More progress this week.
Finished the ceiling in the theater and cutting out the holes for all of the lights. All but one turned out well. In that one, the drill caught the romex in the box and twisted it up which is going to take a bit of work to fix. Finished most of the rough electrical and started installing the pot lights. Also finished rubbing down all of the column bases and attached the ones to the wall that we could.
Drywalled the frame for the bar cabinets we built last week. I’ll mud and tape later.
The biggest job was putting the finished floor in the bathroom. Since this is a basement bathroom I wanted a floor that would be warmer than tile without having to do a heated floor system. As you can imagine, this doesn’t leave you may options; Carpet is never a good idea, some of the new laminates are ok in a bathroom, linoleum and cork were my options. I have always liked the look of cork so chose to go with that. This is NOT the cork that comes on a board and is a snap together floating floor. These are 4mm thick 12” square cork tiles, which by the way, are surprising difficult to find in the city; I had to order them from a company I found online. They came unfinished so that I can stain them.
The installation is similar to how you would install linoleum. On top of the concrete basement slab I have DRIcore and on top of that, in the bathroom, I put down a ½ inch sheet of Baltic birch. Now, Baltic birch is overkill for a subfloor and a regular sheet of sanded one side (good one side) plywood is all you need. The reason I went with the Baltic birch was because of the size. Baltic birch comes in a 5’x5’ sheet and my bathroom is almost the same. It only took a little bit of trimming to get the sheet to fit. This gave me a nice smooth surface to attach the cork to without having to fill any seams. I attached it with some PL premium and staples and then filled any big imperfections that may transfer through. Then the whole floor was sanded and wiped down to get rid of any dust.
The next step was to apply the glue. The manufacturer recommends 30 Green Latex Bond Contact Cement from 3M which is applied to both the subfloor and the back side of the cork tiles. It in a water based cement that goes on a bright turquoise and dries green which makes it easy to see when everything is ready to go. This step took forever, probably because of an unfamiliarity with the product and that the wood and cork are both quite porous. After 2 coats of glue the tiles still weren’t sticking after waiting the recommended 30 minutes for the glue to dry. I put on a third coat to try again.
Whilst this was drying I prepared the threshold made from ¾” maple. I cut it to the right size and sanded it flush with a couple of spare tiles.
I waited a bit longer for the third coat of glue to set up and started placing them again beginning at the door. This time, over half of the tile was stuck like it should be but I still had a corner that wasn’t sticking properly. The manufacturer suggests using a J-roller to roll the tile into the cement. I didn’t want to buy a J-roller for one small job so grabbed the rolling pin from the kitchen and stood on it, rolling it back and forth with my feet. The tile was now stuck down. I finished the rest of the bathroom the same way; placing a tile and rolling it.
Action shot of me trimming the tiles, taken by my 2 year old.
All the tiles laid
After all the tiles were down I have the floor a final roll with the rolling pin. I had a few small gaps between some of the tile which I filled with wood filler. There were also some areas where contact cement got on the front of the tile. Using my random orbit sander I sanded the entire floor which took care of the filler, cement and any other imperfections. After a quick vacuum and wipe with a damp cloth the floor was now ready for stain.
Threshold, tiles sanded and wiped down
We chose a Dark Walnut stain from Valspar which was applied with a foam brush and wiped off with a rag; 2 coats for the cork and 3 for the maple threshold. The last step is the poly, 4 coats will go over the entire floor, which should seal out any moisture.
After the first coat of poly, sorry for the glare.
I am going to be doing something similar in the theater infront of the bar.