Lissa wants to possibly host the Christmas party for the Sylvan center that she works at, so she wanted to try and get another project done downstairs to make the space feel a little more complete for it. We decided that the bar should come next because with the bar set we would also be able complete the center section of the floor and the whole main section would look finished.
Heath helped us out a lot by helping us design a bar over the past several weeks and then we finally got to work on it a couple weekends ago. Lissa started on Sunday the 22nd while I was working at the restaurant by putting the first coat of stain on the cabinets that we would be using.
We're actually using wall cabinets rather than floor cabinets because we wanted cabinets with a shallower depth because the bar is not going to be very large. This meant that we needed to build our own base for the bar to raise the cabinets up to a proper level and give us something to mount them to. The cloudiness of the air in the picture is due to all the sawdust that was floating around from the construction.
Fast forward to the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend when Lissa put the second coat of stain on the cabinets.
Saturday was our biggest work day so far. We started out by securing the base we had built to the concrete floor. To start, we used Liquid Nails. It's basically really strong glue that we applied to the bottom surface and then stuck to the floor.
Next, we used a special nail gun that uses .22 caliber cartridges to literally fire nails. It's really loud! But it takes a considerable amount of power to drive 3" nails through a 2x4 and into concrete. Using a regular hammer would take forever and probably just crumble the concrete more than anything. Here's a video clip of the nail driver in action. The sound on the video doesn't do the actual volume justice at all. Basically, it's like firing a gun inside. I can only imagine what it would've been like if the basement were completely unfinished and it was just bare concrete walls. Here's what the nails look like, neatly driven through the wood and down into the concrete:
With the base securely mounted, it was time to start working on the floor. First, we put down underlayment which was basically little styrofoam beads between sheets of plastic. This helps give the floor a little bit of cushion and sound dampening and serves as a moisture barrier.
The we started laying down the floor boards. These are the kind that lock together without glue. The trickiest parts were working around the base of the bar and dealing with spaces where we couldn't use full width boards. Heath did most of the saw work and I did most of the installation. They install fairly easily, but after around 400 sq. ft. of floor my shoulders, chest, arms, and hands were all pretty sore. It didn't seem like it would be that hard, but it was 8 solid hours of work (including mounting the base), so it was definitely tiring.
Here is one more short video clip that shows the floorwhen we were about 80% finished. We actually did finish up that night around 10 pm, but I didn't take a picture.
Yesterday after I got home from the restaurant we continued the project by mounting the cabinets to the base. Here's a couple views of it and you can also see the part of the floor that was unfinished in the video.
Progress will continue in the week ahead...