thing. Making another one for my wife anyway. A nice small workbench will go in its place. Little Moravian bench that I can knock down and move around as needed.

The only thing I'm slightly concerned with is warping. Not sure which way to put the wood, so that the ends warp down rather than up, which would open up the seams...

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Mr. Coffee » 2015-02-17 01:12pm

Elheru Aran wrote:I'm not even planning on finishing the wood. Little spar varnish, maybe, but that's about it.


That's really all you need for pine unless you want to get fruity with staining, at which point you should just with a hardwood. But, yeah, little bit of varnish to seal it and maybe bring out any interesting knots and whorls in the grain is the way to go.


Elheru Aran wrote:The only thing I'm slightly concerned with is warping. Not sure which way to put the wood, so that the ends warp down rather than up, which would open up the seams...


I'd rather it bow up in the middle of the plank than at the ends. You split the seems at the end and it's a bitch to get the ends down and the plank seems evened out. Bows up in the middle, as long as you're on a wood subfloor it's as easy to fix as a handful of nails and a little time. If it's on a slab, get a syringe, a little bit of whatever glue you used, drill a few small holes, inject the glue under the boards, and hire a fat kid to sit on it till the glue sets. You can fill the drill holes in with a little wood putty and no one's the wiser.

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Lagmonster » 2015-02-17 01:21pm

If you guys want to, I can split out the talk on flooring to its own thread in OT. I'll call it, "Mr.Coffee on laying wood".

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Mr. Coffee » 2015-02-17 01:53pm

Lagmonster wrote:If you guys want to, I can split out the talk on flooring to its own thread in OT. I'll call it, "Mr.Coffee on laying wood".


Honestly, just a general sort of construction trade/home improvement thread would be nice. Kinda used to do that in my old rant thread, but having a thread dedicated to spreading knowledge, asking for or giving advice, and general bitching about the woes of working with your hands sounds like a hoot.

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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-02-17 02:24pm

Coffee, I'm talking about cupping (warping across the short dimension) rather than bowing (long ways)... I suppose 'ends' was the wrong word to use. 'Sides' would have been better. Especially with shiplap rabbets rather than tongue-and-groove.

I'd use T&G if I had a pair of planes for that (I don't slay electrons in the shop. Except with my drill press. That thing is the bee's knees) but I don't, so. Well, I have a plow plane and the fillister would take care of rabbeting out a tongue... but it'd be one extra operation on the board for a total of three, versus only two for a shiplap. Efficiency for the win.

Mr. Coffee wrote:
Lagmonster wrote:If you guys want to, I can split out the talk on flooring to its own thread in OT. I'll call it, "Mr.Coffee on laying wood".


Honestly, just a general sort of construction trade/home improvement thread would be nice. Kinda used to do that in my old rant thread, but having a thread dedicated to spreading knowledge, asking for or giving advice, and general bitching about the woes of working with your hands sounds like a hoot.


I would be all for that. Apologies for contributing to the derail.

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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Edi » 2015-02-17 03:28pm

I preempted Lagmonster and split this from Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For, because it was starting to get pretty heavy with actual useful advice and discussion on home improvement and construction.
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-02-17 04:02pm

Would woodworking go here or does that merit its own separate thread?
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Re: Home Improvement Discussion & Advice

Postby Edi » 2015-02-17 04:08pm

Here, I expect, otherwise we will have way too many threads for partially overlapping topics.
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Re: Venting 327: This Is the Platform You Are Looking For

Postby Mr. Coffee » 2015-02-17 06:16pm

Elheru Aran wrote:Coffee, I'm talking about cupping (warping across the short dimension) rather than bowing (long ways)... I suppose 'ends' was the wrong word to use. 'Sides' would have been better. Especially with shiplap rabbets rather than tongue-and-groove.


Cupping I wouldn't worry much over. It's a thing if you use really thin and wide planks. If your planks are thicker than 1/4" and less than 4" wide it shouldn't be much of an issue and pine is some supple shit anyway. If it's really a huge concern then hold off on your plan and go look into buying some purpose-built wood flooring products. Should be fairly cheap even that way considering you live in Georgia. Shaw and Mohawk are HQ'd there.


Elheru Aran wrote:I'd use T&G if I had a pair of planes for that (I don't slay electrons in the shop. Except with my drill press. That thing is the bee's knees) but I don't, so. Well, I have a plow plane and the fillister would take care of rabbeting out a tongue... but it'd be one extra operation on the board for a total of three, versus only two for a shiplap. Efficiency for the win.


Shiplapping is fine, and it's a little easier. T&G is better, but it's just easier to buy wood that comes out of the box that way then it is to mill it yourself. Unless you just like making your pile of sawdust a little bigger so you have an excuse to sell the wife on why it is you spent $500 on remote controlled toy bulldozers and such (My Pop did that when I was a kid. Good times).
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