Our first room to add new flooring to was a room we call the green room, but really, we were using it as a guest room, storage room, and office. We didn’t have much in the green room, a name it was given due to it’s very green carpet, so we cleared the room of all things on the floor and got to work. The first step was removing baseboards and removing the very long and twisted brad nails they used. Because the house has metal walls under the plaster, the nails would go into the plaster and bend in all sorts of ways when it hit the metal underneath.
Once the baseboards were off we began removing the flooring. We cut the green rug in half and rolled it up in two parts for our garbage men. We then had to pull up the underlayment the was partly glued to the floor, cut it in half and roll it up with the carpet. Josh then went through and pulled out all the furring strips around the edges of the room. We ended up unrolling an underlayment roll, and rerolling it with the furring strips in the middle.
Along the edge of the room, we had a 1 inch lip that came out into the room about 3 inches. To lay a floating floor, the flooring underneath has to be level. So, we chipped out the cement around the room and placed it in a garbage bag. We then mixed Quikrete sand with water and cemented the area we chipped out, making sure it was packed and level. Once it was dry, I washed the floor, twice, and I added 2 coats of Drylok Concrete Protector, a paint that makes the floor waterproof and works as a partial vapor barrier. Once the painting was done, we spray foamed and trimmed it along the edges to make it flush with the wall. We also cut any touching the floor were we were going to add the flooring.
Then, we rolled out the vapor barrier and underlayment combined. We placed it vapor barrier side do. The pieces tape together under the edges, and otherwise the vapor barrier floats like the floor, meaning it doesn’t attach directly to our painted cement.
I then did the math of how to lay out the flooring without extensive repetition and without wasting an extensive amount of material. We decided to do full boards, 3/4 boards, 1/2 boards, and 1/4 boards. We had to trim off an extra 2 inches off each row, but it fit and was able to get finished. We started with the jagged pieces under the door. they needed the most cuts. Once that was done, we put it in place and made sure they were equidistant from the opposite wall, meaning they were parallel to the room. We then used a floor tapping kit to help us assemble the floor. It was not recommended to use this kind of kit with this flooring, but we just made sure to be very careful and not hit it too hard when just trying to tighten up the seams. Finally, we laid our last row under the window. We had to trim off a bit of the board length-wise to get it to sit against the floor.
To remove the furring strips, Josh used a hammer and chisel to get under then pliers to pull it out. To chip out the cement we used a hammer and a metal chisel. To mix the cement we used a mixer attachment for the drill. We used a cement pedal and our hands to place and smooth the cement. I taped a broom handle to a paint roller to pain the flooring, and to do all the board cutting, we used a tables saw with a table sled. Laying the floor only took about 3 hours and we placed 22 rows. The prep work took about 45 hours (most of it waiting for things to dry) spread over about 2 weeks.