Laminate flooring, orientation, transitions and entrance-way

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
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Greg
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Location: Weedsport, NY

Jig saw will work fine. I would use a medium to fine tooth blade.

Threshold, It may be fine the way it is. Most home centers have new ones.

Let the fun begin!!!

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
mdnagel
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

Just got back from ripping out about 650 sq ft of carpeting- YUCK! Tack strips, but not staples, all removed in 3 hours. Should get the living room up in about 45 minutes or so, once I remove the mountain of remnants that I piled there :-)

Looks like someone patched the floor in the dining room. Big chunk of newer board (now I can't remember what it is!). It's going to require some leveling :-( And one of the back room appears to have some swelling in the sub floor; the renter says that he had a fan melt down there; I'd asked if there was any water damage (like someone doused things pretty good) and he said no- I'm thinking he wasn't straight. Now I've got to figure out what to do with That! And then in the master bedroom I'm seeing some dampness. UGH! There had been a leak in the roof, but it wasn't very obvious (though a seam in the ceiling broke a bit- no water stains or anything): the leak was supposedly patched. I had the home re-roofed as soon as I could.

Forgot my camera, so no pictures. Tomorrow I'll shoot a few. Am working, so only have about 3 hours or so to put in each day for now: have to travel yet, as have not moved; and that's why I'm in a bit of a hurry to do all of this (so I can move in in a couple of weeks).
Zippie52
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thanks, that helped me a lot!
regards,
chantal
mdnagel
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Here are some pictures of the "patch" in the dinning room sub floor. I've got one from underneath, which was taken by the guy who inspected the home (I don't think he did a very good job!).

I suspect that there was a leak from one of the water lines (I believe that the Tees shown in the picture taken underneath are in that area- belly wrap is opened up and some insulation is falling down, insulation that was added). I see no traces of the carpet being pulled up (no old staples, and, I think, the carpet tack strips are original), and it sure as heck looked like really old carpeting. But... there are newer joists (post original construction), something that one wouldn't expect to be required unless there had been a prolonged condition. The person that would have known anything about this is dead, and this likely pre-dated the last renter's timeframe.

I think that I can take down any of the edges on this patch, but am not yet sure if the patch itself will be in tolerance for the laminates. Would I use a long straight edge to gauge the levelness?

The "repair" job looks a bit suspicious on the underside. No hangers, and, 2x4s? I really have no time to do any corrections to this! (moving in in just over a week)

Will post separately on another couple concerns...
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Mystery patch.  Repair from a water leak projecting upward?  Can't date it, no manufacture date visible on material, but seems older, in that carpet doesn't seem to have been disturbed for a LONG time.
Mystery patch. Repair from a water leak projecting upward? Can't date it, no manufacture date visible on material, but seems older, in that carpet doesn't seem to have been disturbed for a LONG time.
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Area underneath dining area.  Looks like they used 2x4s for the repair (should be 2x6?).
Area underneath dining area. Looks like they used 2x4s for the repair (should be 2x6?).
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mdnagel
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

My "other" concerns... Discolored/damp areas.

First two pictures are of the master bedroom. There had been a leak in the roof on that end of the home that was mostly detectable on the other side of the roof line (noted from dripping into the bathroom exhaust/light), but there doesn't appear to be any significant staining. The ceiling picture shows what looks like a failed tape seam (a pretty jagged one?) let go from water; but, there's no visible staining elsewhere (haven't poked the ceiling to see if there are any soft spots, but the edges of the exposed sheet rock look pretty sound). The floor/wall picture is 90 degrees (front wall, whereas the ceiling picture shows the end/back wall) from the ceiling damage. I wonder whether the renter had had water and food dishes in this area for his dogs (don't recall seeing any in any other rooms, and I know that he'd shuffle his dogs into this room when I'd come by).

Last picture is one of the other bedrooms in which the renter had a little(?) fire. The floor got melted carpeting and pad, while the wall got scorched (no idea how badly, as it's now all patched up; need to double check that outlet!). Lots of smoke, mostly contained to this room. I'm sure the (I'd like to use cuss words, but will refrain) renter didn't do any real remediation before painting, in which case I've got no idea what really lies behind everything. Although stating that there was no water damage, my limited knowledge seems to suggest that a fair amount of water might have been tossed down, as the sub floor has swelled up. Where the two pieces of sub flooring come together, right in the middle of that dark spot, and running back about 8 feet (nearly the width of the room), there's a slight hump.

How does one determine whether there's excess moisture?

