Project 1: Landscaping
Thanks for stopping by our Do It Yourself adventures! We’ve been tackling several projects since January of 2021 and wow, are we excited and pleased with the end results! First, we decided to remove the red mulch in the flower beds located around the home as well as the plant beds. Mulch can attract snakes and so many insects and bugs. We wanted a cleaner look and lower maintenance for the yard. We chose to replace the mulch with white rocks, and we are so happy with how it makes the property come to life!
The steps that we applied to our project include the following.
- Take out all the mulch in the areas that you wish to remove.
- Our plant beds were already in place, therefore we began to install the edging in plant beds. The edging we are using is the basic general black edging. You can get this edging at any home goods store.
- Now it is time to lay down the weed barrier. There are basically three levels of weed cover. We chose the medium level, but it is best to use the tougher/higher level for best results. I use pins to hold the weed cover to the ground.
4.Then the rock. Our choice is the white large rocks. If you have pick up truck, you can purpose the rock by the yard and in bulk, which is what we did. Using the wheel barrel, we finished rocks project in about 5-6 weeks, as we took our time.
Project 2: New Flooring
We recently discovered a few issues going on with the floor tile. Tinting is something that happens when your floor tiles lift from original install position, and begin to push against one another. We had some tinting going on in a few areas. We thought about it and made the decision to replace all the tile. Moving forward, we scheduled a company to come and tear out and hall away the tile.
Oh, this was hard to watch, as I held my breath all day. Hoping they would cause too much damage to other areas of the home. Finally, by the end of the day, the tile was all out.
They were able to remove it all in one day. But there was a lot of cleaning up under the baseboards and in general to prepare for a new wood floor install. Here is how we did this project.
The type of floor we are installing is engineered hardwood, click and lock. We will be floating the floor. The baseboards were saved and still remain in tact.
Tools and Supplies
Some of the essential tools we used in our project include the following:
Tape measure, hammer, Miter Saw, Jig Saw, Mask & gloves, eye protection, Mallet, pry bar, putty, Spackle, ruler, lots of clean rags, protractor, wall spacers, and other miscellaneous tools.
Level The Sub-Floor
They say the prepping work is just about a much as the actual project. They were right. We discovered a handful of lower areas throughout the home, and planned our tasks accordingly for each area. Some of the areas are no more than 3/8″ and we used paste to fill the space. Then there are a few low areas so we used self leveler to help create a more solid and level floor area. This is not an easy project to do, but we did the best we could. I called several companies to see if we could pay someone to come an do the floor leveling and most said no they couldn’t do it. Our project wasn’t big enough for them to do.
Lay down the Wood
Prior to laying down the wood planks, a moisture resisting under lament is put down first. We made a plan on how the first and last rows will be laid to make sure the row wood is straight. Since the walls are not straight, we had to be creative, and cut or rip pieces that are not exactly straight. We had to learn as we moved along in the project.
The click and lock type of wood is really quite easy to work with. The tongue is the thinner extension coming out of the side of the planks. The groove is the wider extension coming out of the other side of the floor plank. The ends do not have tongue and groove. There is an upper drop lock end on one side and a lower drop lock end on the other side.
Now the installation of the wood planks isn’t as easy as you might think. The type of wood we are installing is wire brushed hickory. There is a lot of variation and pattern in the wood planks. Our process is that we laid out several planks of each size/length. The idea is to maintain a minimum end stagger of about 6 inches. Additionally, there is a 1/2 inch expansion gap around the perimeter; of which the molding (quarter round) will cover.
We finally completed the install of all the wood planks onto the floor. Now, it is time to tackle the molding; quarter round for the final touches.
This is a little tricky. First, we took measurements of all the perimeter along the existing base; then we measured the interior and exterior angles. The saw cuts can be challenging, so we made samples to use a guide for each different angle and cut.
Of course, we made returns on all the moldings that met a door frame. This is for a more complete and finished look. A must have tool is a protractor and we found one that worked perfect!
After alot of hard work and weeks of installing; we finally finished the project. We are very happy with it and love our new wood floor!