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Remember how I said that we were stuck with our flooring installment because of the fireplace?

Yeah, me neither ;)

Our diamond saw blade came in the mail on Friday, which meant that we were going to be able to re-rent the jamb saw in time to make some headway on the floors by the weekend’s end.

To recap from last time, the idea here was to use a jamb saw to undercut the fireplace. In doing so, we would avoid having to cut the flooring pieces to fit precisely around the jagged ridges of the hearth. Instead, the flooring will simply float underneath the fireplace and make installment a LOT faster.

We once again prepped the living room, covered the furniture with plastic, vacuumed and swept, and gathered up some protective gear for our jamb session (hehe).

I can’t stress enough how important it is to wear protective gear when cutting into masonry like we did. Even though we were using a vacuum and periodically stopping to sweep up the mess, the dust accumulated in the air to the point that it would likely be extremely uncomfortable if inhaled (cough, cough). Eye protection was important as well – anything involving a sharp saw blade requires that one’s eyes be free and clear of dust particles. I recommend using ear plugs as well to cut down on the noise. The saw lets off a very loud, high-pitched sound that I’m sure wasn’t pleasant for Scott.

Since the cloud of masonry dust permeated the entire house, we turned off the A/C, opened the doors wide and used fans to direct the dust outside. I also took Colby outside to chew on the sticks left over from when we trimmed our hedges last week. With him occupied and needing to find something to do outside, I decided now was as good a time as any to make some quick improvements to our front garden area. The blooms from the day lilies have left dried pods in their place, which can be removed quite easily from the remaining greenery. I also took the opportunity to weed two stone planters left behind by the previous owner. Neither of them have actual plants in them yet, but I’m looking into what we’d like to see by next spring. I don’t really have an after pic, but you can see what I was dealing with in the picture below.

Scott was finished cutting into the hearth in about an hour, and the next step was to chisel away at the lower section to create the gap for the flooring. Scott first used a large flathead screwdriver, but it became obvious that in the long run, we would be better off using an actual chiseling tool. We picked one up when we returned the saw.

Most of the removal was fairly easy, but we had to take some extra time in both corners where the hearth meets the wall. We were unable to use the jamb saw to cut the back portion without slicing into the baseboard on the walls, so Scott had to chisel at these sections without having an initial cut to work from.

Once all of the removal was done, Scott ran a scrap piece of laminate around the perimeter to make sure that there were no spots where the flooring would get snagged or blocked. It took only a few minutes to fix any problem areas and this quick test will prevent us from having to stop mid-installment to chisel again.

After sweeping and vacuuming once more, we were able to lay down the plastic underlayment and padding and begin installing the laminate pieces.

This is as far as we got by Sunday evening. This will be our #1 priority for the rest of the week, so I am certain that there will be a lot of progress to show you by the next flooring update. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to arrange our “flooring assembly line” to get a head start on tomorrow. Check in tomorrow for the guest bedroom reveal!

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  1. Absolutely! The idea of not looking at subflooring anymore is making me giddy. And the idea of not hearing the nails-on-a-chalkboard scraping on the floor by Colby has me even happier.

  2. I came over cuz I like the name of your blog.
    Now I am enjoying your posts so am cruising through. Need to stop briefly and comment.
    I wish we could take on and finish ONE major home imporvement. We have big plans, and at least I have good intentions. You are inspiring.
    (Follow through and finish up are not yet in our working vocabulary.)

  3. Thank you for your comments, ALL of them. It really means a lot to me to know that what we're doing is inspiring others!