How does one determine whether dark spots are mold? The sub floor seems everywhere to be a different color (inconsistent)!

Also, I found that many of the carpet tack strips were discolored, like they'd gotten wet. Lots of rusty nails as well. But, the flooring didn't appear damaged at all. Sloppy? Excess shampooing? (you'd never know it by how filthy the carpeting was!)
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Master bedroom.  Looks worse that what it really is.  No idea how long it had been that the leak in the roof had been "repaired."  I had the entire roof replaced.
Master bedroom. Looks worse that what it really is. No idea how long it had been that the leak in the roof had been "repaired." I had the entire roof replaced.
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Master bedroom ceiling.  Total mystery on how this could happen.  It's like a drunk with a sawsall got carried away.  Why anyone would have opened this up isn't clear: there was a roof leak, but the only roof protrusions are on the other side of the roof! (where the leak was noted by the renter- in the MB bathroom ceiling light/fan).
Master bedroom ceiling. Total mystery on how this could happen. It's like a drunk with a sawsall got carried away. Why anyone would have opened this up isn't clear: there was a roof leak, but the only roof protrusions are on the other side of the roof! (where the leak was noted by the renter- in the MB bathroom ceiling light/fan).
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Before I tore out the carpet.  Renter's "handy work!"
Before I tore out the carpet. Renter's "handy work!"
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mdnagel
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One more, this of the laundry room... Flooring not soft or crumbly at all. Looks worse than is. The other side of the door is similar. BTW - That's a security bar on the door; the door jamb was kicked in the door has a 2x6 screwed across it (another great "repair" job by the renter!): NOTE: the previous owner really didn't look to maintain anything, so it was a case of neglect all the way around.
Attachments
Rear external door in laundry room.  Seems slightly damp, but discoloration doesn't appear to be all due to any existing water/moisture (glue discoloration?).
Rear external door in laundry room. Seems slightly damp, but discoloration doesn't appear to be all due to any existing water/moisture (glue discoloration?).
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Greg
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I wouldn't sweat the 2x4s as long as they are only cross joists. If the floor feels solid now you should be OK.

If the floor spots are dry Don't sweat them either. I would get the belly insulation in place & closed up before you end up with critters as roommates.

I would take a close look at the ceiling, I agree that is not a normal cut. What other corners were cut??

It sounds like you may find more surprises before you are done.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
mdnagel
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

Hi Greg!

Yes, the floor does feel solid. That's kind of what I figure is the real test. It's just a dining room, where a table will reside, no fitness equipment or anything :-)

Corners cut? This is likely everything. If the ceiling wasn't cut by a drunk, could it have been poor initial construction (but you'd have to match up sheet rock, two screwy edges!)? There's POOR, and then there's BIZARRE! (come to think of it, there's other seemingly dumb things done around the property...)

Belly buttoning is on my project list (when the rainy season tapers off). Skirting is good and there's a concrete pad, so critters aren't a concern (though I do have to be careful to not run over deer in the driveway! :-) )

NOTE: I'd buy the fine MH repair book, but the site doesn't take on-line CC orders (it's the weekend, will have to wait until the week when I can call). Sigh, had I known that I'd be getting into all of this I'd have been sure to have had the book BEFORE going to battle! :-)
mdnagel
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I picked up a long straight edge and ran it over several locations in the floor. The good is that the kitchen, where I am wanting to start, seems pretty level (straight surface). The bad is that I'm finding several hills and valleys elsewhere. It's like the particle board is sagging or something between joists (though I've got to establish where the joists are before concluding this). I'll try and get a better description rounded up (now able to work full days on the MH), but thought I'd toss this one out there to see if this possible. I'm really wanting to replace all this particle board! (but the wife is wanting to move in ASAP) How would I know whether it's the home that's out of level, or just some sort of sagging with the particle board? The MH is on a pad with jack stands; in some cases it's almost like a stand or two is cranked up too much and is creating a slight peak- is this anything that anyone has experienced, is it even possible? It's out away from the outer walls (which seem to be uniformly straight).

I sense no creaking or sponginess anywhere.

