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jencastro 09-18-2008 01:41 AM

adjoining rooms getting out of square on engineered wood installation
my husband and I have already installed 3 rooms (750 sq ft) of Cryntel's Kempas Engineered wood product (glue-down using Bostik's Best EFA) directly on concrete slab and it looks great.

Or it did, until we started the 4th room, which is the master bedroom adjoining the office. The two rooms are connected through an opening with french doors, and the wood is running perpendicular to this opening. We were unable to do both rooms together due to scheduling conflicts.

Typically, we'd pop a chalk line parallel to the longest wall and work from that from the right side of the room to the left, and it's worked fine. The problem is that we don't want a transition from the office to the master, and when we stopped work on the office, we ended up with a bunch of staggered boards leading into the master that we now need to work our way into. We tried to just continue running the boards through the opening then work our way over to a wall, but our lines have gotten out of whack; we're running into areas where the wall isn't parallel to the work we're carrying into the master. So we've had to cut a few boards on wonky angles and such. Ugly.

We're about 1/3 of the way through with this room, and we've stopped working on it. I'm hoping somebody can give us some advice on how to compensate for this, or what we can do. My husband said we should just cut off all of those planks and basically start over, but ICK, a straight line through the middle of the room? That just ain't right. But we're going to continue to have alignment problems if we don't do something.

HELP!!! Please!!!!


Termite 09-18-2008 08:04 AM

Hi JC-

This is a problem that a lot of people encounter. Since you've been laying floor in a couple adjoining rooms, you need to figure out what parts are out of square. That way you know what you're up against and can compensate. You can use the 3-4-5 rule at each corner to help you do this, or you can measure diagonally from corner to corner. For the 3-4-5 rule, you'll have the 90 degree legs of a triangle at 3' and 4' (or numbers divisible by them), and the hypotenuse should be 5'. If the hypotenuse isn't 5' you can then determine which way the offending wall is out of square.

You could probably make corrections at the door or the opening between rooms. A "threshold" piece can be installed perfectly square and the starter piece at the wall may need to be ripped slightly diagonally to compensate. Or, you may have to rip the last piece against the wall opposite the threshold piece. If the room that is already done is out of square, the threshold piece will be cut to correct for the out of square flooring and the next room can be laid nice and straight.

Hard lesson learned here about laying flooring. You can never ever assume that your walls are straight and that your rooms are square. They often aren't!

jencastro 09-18-2008 09:36 AM

Thanks again for your answers.

I was trying to avoid having a threshold piece between the two rooms, since the french doors are almost always open and visually it just wouldn't be quite as nice. although at this point, beggars can't be choosers, I suppose.

In retrospect, I'm thinking that what we *should* have done to make the best of what we did is carry a few of the lines in the middle of the room all the way to the far wall in the master, keeping them as straight as possible, then work our way out towards the walls from there.

What we DID do was start again at the right wall and work towards the middle, and where they're meeting, that's where it's out of square, because like you said, we can't trust that those walls are square.

I'm actually debating removing the 12 or so rows I did on the right wall and starting over working purely from the middle towards the walls as I described above. That way if the middle lines were not parallel to the walls in the master, we can compensate by ripping the end lines to fit. It won't be pretty, but at least we won't have gapping and crooked boards in the mid-field part of the floor, right?

Yes, this was a HARD lesson.

I've never been very good at math. :)

Thanks again.

jencastro 09-19-2008 01:09 PM

well, for anyone interested, here's what we ended up doing: pulling up the 12 rows of boards laid next to the wall. That made for a long day. Had about 25% board loss due to damage. Lots of work scraping them clean, too

Now we're going to run the length up the middle continuing the line from the office into the master, and work our way OUT towards each wall, rather than in to the middle from the wall like we did.

Wish us luck!

26yrsinflooring 09-19-2008 05:12 PM

Sounds like a good rebound plan.
Stay working off your line you can fudge some but not much.
Good Luck!

jencastro 09-22-2008 09:58 AM

GAH this room is killing me! I worked for about 14 hours straight yesterday, hoping to complete the whole thing while it was still wet (just in case), but by the time I got 75% done, it started to get off course again. And of course, now I'm near the bedroom door, where it's nice and visible. Grrrr...

So I was exhausted, cranky, and my body had long since stopped cooperating (14 hours on your knees is not kind to your knees nor your back, as I"m sure you all know!), and I had enough glue on me to have been able to jump at one of my walls and stick to it, so it was time to quit.

As soon as I have feeling back in my poor swollen hands, I guess it's time to do that last 25% and hope it's not too bad.

It's just so disappointing, because it's in the master bedroom, and the other 3 rooms we did were literally almost perfect. :(

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