The Floor that Never Ends: Studio Update


Is it really January, 2015? Holy cow. On December 30th, two years ago, we purchased the land for the new studio.  Since that time, three other homes have been built near us. Yet, here we are, still working on what should have been a 6-month build at the most.

Hickory floors in the kitchen

You have to understand, building is like setting up dominoes and having them all fall in the right order. Get something out of order, and it just won't work.

Mark's tile and grouting job

We had to get hardwood down in the kitchen, and the tile down in the bathroom in order to be able to set the cabinets so that we could order countertops. In just a few days, we finally get the hardwood finished up in the kitchen.


Of course, setting the cabinets goes a little easier if all of the pieces are good. One of our shelving units came out of the box broken, and another was the wrong size. So, we had to reorder them and are waiting for the new one to arrive this week. We set what we could, though, and they look great!

A little too yellow for the kitchen

We decided to add a little "color" to the kitchen. The yellow doesn't look bad here, but there are certain times of the day that it appears "out of the tube cadmium chartreuse." Yep, gotta change that.

Cabinets set. Now for appliances.

Funny thing though, appliances arrive whether you are ready for them or not. We purchased these last summer and they have been sitting in a warehouse ever since then.  Well, except for our refrigerator which they decided to sell to someone else. No fear, we received a refund check for the refrigerator and bought it again. Now that's the way to rack up air miles! All of our appliances were put on our Delta SkyMiles AmEx, so reordering the fridge got us miles twice. Hmmm..... a plan perhaps?

Love shooty tools

Back to cabinetry, Mark and I installed tongue and groove behind the cabinets in the bath. This will eventually be painted.

Tongue and groove behind bathroom cabinets

Of course, the electrician had put a plug and switch in the wrong place, and the framer had not supplied proper support in once place so we had to stop and take care of that.  Another job just waiting to be finished. ARGH!

The day of the mallet.

Meanwhile, while Mark did more of the work in the bathroom, I started in on the hardwood in the studio. Sometimes it goes really well...

Sometimes it goes well

Sometimes it doesn't...

Sometimes it doesn't

This is also the day that I remembered why I gave up golf. You see, I have never been able to hit a ball in my life, even if it is sitting perfectly still on the ground.  So, what made me think I could swing a mallet and hit the flooring gun perfectly every time?

When mallet meets leg

The bruise on my leg, eventually lead to the lovely swelling and beautiful colors under my ankle. Part of this was made worse by the fact that at this point, I have done at least 4000 deep-knee bends, squats, and the like over a 4-day period.

Eventually it looks like this.

YAY!  Half-way done in the studio. I'm going to have buns of steel. That's all I can say. With hickory, there is wonderful variation in tone and color. Putting down a piece, examining in terms of how it sits with all of the other pieces around it, and checking to make sure the seams do not line up awkwardly,  takes time and provides lots of exercise! I've met my "steps" goal every day, and almost all of those steps had a lunge at the end.

Half of the studio done
Photo Jan 11, 10 47 24 AM

After unloading a few dozen more boxes of hardwood, I put down the padding/insulation under the hardwood and prepared for the final quarter of the floor! Every time I do this, I have to first thoroughly clean the area, hammer in any nails that are protruding, scrape up any blobs of sheet rock mud, patch any uneven spots (like where scaffolding has fallen and left a hole), and plane down high places in the sub floor. Mark and I got in the flooring about half-way to the door before we left last night.

Finally, the electrician comes and hangs some fans and lights. Now, if only he had completed the job so that the circuits were hot, we would have light to work by. That would have made too much sense I suppose. He also hung the lights about 18" lower than we asked. Remember, this is a working studio (not a living room) so these are not your standard "cozy living" lights.

Another week has passed and we hope to have the lights working in the studio soon.

Industrial-sized ceiling fans

This entire time we have been dealing with a large gap around the fireplace that had yet to be insulated. Must everything take 6 trips and 12 phone calls to get done? And naturally, it has been a super cold winter already so we've just been heating the world while trying to do the interior finishing and not freeze to death. Here, finally, we are getting the last of the insulation in place. Our heat can stay inside!


One of the cabinet pieces that was the wrong size goes in the bathroom. But we have managed to do as far as we can to get the cabinets in place. The new piece is on its way.


Mark started work on the posts and banisters for the steps last night. Those will need to be in place before the next set of dominoes falls. We will finish up the hardwood in the studio, then head up to the loft to put hardwood there. The last place to get flooring will be the work area.

As for the outside of the studio, the stone cannot be put around the entry and up the fireplace until the weather is better. "When will we make an end?"

In the meantime, Mark and I are very grateful to a friend who is allowing us to stay in her condo. Our apartment lease was up at the end of November and we had to move somewhere temporarily. Christmas was interesting to say the least. We were blessed to have our family in town, all stuffed in various corners of Claudia's condo. Ella didn't seem to mind... after all, Santa finds you, no matter where you are.

Santa finds you, no matter where you are!