I'm pretty sure that I'll have to rip up some of the particle board in the one bedroom where there was a "fire" (seams swelled up). Maybe I should look to do this so that I can get some experience? But I'm really needing to get flooring down so that I can move it...
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Arlo
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Location: Central Virginia

I can only suggest you keep searching this forum and ask questions. When I bought the mobile home manual, maybe four years ago, I got it through Amazon and paid with credit card. You probably know this but the first thing everyone recommends is to have your new home leveld before doing any renovations. The DIY is in the manual but you might be able to hire someone through a MH dealer. Also on any stained flooring where you don't replace it, give the stain a coat of Kilz oil base. I get the spray bomb of it at Home Depot. It can seal in pet and smoke odors. Keep posting those pictures. New homes are exciting. But I guess you'e finding that out....
mdnagel
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

Update! Got vinyl planking down in the kitchen and laundry rooms. And... got laminates done in one bedroom (my test room). I consulted with a carpenter friend, who was a bit perplexed as to what was going on, and the only real reason he could come up with is that the floor joists were likely hemlock and shrunk up differently: he'd gotten into so much trouble in his work with this that he now planes all joists down to match the smallest one. He also said that it's nearly impossible to achieve the 1/16" tolerance (over 40") that the manufacturer of the laminates calls out for. So, I went forward...

Oh, mucking with jacks (a bit) didn't help with my high spots, which still present issues, though I'm going to try and just work with them. NOTE: my friend pulled out his laser and did some checking, finding that the basic flooring is fairly level, it's just the spots, the scalloping stuff (I measured up to 5/16" of an inch in one low spot). I've got several cement block stacks with wood wedges underneath; I'm thinking that they're supports under wall ends (center, as well as several on the perimeter), though I didn't really verify this hunch- do others know whether this could be the case? (again, this is on a full concrete slab)

I ended up using portland-cement based leveler ("Henry's"? from Lowe's) with the accompanying latex mix. I don't think that I'd recommend this to my worst enemy! Small batches and you're spending all your time cleaning tools; large batches and stuff starts setting up on you! But... there's little else for a solution, other than ripping up the sub flooring (something that I'm not able to do now). Here's a picture of the room after I'd gotten the leveler down (and felt it was close enough):
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And here's a picture of it completed (just need to add the last piece before the threshold- one places a transition strip there, right? some say you can keep going as long as you manage the expansion spaces):
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Will deal with moldings and transition strips later.
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Greg
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Looks great!!! Are we having fun yet??

I see you have some new toys.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
mdnagel
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am

It's good to make some headway. With this bedroom done we can actually sleep somewhere other than the kitchen! Next up with be the master bedroom so that we can get a real bed set up (air mattresses are fine for a couple of days).

I splurged on the saw- a Royobi, which works really well (had great reviews). I'll be using this for lots of small stuff. The Multi-Tool (Chicago Tools) I'd picked up nearly a year ago after my carpenter friend told me how well it works (he says his Bosch can't keep up with it), and that they were really cheap. I'd never seen one before, but immediately recognized the utility (esp after looking at my then girlfriend's [now wife] house that had laminates installed, and the moldings done really poorly!). Used it for more intricate cuts on the vinyl planks and laminates, thought both are pretty hard on the blades, and you have to have a steady hand lest it skitter off on to surface areas you don't want to muck up. I think the unit was less than $40 from Harbor Freight. I'd read that the variable speed version was highly recommended, which costs just a few dollars more.

On the subject of tools, I did pick up an old, cheap, router and router table from my dad: I've got a higher horsepower router, but it wouldn't work on the table. Hoping that it'll be sufficient for the transition strips.

Speaking of transition strips, can folks recommend suitable router bits? Also, I've looked at raw boards and everything's pretty thick (roughly 3/4"), which seems to me would be excessive amount of routing. Where can I find more suitable stock?
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JD
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You can get most any stock you want from Rockler.com, but you might find that the prices are higher than the big home stores. You could shave a 1/4" off the bottom with a table saw. New tool purchase! I bought a cheap Craftsman portable table saw from Sears about 12 years ago. It was one of those reduced items they leave outside the front door to the tool dept due to scratches or whatever. I use it a lot and run some pretty thick wood through it. It still works perfectly so I haven't had the opportunity to get a pro level tool. It might be a lot more years before I do.

When using an under powered/sized router, such as big router bits on 1/4" shanks on oak or poplar, you can "scallop" the piece first. Take the router with the bearing bit and do like plunge cuts along your piece that you want to rout. Sort of make the edge look like a serrated blade. Then as you pull the router across your piece, it won't do so much bouncing and struggling. I find this to be faster and more successful than making the full cut in portions.

JMO
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All information and advice given is for entertainment and informational purposes only. The person doing the work is solely responsible to insure that their work complies with their local building code and OSHA safety regulations.
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Greg
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The smaller router should work fine, but like JD said use small cuts and take your time. Make sure the bits are sharp & clean otherwise you may run into a problem with burning.If you can spend the extra and go with carbide bits.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
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