More in Floors
Carefully scan the floor for any nails, screws or staples. Pound down any nails that stick up and screw down any raised screws. Pull any staples. Run a scraper over the floor to make sure there are no remaining obstructions.
Mix Portland-cement (which acts as the floor filler that is water resistant, stable and dries quickly) to a peanut butter consistency. Using a mudding knife spread a thin layer over all the seams and low spots in the underlayment. Make it as smooth as possible so less sanding will be needed later.
When dry, scrape off the excess with the putty knife. Some sanding may be necessary to get it smooth.
Once seams are smooth, use a chalk line to indicate where borders are going to go. Spray a bit of hairspray on the chalk line to keep it from smudging.
Precut border pieces and dry fit them (image 1) first before gluing them down. Where the borders meet, cut a 45-degree angle to miter the joint. Use a speed square to get them just right (image 2). Take up the dry-fit borders. Use a 1/16" x 1/16" square notch trowel to spread the manufacturer's adhesive. Immediately lay down border pieces and use a hand roller to make sure all edges are down good and you have plenty of adhesive transfer. On the mitered corners do a bottom cut to overlap the top piece. Use a recessed scribing tool (image 3) to mark the top piece, then follow it with a utility knife and finish the cut with a hook blade to get a perfect cut.
Loose lay the main flooring and rough cut it so it overlaps the border by about 1". Fold it in half and spread adhesive on the exposed half of the floor. Fold the flooring back to adhere. Use a 100-pound roller to make sure there is good adhesion and to get any air bubbles out.
Once the entire floor is down, use an underscribe tool to make perfect cuts along each edge. Make sure there is adhesive below the edges of the main flooring piece. Handroll the seams then reroll the entire floor with the 100-pound roller.
After the entire floor is in, the last step is to put on a couple coats of acrylic sealer.
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