Floored

Before: 2006-01-02

kitchen remodel before

Black and white tiles covered an old yellow linoleum floor. The linoleum was installed over fiberboard nailed over the same pine underlayment as in the living room. Beneath the pine was the rough cedar planking of the subfloor. Ten months later…

After: 2006-09-24

kitchen remodel after

The Japanese part of me wants to leave it empty. The bamboo floor is manufactured by Panda Lumber. We selected it for several reasons. The bamboo is solid, 5/8″ thick. The edges are micro-bevelled so that you don’t feel them when walking barefoot. The finish is aluminium oxide and is certified not to contain any formaldehyde, asbestos, pesticides, fungicides, or chlorofluorohydrocarbons.

I purchased online from DIY Flooring for $2.97 a square foot. The order arrived within a week, beautifully packaged with ten individual boxes of 24 pieces each on a pallet. Inside the individual cardboard boxes the bamboo was encased in plastic wrap with foam between the facing pieces. Every piece was in excellent condition. Panda Lumber Company did an excellent job of putting the nicest part of the bamboo on the face. Any knots or marks were always on the back of the piece, not where you could see it.

I purposely chose to have the flooring extend to all walls rather than put the cabinets in first and have to cut the flooring around them. This meant using about 30 square feet more flooring but it made installation much easier. I plan to have the base cabinets on 6-inch brush steel legs rather than have kickplates so that you will still see the floor. The kitchen is so small that I’m employing every strategy I can think of to keep it looking light and airy. We used exactly nine boxes but having the tenth box gave us the option to pick and choose pieces. I am extremely happy both with Panda Lumber and DIY Flooring.

Leveling the Floor

kitchen remodel after

2006-07-30. AJM undertook the tedious process of levelling the floor. The difference in height was more than an inch and 1/2 from highest to lowest point. It didn’t just drop or slant but it rolled up and down.

kitchen remodel after

2006-08-27. AJM had to cut hundreds of shims, all different thicknesses to deal with the wave-like surface of the old floor. It took him two months to level the floor and install the OSB subfloor. It took us two days to nail down the bamboo using a nail gun and air compressor.

2 Responses to “Floored”

  1. Annie in Austin Responds:

    M, it looks beautiful! Without the kitchen equipment and furniture, it also looks like a dance floor–maybe you and AJM took time for a celebratory dance before moving on to the next stage of the renovation? It also looks like it would feel good when walking barefoot.

    Right on both counts. We did a little dance of joy (ever see “Perfect Strangers”?) And it does feel wonderful to walk on barefoot. Smooth but not hard. Cool but not cold. Now the pine floors in the rest of the house look really shoddy. If we ever finish the kitchen, I guess we’ll have to do something about the living room. — mss

  2. bill Responds:

    I’m about to start a project like this. Did you level the floors while there were still things in the room? Seems like you would have to remove everything.

    The gas range was still in the room and we moved it from one spot to the other. Everything else had been removed. We’ve kept all our kitchen stuff on wheeled carts to make this easier. — mss

    How hard was it to nail it down? I have never installed a floor.

    We rented a compressor nail gun especially for nailing floors for the weekend and it was fairly straightforward. The only tricky part is the edges where the nail gun didn’t fit because of the walls. There we had to drill and topnail with finishing nails. The hardest part was cutting parts of the molding around the doors to fit the bamboo under. We chose not to take off the molding because it is old and decorative and expensive. — mss

    How hard is bamboo? Will it stand up to heavy objects on rollers being moved across it? Cat vomit? We are hard on floors around here.

    It’s lightweight but very hard. Like any hardwood it can be dented and scratched. Our rolling carts don’t make a mark. The gas oven, on gliders, didn’t dent it when we slid it over to put up the vent but a piece of dirt under one of the gliders caused a scratch. It’s much tougher than the pine floors in the rest of the house. But not as tough as ceramic tile. — mss

The surface and beneath the surface