We did it, readers! After 4 long months, our rec room is finally back together! I say that so lightly, but it actually took a good chunk of the last two days, and our old joints are killing us.
To recap for anyone just joining us, or if the happenings of our life have not been at the top of your radar, we had a leak in our basement in early January, and everything in our rec room had to be relocated to other parts of the house. The flooring was taken apart and dried out, the underlay was a total write-off, and we’ve been dealing with extra couches and disorganized spaces until today.
Let’s take a wander back to yesterday morning and review the situation:
First thing in the morning, this room also had our steamer trunk (still a work in progress) and the craft table in it, so I shuffled those into the other room and tidied up the floor. There was loads of drywall dust and splats of dried drywall goop (you know, the stuff that muds drywall together?) all over the floor. I swept and vacuumed, and scraped up the splotches of dried goop. The underlay is my specialty, since Dan has no patience for that kind of thing, so I spent some quality me time crawling around on the floor rolling it out and cutting it to size.
We bought the underlay earlier this week, which was easily half the cost of the original project, so we definitely felt that sting. The floor boards themselves all looked good, and nothing appeared water damaged at all. I knew we would run into trouble with some of the connecting edges that got damaged during the initial installation, and possibly from being speedily taken apart in January. We had two extra boxes of laminate, so all our fingers and toes were crossed that we could get through redoing it with what we had on hand. Rona still had the colour in stock at our location, but I was worried about having an exact match.
Back in flooring news, I worked my way across the room rolling out underlay. The only nice thing about doing this whole process again is that I get to do it again, and fix some of our mistakes. I made the most out of the rolls of underlay we bought, and instead of tossing the not-long-enough-to-do-a-full-length pieces, I taped the pieces together with Dan’s magic construction tape. It sticks to anything, makes an air tight seal, and lasts forever. Win win.
And this was my first giddy moment of putting the actual floor back down where it belongs. It’s happening, you guys!
This is where I called Dan downstairs to help me. I located all of the first row pieces (where we had cut off the tongue part of the connection grooves), and decided to do one better than the last time we put the flooring down. We have a substantial bow in the long wall, which is courtesy of the ginormo’ crack in the wall. It caused us trouble last time, and left us with two really big gaps in both corners of that wall (think straight floor meets curved wall). So this time, I took a page from my fourth grade self and used a compass to scribe the exact curve of the wall onto the floor boards for a perfect fit. It was tedious doing this part since the pencil on my (Simon’s) compass didn’t leave a very dark mark, so I would slowly trace the wall from about 2″ out, and then following along with another pencil in my hand scribbling a darker line. It worked well enough. I went over the line in marker and then handed the boards off to Dan to slice off the excess.
It worked like a charm! And yes, readers, that curve you’re seeing is the real curve of the wall.
We stopped for the day just after the halfway point, so we would have less work to do when we came back at it. Things went a lot faster this time around, but it’s still murder on your knees. Oh lordy, our knees are killing us.
At the start of day two, I fashioned myself a pair of ghetto knee pads to take some of the pressure off.
We were a hop, skip, and a jump away from finishing the floor, and before we were thinking about lunch, we were putting in the last board!
Oscar avoided us all morning and sat at the top of the stairs. This was his first real romp around the newly finished room.
The baseboards took a bit of fiddling and trying different combinations to find the right place for them, but it was a lot easier than last time where I didn’t have enough corner pieces for the room (???). We secured all the baseboards and took a break for lunch. Dan took care of clean up patrol, and I went around the DAP’d the nail holes in the baseboards.
You may notice that there’s still a touch of the green underlay still visible on the right wall. That would be because we didn’t cut a new last row, and with the slight shift in spacing at the starting wall from cutting the boards to fit the curve, we were now left with a slightly larger gap on the finished edge. Oh well. Most of the things on that wall are up against the baseboards (DVD towers, TV, etc), and this gives us an excuse to nicely finish the whole room with quarter round eventually. But not right now. Right now, we’re too psyched that we have our rec room back!
We didn’t wait one extra second to get our furniture back downstairs. The floors were still a bit wet from their mopping when we plunked the first section of couch back where it belongs.
The bigger tasks of the afternoon was transporting all of the DVDs. The towers are HEAVY when they are fully loaded. Dan told me that when he and Simon moved them upstairs, they were struggling. So our process was to empty each tower into a laundry basket and cart the pieces downstairs. I handled laundry basket duty while Dan navigated the long skinny towers down the stairs. Look at how many DVDs Dan has. I can safely tell you that only 3 of those belong to me. Well, maybe more than 3. But he definitely has amassed the lion’s share.
The last big awkward thing to move into the room was my craft shelf. It sat in the workout room for the last four months, which is where all of Simon’s sawing, drilling, and general dust-making was happening while he fixed the walls. I’m sure some of the dust accumulation is from neglect on my part (dusting is the worst), but mostly it came in the form of thick construction dust covering all of my crafting belongings.
So dusty! Every surface had a date with a damp cloth, which was thoroughly rinsed every two or three cubbies.
While I dusted my shelf and carefully wiped off every item that went back onto it, Dan got busy reattaching his DVD towers to the wall and alphabetizing his collection.
I think it’s even better than the last time this craft corner was functional.
You should appreciate all his hard work.
Oh, and I have a sewing machine table now. I bought it off Kijiji the week before our basement flooded, and I fully intended to write a whole post about what I was going to do with it. It cost me a whopping $35, and it’s your classic wooden sewing machine table with the flip-over top. I will need to modify it a bit to suit my sewing machine, by covering the hole in the centre of the table with a board, and then I want to paint it. For now, it is a much better home for the sewing machine than on the end of the craft table.
You can see the top of the steamer trunk on the right. It turns out our steamer trunk is a touch too tall to use as the coffee table in the rec room, so it’s sitting next to the TV as future blanket storage. This makes my search for a water-proof sealer product easier, because now I don’t care as much about spills from drinks and things. More on that soon, I’ve been working on the trunk in the last few weeks.
And what about our other, previously very crowded spaces? They’re back to normal!