Yesterday was supposed to be the end of our long floor-replacement saga, the idea being that after ripping up the old hardwood in the area that had been soaked the most by our dishwasher leak, and giving the subflooring beneath a good four days and change to dry out more fully, the area would be in good enough shape to finish the installation of the new hardwood. So the workmen showed up (at about 10:15 after we had been told to expect them between 8 and 10, and I honestly can’t figure out if “missing a two-hour window” is pretty terrible or if “only fifteen minutes late” is pretty good) and started testing the moisture levels of the plywood. My wife was the one home yesterday to meet them, so I am getting this second-hand, but apparently the subfloor was “still 1% too damp” to properly finish the job. I get where that single point comes from, since the little electronic analyzer does measure things on a percentile scale of overall water content which presumably goes from bone-dry zero to 100% pool of liquid, but I was still a little surprised to hear it expressed so precisely. When I saw the device myself last Tuesday, I thought that at best it could give readings at about +/- 5% accuracy. I don’t know, maybe the little stack of LED bars that go from green to yellow to red along the percentile scale were oscillating uncertainly between the last green light and the first yellow, and that translates to “still 1% too damp”. And to be honest, being exactly that close and yet so far just seems like par for the course as far as our house is concerned.
So my wife told the workmen they could come back Thursday, and she cranked down the AC to try to take that much more humidity out of the air and hopefully help things along that much more. In theory, we should finally have a non-hazardous walking surface from wall-to-wall in our kitchen just a couple of days from now. But I wouldn’t want to bank on it prematurely.
Meanwhile, one week later and I have yet to return to the task of re-tiling our basement ceiling, and I’m not entirely sure when I’ll have the opportunity to do so, either. I’m trying to remain optimistic that between now and then I won’t forget everything I figured out to transform the task from something impossible to something merely onerous. And of course when I get that whole project completed, there’s a joy-of-homeownership-reinforcing list as long as my arm of things to do next … but at least most of those don’t involve sticking my head into the innards of the house itself and/or creating massive amounts of crumbled ceiling tile particles and dust, so maybe I can run through those later tasks fairly quickly by enlisting two trusty helpers in the persons of my children. (Kidding.) (Mostly.)