My (not very impressive) lounge/home cinema/man cave (corner)


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Ok, correction. It was floor day 1.

In one of those "where the %^& did the time go" situations, I've got a grand total of four rows of laminate done.

It took us most of the morning getting rid of the carpet and old underlay and trying to clear the floor up so we didn't start putting the underlay down until after we'd had lunch. That proved to be a nightmare with the "natural fibre board" underlay we'd bought along with the laminate such that it was practically sunset by the time I was starting to lay boards.

Getting more done was hampered by a relative lack of jigsaw usage on my part which meant some of my first cuts weren't particularly straight - could have done with those not being mostly for the first floor port cover - and I messed a couple of laminate planks up that I may struggle to reuse later, eating into my supply of spare planks.

By the time I called it quits at 9pm (mainly because I didn't want to annoy the neighbours running the jigsaw any later) I'd managed to get four whole rows just about done (need to adjust the one on the fourth row near the window when I get adding rows again).

I had hoped to get a couple of rows done at least tonight but my first job was working on sorting out the door threshold strip for between the lounge and hallway and it's one that's still ongoing. Unfortunately, the hallway is tile (presumably on top of concrete) underneath the carpet and I've ended up having to drill my holes for the strip quite close to where the floorboard meets to tile. I've got the underlay section cut but the laminate section is still a work in progress - first job tomorrow night should be just finishing trimming that to fit and then I should be able to get cracking on with the regular rows.


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Teensy bit late as we're now laying the floor but here's a picture of the room when we'd finished painting*. (Apologies for the awkward proportions but this was shot quickly from the corner of the room and so hasn't had the best source material for stitching)


* Well, we thought we were finished with the painting but have since spotted a couple of areas needing a touch up


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Last night I managed to get another three rows done, as well as picking up my second injury of my floor laying experience.

Started off getting the piece to go under the threshold strip sorted. Suspect I may have gone overboard cutting gaps around where the threshold strip pins will go into the floor but its done now.


While it took a little longer to do than I'd have hoped (I'm sure there must be a better way to clamp things down for such cuts to made without having to unclamp and re-position to get the jigsaw in), I was happy it was done and dusted.

Then, after losing half an hour of working time picking the eldest up from Brownies (the missus should have been doing it but our youngest was playing up at bedtime so I had to go) I got on to what I was expecting to be the reasonably straightforward work for the night, laying the normal rows. This led me to my first real meltdown of this decoration process so far...

For some reason, while working on row five, I just could not get one of the laminate planks to join on to the previous row. After about five minutes of nudging, tapping, stamping and hammering, I was so frustrated I ended up kicking the nearest thing to hand, or rather foot, the mallet.

Ordinarily, the most I'd have had to worry about is the dent left in whatever wall the mallet hit and possible filling and repainting required. Unfortunately, I'd asked the wife to prepare sets of four laminate planks to go down and these sets were stacked across the floor and my left foot was on one of these stacks.

With the action of kicking out with my right leg, the pile of planks I was stood on slipped forward and I ended up falling on my back, banging my left elbow, which is still giving me gyp this morning.

The missus came down to find out what the loud bang was to find me still lying on my back looking up at the ceiling.

Based on a quick measure up last night it looks like it'll be Friday at the earliest that I'm done laying the floor. And that's assuming cutting out bits for the lounge/kitchen doorway tonight doesn't take forever.
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This is the script to the prequel of the film ‘Falling Down’ isn’t it?

Can’t wait to find out what happens when the protagonist finally loses his sh*t!


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Wednesday night was another slow progress night.

We'd been fortunate that it hadn't rained since Sunday when we lifted the carpet and underlay but I thought we'd better not push our luck any more and decided to take them to the tip, along with a few other things that have needed taking for a while but which have been sat around as I've not wanted to spare the time to go to the tip when there's been other jobs needing to be done.

Mind you, it nearly wasn't just the old carpet and garden waste. There was almost the body of a two year old as well since our youngest decided to christen the new paint by drawing all over a section of the wall in crayon.


