Monday, January 05, 2009


The last part of the Floor Puzzle at Chez Elisson - after replacing the (stupid-ass) carpet in the master bath with tile, and after replacing all the rest of the wall-to-wall carpet - was ripping the (stupid-ass) carpet out of the dining room and replacing it with hardwood.

I think we figured out why the builder had put carpet in there to begin with...something that seemed just a trifle boneheaded, given that most of the ground floor (the den excepted) already had hardwood flooring. Of all the places for carpet, the dining room ranks up there among the Most Ridiculous. (I suppose it is possible to carpet a kitchen, but to what lengths will people go to show off their lack of brain cells?) But once the carpet and padding came up, we could see why carpet was the Cheap-Ass Choice.

The subfloor had, in the parlance of the installer, “Issues.”

Some of the plywood had, evidently, been exposed to weather when the house was being framed. Builders, being frugal and/or lazy, will sometimes not finish roofing off a section of a house before installing subflooring over the joists. But if water pools on the subflooring and penetrates the plywood, it can cause delamination. And if the joists are not perfectly smooth, the floor can have high and low spots. As did ours.

The solution? Apart from ripping out the entire subfloor (a tricky deal, considering that it extends under a wall and into the kitchen) and replacing it after planing down the joists, the best thing to do is to grind down the high spots on the existing subfloor, cover it with another layer of plywood, and then install the hardwood over that. It means the dining room will have a slightly higher floor than the adjacent kitchen and foyer, but that’s no big deal. All it takes is money. Crap.

What this all means is that the dining room is sheeted off and there have been sounds of grinding and banging all day. Good thing I haven’t had to be at work, or the distraction would have driven me to... distraction.

We’ll have our new hardwood floor finished off tomorrow - almost a week later than planned, but a one week delay is not too bad in the grand scheme of things. Then we get to move the furniture back in and put all the dishes, crystal, and miscellaneous tchotchkes back where they belong, so that they will no longer fill up every fucking square centimeter of horizontal space in the kitchen.

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