Monday, March 27, 2006

What ever happened to Easy?

So yesterday was the day that I was to work on the entranceway. I lifted the carpet, pulled out the staples and all the other junk used to hold it down, cleaned up the area, put a coat of primer on the bare concrete and then prepared to put on the concrete. I did it just like the guy at the store said to, pile the powder on the floor, make a hole in the middle for the water, mix well and smooth out.

Hmm. Things have a way of not going according to plan, it seems.

The surface I was covering is not level, so the water kept trying to roll away from the powder. The concrete did not mix smooth because the surface under it was uneven, and the remaining powder on the floor acted like flour on the counter, preventing the concrete from sticking well. I almost had to walk away for a while, but couldn't because then the concrete would set and I'd have even bigger problems.

Enter my wife, who talked me down like an Air Traffic Controller telling someone how to land a jumbo jet. I'm still not happy with the way the floor looks, but at least she was smart enough to keep the overall height lower than what we plan for, so I can smooth it out with another coat later. I also started mixing smaller batches in a yogurt container, which allowed me to control the consistency much better. I'll probably return to the job tonight after work (there is probably about 30% left to do) and put the finish coat on. I found that by adding just a little more water, it makes the concrete much easier to smooth out.

One thing I am glad I did was I installed a 5/8th inch strip of wood between the concrete and the laminate wood flooring to act as a barrier. This way, should someone want to change the laminate floor, they can do so without having to re-do the entrance, or vice versa. It will also make attaching a decorative cover strip much easier, with something wood to screw into. I will tell you this - once I get the vinyl floor down in the entrance, I will NOT be lifting it up again.

UPDATE: I work with John, and he was away last week. This morning when we arrived, we discovered his office brightly decorated, presumably by another staff member. At first, John was not too thrilled to have his picture taken, but as the morning progressed, he seemed to be getting used to it.

For my part, I'm just the lowly photographer, using the office camera. Surprise, John!

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