Friday, September 21, 2012


In the residential side of the Atelier Ivaan building, I have an office.  Like the store, it has a tongue and groove bamboo floor.  Unlike the store, the floor in the office is not level.  At one end of the room, there is a dip in the floor about the shape, depth and size of a large birdbath.  At first, it was just a visual irritant.  After a few months,  I began to wonder if furnace ductwork directly underneath was concealing a problem.  I'd been planning to replace the furnace anyway, so it made good sense to replace the furnace and overhead ductwork so I could properly assess the situation.

Once the ductwork was removed, I took several photos with my close-up camera, uploaded them onto the computer, and had a good look at them. Everything seemed solid but one joist sat lower than its neighbours.  I made the decision to have the entire floor taken up and levelled.  I figured, once the floor was taken up, I could have a look at the situation from above.

The flooring guys arrived early, removed the bamboo floor and put it in the basement.  Next they removed a layer of plywood, then a layer of linoleum, then another layer of plywood, then a layer of roofing tarpaper, then a layer of newspapers from 1952, and then a thick tongue-and-groove subfloor.  No wonder there was a depression on the floor.  I was depressed just looking at the pile of debris!

Here's how the room looked when all the flooring was taken off:


The flooring guys sistered the existing joists to provide extra support and raise the height of the floor in spots, to make it level. Two layers of plywood were installed, for stability.  It was harrowing, just looking at the mess. It was doubly harrowing, going down to the  basement that night and finding that the hammering had caused a water pipe to split open.  There was water everywhere. Luckily there was Zoltan.  The comfort of seeing Zoltan pull up in his van was indescribable.

It took 25 hours  of brutally hard work for the flooring guys to finish the job.  It was stressful. There is something about having no floor that makes one want to cry. Happily, I now have a floor again and it is much more level.
I like the contrast between the two colours of floor, as we mixed new caramel coloured bamboo with the original cinnamon coloured floor.

While Zoltan was here to repair the split pipe, I also asked him to take a look at my bathtub drain, which I suspected was leaking.  Zoltan agreed that the drain pipe would have to be replaced.  Unfortunately it was impossible to find a replacement drainpipe that fit.  This left me with an out-of-commission bathtub.   In addition to no stove, no dishwasher, no washer or dryer, and only a bar fridge, I now had no bathtub.  I felt like I was living through The Siege of Leningrad, which will be the subject of a future post.  Stay tuned.