Friday, October 9, 2009

Great Room Project, Thursday 10/8

Floor Prep 2

Today: more glamour, more kneepads.
Plus lots of nails and particle board sawdust, to boot.

The first thing was to get out the old circular saw and chop out the rest of that water damaged spot. This required some judgment as to the depth of cut, but I was able to set it so it didn’t cut into the subfloor underneath. Erring on the shallow side, I finished the cut by tapping with a chisel.

Then off to the garage to cut out the patches. The garage is full of junk from the great room, so the table saw is pretty much buried. As in three-dimensionally buried. I wasn’t going to excavate it for one long cut. So I clamped a fence on to the workpiece and used the circular saw. Not bad. I didn’t get the small area cut out perfectly square (dang!), so I just cut the patch to match.

Set patches in place, extend the existing joist chalk lines from the original construction, find the appropriate flavor of nails, and hammer ‘em in. Not up to finish cabinet carpentry standards, but not bad for something you are going to bury.


You know how floors creak in places when you walk around? Well that drives me nuts. In an old house, it’s just part of the character. But this house, unfortunately, has about zero of THAT kind of character. So the creaks and noises have to go. Based on some observant stomping around, it looks like most creaks come from the free ends of the subfloor rubbing against each other. The subfloor panels are nailed to the joists pretty well, but the ends that float in space are free to move. I figured that if those free ends were securely nailed to the sub-subfloor (there’s probably a better term for that), the relative motion would be gone, and the floor would be quiet. Worth a shot.

- Best case: easy solution for a quiet floor.
- Worst case: LOTS more nails for the poor guy who eventually has to remove this subfloor. Not my worry! (I hope…)

So I got some 1½” nails, the kind with the texture-ey, ringed shanks. These would provide some grip. Finishing nails would NOT work for this. I sunk two pairs in every 16” length of non-joist supported subfloor joint. I countersunk these the best that I could. That was made more difficult because these nails had a good sized head. Full countersinking wasn’t really necessary – I just wanted to be sure the heads were not sticking up at all. That’s still a lot of whacking.

The result: a very quiet floor. Score!!! A best-case scenario for a change!

On to the last subfloor patch – the plywood bit over my the bricks. This took some hacking to get out. I had to do some near-free form cutting with the circular saw. That’s always hairy when cutting close to things you don’t really want to hit, like, say, BRICKS! Since I could only get so close to the wall, I had to do the rest of it with a drill and chisel.

Here's a little excavation hole I chiseled to make sure I knew exactly what I was chopping into. No surprises.

And here’s the cut-out itself:

Uh oh. Could have a problem with the OSB board. I’ll have to head down to the crawlspace to see what things look like from down there. I may have to beef something up. That’s a job for tomorrow.

Tools of the day:

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