Needless to say we weren't impressed by that and even less impressed when initial attempts to clean it off, following the instructions on the tin for the Dulux Easycare paint we'd paid extra for over the regular paint for obvious reasons, were unsuccessful. After the wife google'd it, baby wipes did the job in the end. (Apparently WD40 works best but good luck figuring out where my can of that is at the moment).

With the body-less carpet out of the way I got back home and set to work. This was the first row that lined up with the lounge/kitchen doorway so after the first three laminate planks went down (surprisingly easily after my travails of the previous evening) I had to kneel down and start working out cuts for the threshold strip, laminate and underlay. This is the doorway that's a bit skewed so I was probably taking a bit more care with measuring and cutting than I had with the lounge/hallway threshold strip. In the end I got the threshold strip and underlay trimmed but still had a couple of cuts needing to be made to the first laminate piece before I could lay it. As the cuts were marked up I was hoping that I should be able to get at least two complete rows done on Thursday night, as neither of the next two rows would be going under the door frame, so should only need a couple of quick nips at the end to make expansion gaps to allow for the threshold strip fixings.


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By this point you're probably thinking "oh no, his next post is going to be about how he didn't get any rows done Thursday night for some reason", but you'd be wrong to do so.

Setting a new record for the number of planks I've put down in a session, I managed to get five whole rows down last night (we'll ignore for now the fact that I need to take the last plank back up to trim the connecting tongue bit to leave room for the expansion gap). That was helped by more of the planks just clicking straight in and not needing much tapping in than I've had on previous nights.

At the end of last night I had three more complete rows left to put down before I need to work around the chimney. Not sure if I'm going to get much more than that done tonight as the first plank I'm going to need to work on tonight needs to be cut for the second pipe for the radiator (the first pipe was partway between two boards)


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Just about three rows done tonight, leaving just the alcoves needing to be done...

Having said that, I have been reconsidering how to ensure I can access the floor ports in future... My effort in the exterior wall/hallway wall corner looks a bit messy, with the planks seemingly wanting to forever move apart. So, as it looks like I should actually have a few planks leftover, I'm planning to replace the cut planks in that corner. and then for both that corner and in the computer alcove, trim the wall edges of the planks back to the skirting when I manage to get a carpenter in to do the doors, skirting and architrave. I'm thinking that that should look better overall and shouldn't hinder access too much (although I'll have to hope I don't need quick access.

I also want to try and redo the a plank for the second radiator pipe, as my effort with that this evening looks a bit of a mess.


Active Member
End of weekend status: The first attempt of the floor is practically down barring the backs of the alcoves. These might be a teensy bit tricky as, allowing for expansion gap, the sections I need to cut are only a bit over a centimetre in width, so not only have I got to cut rather thin strips of laminate, I've also got to get them to tap in to the last full plank.

That might be tricky as at the moment I'm still having issues with a thin strip I had to put in just in front of the chimney which seems to be refusing to click in. I'm loathe to cut a similar size strip off another board just yet so might try a couple more times to see if I can get it to stay put.

I'm going to need to redo the plank around the right hand radiator pipe. Unlike the first pipe which was between two boards, the second one comes slap bang in the middle of one and frankly I'm not terribly impressed with my effort at cutting out a hole for it (which I also seem to have made somewhat larger than the other hole).

That was the position I got to yesterday afternoon. As I'd been at it most of my non-working time during the week I decided last night was going to be a night off. I also haven't ended up doing much today as we had the in-laws over for my eldest's birthday tea - the sole work I've managed to do house-wise is hooking the Hive hub back up to the router and bleeding all the radiators, as the missus has been grumbling about it starting to get a bit nippy in the mornings, and starting to punch in some of the Cat6 cabling so I can get my network back in working order.

I've started with the port behind the TV so I can get that tested first and get the HDMI sockets next to it done as well - once those are all confirmed working I can put the faceplates back on and get on with re-installing the TV bracket. Once that's back on I can remount the TV which gets it out of the way a bit.

