The Breakfast Nook: One Room Challenge Week 6

Well, you know what they say about week six of the One Room Challenge: It’s usually over by now. Thankfully, there is a week seven.

After an eventful long weekend in NYC, I arrived home Monday morning and went directly to work on the plywood floor in the breakfast nook. Andy took the day off work, so we tackled the first part of this project together. Here is how it went down.

The Frame

Before we started, I removed the baseboards with a hammer and a small pry bar.

According to our general plan, we laid the 2X4 frame pieces 15″ apart to accommodate standard wall and floor insulation. Since our room is not perfectly shaped, we measured each piece separately. We did not assume that the frame pieces were equal lengths.

We wanted to secure two plywood pieces in the center of a 2X4 frame piece. To make that happen, we cut an additional frame piece where the seam landed.

I was pretty beat up from running the marathon, so I sat around and told Andy what to do. He loves it when I do that. Because our saw is in the basement, he ran up and down the basement stairs to the saw and back.

We repeated the process for the full length of the floor.

I secured the pieces with finishing nails to mitigate damage to the existing original porch.

(Project notes: Readers may notice that we took some shortcuts with the framing such as laying our 2X4s wide side up, and we did not frame the perimeter. We chose this method for a few reasons. First, the only load this floor will bear is our body weight. The original floor underneath is already structurally sound. Second, the beautiful windows in this room end quite far down on the wall. We wanted the floor as low as possible so our custom table does not have to be kid-sized in height. Lastly, we wanted to preserve the original floor as much as possible.)


After our contractor insulated the sleeping porch, we had leftover R-13 insulation. There was plenty for this project.

I secured the 15″ pieces with staples. Since the gap between three frame pieces was less than 15″, I cut the insulation to fit.  Then, I taped the sides down with Tyvek tape.

The Plywood Floor Problem

Full disclosure, right away I realized that I made a mistake. Plywood comes in 4′ X 8′ sheets. That size is way too large for my vehicle. At Lowe’s, I had each sheet cut down from 8′ lengths to 4.5′, which is the width of the Breakfast Nook. When I got out to my car, I discovered that 4′ was slightly too wide to fit through the narrowest part of the trunk. So, I schlepped everything back inside, and I asked them to cut 6″ off each width. That left me with three pieces that were 3.5′ wide X 4.5′ long, plus all the leftover bits. Perfect.

Unfortunately, that was a couple of weeks ago, and I forgot about it. Andy and I placed the 2X4 frame boards based on plywood pieces that were 4′ wide. After I cut my first plywood piece, I noticed my mistake. To fix my error, I added another 2X4 frame piece, tidied the insulation, and the plywood edge then landed on a seam. The problem was easy to solve, but it cost me a couple of hours. Since I only have an hour or two, here and there to work, the delay put me a full day behind schedule.

The Plywood Floor Post-Problem

Once I solved the framing issue, it was easy to move forward. With Andy back at work, I was on my own. This part of the project was not difficult, but oh my gosh, I had sore muscles. I had such a hard time getting up and down to work on the floor, and maneuvering the large sheets of plywood was problematic. My process was less construction and more jiu-jitsu.


Luckily, the middle piece of plywood was a straight-up rectangle. However, each side piece needed to be notched. Using a pencil and a straightedge, I marked the plywood. For the cuts, I used my jigsaw.

I secured the first two pieces of plywood at the same time to make sure they butted up against each other as tightly as possible to minimize the visible gap at the seam. After that, I cut and dropped the last piece into place.

Using construction adhesive and wood screws, I fastened all of the plywood sheets to the 2X4 underneath.

I used three wood screws per seam, countersinking each one. (I pre-drilled each hole.) Then, I added finish nails between the screws and all the way across the floor to affix the entire sheet to the frame pieces underneath.

The entire process took two work sessions and about four hours. Through the magic of animation, it looks like it took me three to four seconds. I wish I could work that quickly.

Today, I have to fill in all of the holes and sand the floor in preparation for the stencil. After that, I will stencil, stain, and seal the entire thing before Sunday. Easy, right? (Somebody, hold me.)

Now, it is time to head on over to Calling It Home to see all the progress from the Featured Designers and the Guest Participants too. Since I was gone over the weekend, I am a week behind on my reading; I have some catching up to do. Next week: The big reveal!

Start from the beginning:
Week 1 – The Breakfast Nook
Week 2 – The Breakfast Nook
Week 3 – The Breakfast Nook
Week 4 – The Breakfast Nook
Week 5 – The Breakfast Nook

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