So, this past weekend, I told myself, “Tom, this weekend, you have GOT to finish that front entertainment center.” Not that there is much left to do. I just had to put a top on the three separate units, reattach all the wires and I can finally put a fork in this project.
So, I went to my local hardwood supplier and found out that – wow – they are no longer at the location they had been at since they opened! What the heck was I going to do?
One thing I was NOT about to do was go to the local home improvement center and drop the equivalent of $6 a board foot for red oak. No way, no how. But, I did go to the home improvement center and I did pick up something I had considered for the top of this unit for a while…
A carton of prefinished engineered hardwood floor. Yeah, it was an interesting choice, but I knew that it would be available in oak in a shade that would be close to the laminate floor, and it would be prefinished with a very durable surface, eliminating the need to put on a finish after the fact.
I unpacked the box and discovered that – much to my happiness – the boards were individual pieces of random lengths. That wasn’t going to give me that laminate plank look. I spread them out on my bench, and knew I was going to need all of the 20 square feet that came in the case.
With the planks having all tongue and groove joinery, they snapped together easily. I assembled each row, glued them down to the tops of the cabinets and then tacked them through the tongues to hold them in place while the glue cured. Next row, same process. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Before long, I had the three cabinet tops done. Now, since the edges of the flooring are pretty much the edges of plywood, I know I have to put some edging on to the cabinets to hide the look. But, before I did that, I know I had to put the lamps, speakers, stereo, TV and other entertainment components back into place so the family could enjoy them. I will probably handle the trim work over the next few nights and eventually call this one done.
In the meantime, there was a fairly small stack of scraps on the workbench. I had indeed needed every single plank in that case, and I just knew that I had to be VERY careful as I came to the end of the project, just to ensure I didn’t have to buy a whole new case for just a few pieces.
I’m not sure I will use flooring again on any of my pieces, but this certainly was a interesting experience.