I had actually planned to do the cutting of the alcove laminate strips but I've had a headache most of the day and so didn't fancy doing any jigsawing. To be honest, I might leave that until the weekend. I keep spotting little areas were the painting needs touching up at the joins between wall and ceiling, which really need sorting.

Other than that, my main task for this week is to try and get a carpenter sorted for getting the doors fitted (and ordering the doors...)


Active Member
Well it's almost a week later and the progress on the floor is... I've got round to redoing the plank around the radiator pipe tonight.

Taking a break from it last weekend was probably a mistake as it's taken until now to generate the enthusiasm to get back on with the floor. Annoyingly, getting the planks I had to take up back in was more difficult that expected, a couple of them taking a lot more knocking in than I was expecting.

I think the next step with the floor will be to redo the corner where I'd cut planks over the floor port as I'll probably cut the ends off the original planks I'd put down there for filling in the backs of the alcoves rather than cutting up my stock of spare planks.

On the evenings this week I have managed to drum up the enthusiasm to do something, it's been attempts to tidy up the edges where the ceiling and walls meet.

While I was going to get cracking on getting the ethernet ports reconnected when I needed a break from floor or painting, my next challenge is going to be trying to diagnose what's happened to the satellite signal for the Freesat box, which went from working perfectly Tuesday night to there being no signal at all being picked up by the box Wednesday morning...


Active Member
Sigh... Looks like I'd better hope the satellite signal issue is something to do with either the new cable I got for inside the lounge or the face plate it's connected to, as I can't reach the LNB when standing on top of a stepladder...


Active Member
Short update. I'm still tip-toeing towards completion of this redecoration.

While I had been planning to start reconnecting the ethernet sockets I've
actually ended up spending time trying to neaten up the painting where the
walls and ceiling meet, primarily so I'm not tempted to re-mount the TV and
have some sort of accident while retouching the paint above it (or drop
it/knock it over when moving it out of the way).

With a date set for next Tuesday for the carpenter, we've got our doors,
skirting and architrave ordered and delivered, and our sofa on order,
leaving just the bits of Besta furniture we want to get from Ikea ordered
and a need to source a new dining table.

The neatening up of the wall/ceiling joins is on a temporary hold this week
while I give the skirting and architrave a couple of coats of gloss before
the carpenter comes (my reasoning being that there's less potential for
paint going badly astray if we paint first and then touch up whatever needs
doing after the carpenter does his work, than if I try and paint the
architrave and skirting after its been fitted).


I'm having to use quick drying gloss due to the lack of anywhere to
actually do the painting other than the lounge, with the inevitable risks
of children putting their hands or feet on wet paint and getting it all
over the walls or laminate. We're somewhat fortunate that the lounge isn't
any smaller as we've only just got enough room to lay it down diagonally
for painting, even with the minimal furniture we've got in there at the


In terms of our decorating choices I'm already regretting the laminate.
This has nothing to do with the trials and tribulations of fitting it but
rather how bloody hard a surface it is when the youngest wants you to join in playing going to sleep and the laminate is the only surface you can lie down on. After just two minutes lying on the floor my back was in absolute
agony when I got back up again.


Active Member
Oh, and I've not definitively sorted out the satellite signal problem yet. However, I strongly suspect it's just a case of a slightly loose fitting F connector, as things temporarily sorted themselves out when I connected straight to the cable feed from the LNB, rather than with the new face plate and internal cable in the way.

I'm now only getting a signal from one cable (things will record but if I try and watch live TV at the same time I get a message about there being a weak or no signal).


Active Member
The last bar one tradesman (I hope)

Tuesday saw the carpenter arrive and fit the skirting and architrave. Of course, this being this redecoration, it wasn't all plain sailing...

I'd ordered the doors, hinges and doorknobs from Wickes. Unfortunately, according to the chippy I'd got the wrong size hinges for the width of door as they were too wide and wouldn't leave much laminate between the hinge and the edge of the door. So he had to nip off to get some others as I'd not got the car...

