Monday, August 4, 2008

We're all over the elastomeric-ness

Ah, fresh from a weekend of toiling on the house. Actually, it was mostly Kyle toiling on the house. He and our friend who's helping us decided that mere days after moving in would be a good time to start laying the wood floor down in the den and hallway.

Saturday, Kyle and I go to our local big box home improvement store and purchase the glue, some trowels listed by manufacturer of said glue and a tapping block. A very friendly employee saw the glue and cheefully mentioned that the manufacturer wouldn't honor the glue's warranty if we didn't first lay a "moisture vapor barrier" down over the concrete. So back we go, off to buy what turned out to be hell in a can.

Bostik's hideously expensive "MVP4® Moisture Vapor Protection is a one-part, trowel applied, elastomeric, moisture cure urethane membrane designed to 1) reduce moisture vapor transmission from the subfloor; 2) create a noise reduction barrier over the substrate; 3) establish an anti-fracture membrane that can bridge cracks that can occur in the substrate prior to or after installation (up to 1/8"); prior to the installation of engineered and solid hardwood flooring..."

Elastomeric officially means that the product is an elastomer, a polymer with the property of elasticity. What it has come to mean for Kyle and I is "slimy, gray, sticky goo that, once touching any surface, will never come off - not even with the mineral spirits suggested by the manufacturer."

Kyle spent much of the weekend kneeling on concrete, spreading this mess with a trowel. Seriously, for hours at a time. It wasn't fun, and it wasn't comfortable - and that's just me watching him. The goo ruined a pair of new work gloves and Kyle's favorite flip-flops.*

It takes 16 hours for the stuff to cure. Since we spread it all over the hallway - the only access to the bathrooms and bedroom - we had to spend last night in a hotel. Kyle had to show up at work this morning covered in the stuff. Did I mention it's gray and doesn't come off?

The boys next get to cut the wood to size and glue it down, with another Bostik product that has "elastometric properties." Oh goody.

What am I doing this whole time? Trying to stay out of the way while still keeping nearby in case of a need of assistance. Doing "stuff" in the kitchen (but not putting on drawer pulls!) and laundry.

I had meant to take photos of poor Kyle toiling away, but I left the camera in the bedroom, and by the time I thought of it - too late: the hallway was all elastomized.

(*You know you're a Floridian when you have a favorite pair of flip-flops.)

1 comment:

Kim said...

Ugh. I do not envy you two in the least. Just keep telling yourselves, "The floor will look beautiful when this is done and we'll laugh and laugh about the elastomer snafus." Or something like that.