Wednesday, 20 July 2011


Yes, it's Wednesday; what's your point?

Monday we woke up with a plan. Our furniture was coming Friday and we wanted to get our new bedroom ready for our bed. The goal - to install our solid bamboo floor. We'd watched several "how to" videos, read the label and the website for our glue, and were motivated.

First we laid out a few rows "dry" to make sure about measurements past the little closet. Bob cut the planks around the door frame, and to start and finish each row. I calculated that we would hit the fireplace (and the far wall) with 2/3 of a plank width left, so we didn't need to "rip" any for the first row. What we did need, however, was more shims - the little spacers that go along the walls. So Bob went to town for shims while I took apart what we'd lain and stacked it in order, and had lunch.

You keeping up? It was after lunch before we got started. But we decided to go ahead, because Tuesday we had 4-H, and if we did it Wednesday and something went wrong it would be too late to fix it.

Anyway, I swept the floor thoroughly, including scraping up paint blobs and miscellaneous dirt, and Bob pried open the 5 gallon can of glue. Now the videos we watched showed the guy quickly and easily pouring the glue straight from the bucket, but that must have been nearly empty because ours was heavy and awkward. It was thick, but runny, so Bob couldn't just scoop it with the trowel like he did for the bathroom tile. He's too smart to be put off with a little difficulty, though, and came up with an empty Hershey cocoa can (it's plastic, but I don't know what else to call it) to scoop out the glue.

So he scooped, troweled, and set in the first row (I helped). After 3 rows we noticed that the boards weren't really staying together. We knew that the videos suggested putting down strips of painters tape to hold the boards until the glue dried, but they indicated doing this over 5 rows together, after the whole room was laid down. But we discovered the most effective way to get the job done was to tape EACH INDIVIDUAL BOARD as we held it into place. Which doesn't even sound that bad, but you have to realize that whoever was holding the board would get at least one body part into the glue, which then dripped onto the floor, and had to be cleaned immediately with mineral spirits. Everyone says it cleans of easily right away with mineral spirits, but only hint about how hard it is to get off if it ever dries. They don't even give tips on how to clean it after drying - just don't let it dry.

Anyway, once we figured out the proper method, it wasn't too bad (just tedious). We managed to get the whole room done without losing our tempers even once. oh, yeah!
We were about 1/3 of the way through when the phone rang, and the caller ID showed "US Government" and I answered anyway. ;-) It was our friendly local transportation office, wanting to schedule our furniture delivery. I thought it was scheduled. She checked - no, that Friday date was the time for it to be turned over to them to be delivered. sigh. Same as when we got our storage stuff. So we scheduled for the following Thursday. Another week. So we could have put off the floor for another day or two, but we were already started.

It was about this time that we noticed the glue was getting nice and thick. Ummm, the glue is about $100 per bucket... it had better not go bad on us half-way across a small room! Bob's brain to the rescue again. He got some plastic wrap (cling film) and covered the bucket in between scoops, and while it continued to thicken, it was at a much slower rate.

I got another phone call from the government, wondering why I hadn't filled out my "completely anonymous" military life survey they'd sent recently. Umm, way to encourage trust in your promises of anonymity! The reason was that the survey had no option for retired folks.

The children cleaned the house, rinsed and mixed the pickles for me, watched a video, and played their harmonicas very loudly.

We finally got finished about 8pm, did Bible time with the children and put them to bed, then had our supper at 9:30 (Bob actually went to Sonic and got us burgers and ice cream). Elijah was so glad to see us when we came in, it was sweet - he just smiled and hugged us.

By the time we got going, I started pouring and troweling the glue while Bob cut the boards, and by the time we finished my hands and feet were pretty solid black and sticky. I washed several times in the mineral spirits, tried baking soda, and finally resigned myself to being sticky for a while.

As of Wednesday afternoon my hands are clean, but I still have spots on my arms and legs. My feet are still pretty black. Last night Taryn and I scraped off some glue, but when I tried again this morning it pulled the skin off so I quit.

We had Taryn take a picture, but I don't have it on my computer yet.

1 comment:

Wil said...

Wow. I'm glad you finally got it done, but what a chore!

And I laughed about the anonymous survey. Of course, it's the government; nothing's anonymous. ;-)

(Our Homeowner's Association website has a place to submit "anonymous" reports about violations in the neighborhood, but you can't submit the report until you've entered your name, address, phone number and email address...)