Then he wasn't particularly impressed with the doorknobs due to the design meaning that some of the fixing screws basically screw down towards the bolt and also not having very good springs in them (indeed, one of them is already temperamental as to whether it'll spring back after being turned or not). He reckons we'll probably end up replacing them within a year at most. Joy.

Mind you, the only reason I ended up buying the hinges and knobs from Wickes with the doors was because the chippy's supplier for some reason didn't do any in brass colouring and we'd already gone for brass with the curtain rail.

So far it looks like he's done a good job, as far as I'm any judge, although I'm not looking forward to all the filling I'm going to have to do of gaps behind the skirting and the holes where the board and architrave have been pinned to the wall. Annoyingly, one of the troublesome thin strips of laminate along the chimney popped out of place slightly either just before or during the time he was putting the skirting on there and there's a noticeable dark line from across the room where it does't join up.

My next job is deciding where I prioritise my decorating time over the next few nights. The missus keeps hinting about getting the curtain rail up but for me the radiator needs to go back first, and that needs cleaning up and painting (plus I'm still not 100% sure where I'm drilling my holes for the board the curtain rail will be mounted on). But I also need to get all filling behind and cleaning up of the skirting done before the radiator goes back on so I don't find myself with a spot I can't get to.


Active Member
Apologies for another post without any pictures (or especially HCC gear related) but there's nothing terribly exciting going on in that regard.

I've been trying to touch up the wall/ceiling edges, although even with the rather pale shade of blue we've used on the walls I'm having difficulty getting white to cover it on the ceiling.

The radiator is progressing well. I managed to clean it up and sand it down during the evenings last week. The only reason it's not done is that I was prevaricating over whether or not to risk just overpainting the few minor spots of rust or get an anti-corrosive undercoat applied; decided to get the undercoat but ordered from Amazon to get it quickly and didn't notice it was one of those items that despite being through Prime delivery wasn't going to be delivered the next day. That meant that I couldn't get the first coat on until the middle of Saturday afternoon when it had been delivered. Second coat went on this morning and first coat of white paint this evening.

My other job of today was cleaning up the doorframes - something I'd meant to do before the carpenter put the doors on but forgot. I've sanded off as much paint as I can from the old frame and removed as much of the plaster overrun and paint on the other one. I also had to cut a chunk out of one of the nails the carpenter used to fix the architrave to the frame that had gone through at the wrong angle.

All being well I should be getting the second on the radiator tomorrow night and start gap filling Tuesday night.


Active Member
Duh! Forgot to mention an important piece of news that affected my priorities a teensy bit - our new sofa arrives on Wednesday. My back will be very grateful for that (I'm assuming the back pain I've been getting has flared up due to using camping chairs for the past few weeks)


Active Member
Duh! Forgot to mention an important piece of news that affected my priorities a teensy bit - our new sofa arrives on Wednesday. My back will be very grateful for that (I'm assuming the back pain I've been getting has flared up due to using camping chairs for the past few weeks)
How is the sofa?


Active Member
Comfy, or at least it seems to be from the, what feels like, five minutes I've had to sit on it since it's been delivered (I was out tonight and have been into town and back with my youngest earlier today as well as doing other jobs, so I've only just had a chance for a sit down just now while I've been sorting out this years' car insurance...)


Active Member
As usual, things are running a bit behind where I'd hoped to be.

I started caulking the gaps between the skirting and the walls on Friday, having originally planned to start earlier in the week but having stinking headache that didn't leave me in the mood for any jobs. Saturday was second caulking where the first lot had gone into a big gap and left a dip, as well as using wood filler on the gaps in the architrave and a couple of big areas that needed filling in the frame.

While I managed to get some sanding of the filler done earlier on today, by the time I'd done a bit more sanding this evening I realised I wasn't going to get all way round the room without staying up late so went for a third round of caulking the hallway door architrave (this had the biggest gaps to start with) - I'm hoping this third round does the job as I've still got a bit more to do in one of the corners and might well consider it done if there's just a slight dip in from it being "level" with the flat of the architrave (which is actually at quite an angle off the wall)

My other caulking issue was that the quite large plug of caulk in the gap in the corner between the skirting for the hallway/exterior wall hadn't actually set last night. I ended up pointing a fan heater at the corner on a low setting overnight which may have helped it set.

