Monday, February 8, 2016
With the door installed but out in the garage for finishing, I thought it was probably time to start doing the flooring. All the pieces of my Murphy bed need to be laid out on the floor to assemble before standing it up and fastening it in place and I didn't want to scratch the crap out of the nicely stained face on the concrete floor so I thought now would be a good time for the carpet. I'm not planning on doing anymore sanding or dust creating things in the office for the rest of this project so why not.
When we started kicking around this project, I had my heart set on a large format tile floor. It is durable, easy to roll around on an office chair and is a nice work out surface for our winter exercise sessions. I thought about a hardwood floor but was concerned about moisture being that this room is in the basement. I have never seen any water in the basement during some extremely wet years so it is considered a dry basement but the rest of the finished part has laminated hardwood flooring in it installed by a previous occupant and all the joints in it look like water damaged cardboard. I'm guessing there is enough water vapor leaking up through the concrete to have caused that and though solid hardwood flooring probably wouldn't do that, I'm not positive. I probably could put down a water vapor barrier under the floor and prevent that even with laminate but my wife had other ideas.
She wanted a carpet floor so it was warm to walk on since it was on a cold concrete slab. That was what had been in the room when I gutted it and it smelled like a wet dog when I took it up. I'm not sure if it was from water damage or the previous occupant who had been living in it. When we toured the house, the boy who used that room as a bedroom was mentally challenged and just glancing around the room I saw enough moldy food scattered here and there to feed a world of ants for a long time. Since he was in his 20's, I guess his parents didn't get involved and so it just was. Any how, I was resistant to putting carpet back in the room but my wife was equally insistent. This went back and forth for awhile until we hit upon the idea of carpet tile. I was still resistant having never used the stuff before but after she mentioned it, I started seeing it in use everywhere I went from libraries to bank lobbies. It seemed quite durable and could be installed by the weekend warrior and sections could be easily be replaced. I went to look at some in the big box store and found that it had a thick rubber backing to it which would act as a moisture barrier if there was vapor coming up through the concrete. I was finally sold on the idea and we bought our carpet tiles.
The hardest part was figuring out how to lay the tiles so I didn't end up with narrow tiles around the perimeter of the room and laying the initial row down the center of the room in a straight line. Once that was done, it was a matter of laying down the tiles and using the supplied carpet tape to adhere the four corners together. The last row around the perimeter of the room took a bit more time since I had to cut each tile but to do that all I needed was a sharp utility knife and a straight edge. Based upon my initial experience, I am pleased with the product and the easy at installing. I hope it will hold up well over the coming years so I can form an opinion on it. I don't think I would do a main living area in the stuff but for a small lightly used room such as a home office, I hope it does quite well.