I had hoped to be doing a first undercoat on the door frames tonight ready to do a second coat or start glossing tomorrow. Ideally I want to be done painting by the end of the week so I can get on the Ikea website and order the new furniture (which we want ASAP but at the same time I don't want to have to be shifting the boxes to and fro to be able to do other jobs).

Other progress news is that it looks like I might have to do some touch up work on the radiator when we're outside of heating season. I'd painted it up in the shed, having nowhere to paint it in the house, using a fan heater on a timer to hopefully raise the temperature enough to let the undercoat and paint go on as intended but either I hadn't managed to clean a couple of spots properly or there was some other issue as the new paint (plus undercoat) has flaked off in places. As we're now getting into colder weather I want to get the radiator back on the wall in the lounge ASAP once I've got the caulking and touch up painting on the exterior wall done.


Active Member
Hi folks

It's starting to look like things might go down to the wire with regard to getting the whole thing finished before Christmas. I'd hoped to be finished with the architrave, skirting and walls by the end of last week/start of this week but the tape I'd applied to the walls to try and minimise splashing gloss onto the blue paint is more trouble than it was worth. Removing it appears to have taken more blue paint off the walls than I'd probably have gotten white gloss onto the walls if I'd just gone really, really carefully touching up the tops of the skirting/ends of the architrave.

Annoyingly, removing the tape I've had to cut into the caulk in places where the tape was applied a bit too close and so had to re-caulk a couple of bits around the door frames last night. I've also found a few sections of the walls with dents or patches of unevenness in that I decided I couldn't live with knowing they were there and applied some filler last night.

With all these little touch-ups needing to be done I don't think I'm going to be done with the walls, skirting and architrave until Saturday night now, especially as I spotted an absolute howler of a hole in the hallway door frame last night that had somehow eluded my attention before hand that I think I'm going to have to fill. I'm just hoping that I can scrape enough paint out of my first tin of gloss to re-touch up the door frames so I can return the un-opened tin I bought last week when I thought I was going to be someways short of full coverage.

The one positive I'm taking so far is that in the places where the chippy had to use short off cuts of skirting to get round the full room, I've done such a good job filling, sanding and painting that I'm having trouble figuring out where the joins are.

As I had Tuesday off this week to look after my youngest I booked my usual plumber to reconnect the radiator; following the days of slow leaks after taking it off the wall I didn't fancy having the same happen again with it back on, especially now we've got the laminate down. Although I'd originally planned to put it back on the wall on Sunday, having to get on with other housework meant that I couldn't get round to it until Monday night and then I hit a snag. It appears that despite having drilled a hole for the one mounting bracket hole I couldn't find, for some reason I hadn't gotten round to widening this out and putting a rawl plug in, which came as something of a surprise when I was trying to put the bracket back on. By the time I'd given up looking for the screws originally used on the brackets and found some suitable replacements it was too late in the day for drilling by then so I had to do it Tuesday morning before the plumber turned up.

With the radiator back on the wall and in decent light I really am starting to wonder what went wrong during my painting of it as there's a lot more paint cracking and flaking off than I'd thought when looking at it in the shed. Hopefully it'll be straightforward to sort out next year when the radiator isn't in use.

I had hoped to find some time on Tuesday to get some of my ethernet ports wired back up but the youngest was needing a bit too much of an eye being kept on her. I did think that instead I'd get all the hooks put in for the Christmas lights but two of the three packs of hooks appear to have gone walkabouts so I only got a few in the wall. Having since searched all the obvious places I think I might have put them and come up blank I may have to buy some more (guaranteeing the others will turn up once they arrive...).


Active Member
It's starting to look like it might depend on your definition of "finished".

I've also got an absolutely stinking cold that kept me awake half the night so I'm probably not going to get anything done today (unless I want to risk making a balls-up of it and having to do more corrective work...)
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Decided that in order to try and make sure we can get the new furniture in and built before Christmas, I'd concentrate on sorting out the TV alcove. As I didn't decide this until after we'd put up the Christmas tree, with it mostly covering the computer alcove due to lack of anywhere else to put it right now, I figured I'd better sort out hooking my ethernet connections back up.

I got the keystones for the cables running between the two alcoves sorted Monday night (although it took me a lot longer than expected, surprise, surprise) and figured I'd get the other four that do the kitchen, hallway wall and loft done last night and still have time to get something else done as I would only be wiring up four keystones (since the other ends hadn't needed to be unwired for the plastering).

The hallway wall keystone went back on easier than I was expecting (as there's not a lot of slack in the cable in the socket, and as I'm having difficulty trying to pull more cable through, I was dreading not being able to get this to reconnect) but I then came a cropper with the keystone for the kitchen cable.

I'd been taking my time punching down the cables - punching down for pins 1 & 2 to check I'd found the right cable and then punching down each colour pair, testing the connection after doing each pair.

Unfortunately, for some reason, pin 8 (solid brown) for the kitchen cable wouldn't show as connected. I tried pulling the wire and punching down again, no joy. I then tried a different keystone, double-checking the wiring on the kitchen end, and punching down the remaining wires to see if something weird was going on. All the other wires passed the test once punched down but 8 still wouldn't play ball.

Not quite sure what has happened there... Bit of a head scratcher that I don't have much time tonight to sort out.


Active Member
Well looks like I'm going to have to live with the kitchen socket only running at 100Mbps, unless I absolutely need 1Gbps and go under the floor to cut the cable off from below where I think the break is and push back up through the hole the speaker cable runs through.

Got the two cables to the loft reterminated and tested last night, which meant I could get on with clipping the RJ45 modules back into the grids and screwing them back on the wall and labelling up the ports.

That also meant I could finally get on and order the new furniture from Ikea, although we did hit a hitch there. The Besta shelving unit configuration we'd planned to get had glass doors at the top. Unfortunately, our youngest demonstrated once again that she must have chimp DNA or something the other night by managing to climb over the stair gate we have at the top of the stairs. She's also, in recent weeks, attempted to reach things on the shelf in the computer alcove by pulling up a chair and stacking things on it. Therefore, we were having concerns about having the top half of the units as glass shelves and doors...

We didn't particularly want to go for an option that was just all plain doors so we've ended up going for a combo that has one row of glass doors which we'll put at the top and hope our youngest isn't tempted to climb up them.


Active Member
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the lounge were mutterings of "how overboard have the in-laws gone again this year?" as we tried to squeeze all the presents under the tree...
In actual fact, we've ended up with a two foot wall of presents in front of the tree (and there's still whatever bits my mum has got us all which will be added to the pile once I've collected her tomorrow morning).

But in any case, you're probably not reading this thread to hear about how profligate my family has been...

At the start of last week I was quite hopeful that I was going to get the curtain rail board and curtain rail up as well as getting all the new furniture assembled by today. Of course, this being this blog things haven't panned out like that.

Trying to sort the board for the curtain rail proved a bit more problematic than expected. Drilling the holes for mounting the board, the bit I'd been dreading most, was actually plain sailing, with each hole going in without problems. (On a whim I'd checked with my next door neighbour to see how far above the window the board his rail is mounted on is, figuring that that should have been drilled in above the lintel height and so drilling at that height should avoid my lintel).

Getting the board trimmed to the right height proved trickier. Putting the board up I drew a pencil line to mark the top of the the window on the reverse side and then, after drawing a line 2cm above that, cut a strip off with my jigsaw. When I put the board back up though I don't know what had gone wrong as one end was still slightly over hanging the window space while at the other end it was about 1cm above.

My remedy to this was to measure the distance from the other edge of the board and the cut using my jigsaw again with the depth stop (thingy... whatever it's called). The cut still wasn't especially neat, and I did end up having to budge up the holes for the curtain rail that I'd already put in, but it's now up and hopefully not too noticeable if you don't look at it.

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