Decisions: Home Gym Trim & Flooring Issues

It’s been a very frustrating past couple of days because I had set out to get lots of work done in the home gym (while mulling over my options for the master bathroom vanities since I can’t find the trim I need), and I had hoped to move full steam ahead so that I could have lots of progress to show you today.

Well, that didn’t happen. The last couple of days has been a whole lot of spinning my wheels and going absolutely nowhere.

After reading all of your comments and suggestions about the home gym crown molding (whether or not I should use crown molding in this room), I decided that I would go ahead and install the crown molding, and then decide after that if I wanted to use the curtains. But I was also going to do a little something different that a couple of people suggested, and that is to carry the stripes ONTO the crown molding. It’s different, but I thought the fun and unexpected touch would be great in a home gym where things don’t have to be taken so seriously.

The problem? I couldn’t get the crown molding installed!!! I don’t now what the problem was, but I’d nail in one side of the crown molding, and then as I worked my way own the piece of crown molding on the wall, the crown simply would not snug up against the ceiling. I pushed with all of my might, and still couldn’t get it to sit up against the ceiling.

I could kind of bend the crown so that it would sit against both the wall and the ceiling, but that made the spring angle totally wrong, which meant that the corners wouldn’t meet up.

I’ve never had that much trouble with crown molding before. I tried it once and couldn’t get it to work, so I took it down and tried again. The second time didn’t work either. Generally, the only time that happens is when the ceiling is very unlevel, but this ceiling doesn’t look that unlevel to me. So I have no idea why that happened, but I decided to forgo the crown molding.

Of course, taking that crown down not once, but twice, left me with these unsightly gouges in the wall that then needed to be repaired. And you can see why I wanted crown in the first place. Since that was my plan from the beginning, I didn’t really strive for perfection when painting the area where the wall meets the ceiling.

And it’s like that around the entire room. So if I left off the crown molding, I would have to touch up every single one of those stripes to make a crisp line where the wall meets the ceiling.

But with my crown molding fail, not only was I left with a very uneven area at the ceiling, but I was also left with these divots all along the longest wall and the short wall where the doorway is.

So I broke out the drywall compound and filled those divots that pulled out of the wall with the nails.

I have to admit that that whole episode was incredibly frustrating. I wasted so much time on that, and to end a day of working by being several steps behind where I started the day was so discouraging.

So yesterday, I really needed a quick win, and spending hours and hours touching up stripes is not my definition of a quick win. So I took the advice that so many of you gave me and bought some very small trim to go at the top to cover up that area where the paint job isn’t great, and to leave me with a nice, crisp end to the stripes. And as so many of you suggested, I installed the trim, which is about 1.25 inches wide and 3/8 inch thick, on the ceiling instead of the wall.

This was so much easier than touching up all of those individual stripes, and I think once it’s caulked and painted, it’ll pretty much disappear, keeping the stripes as the main star of the room.

Also, I made a decision on the flooring in this room. My decision is that the all of it needs to be replaced — the flooring as well as the subfloor. I have no idea why this room doesn’t have a vapor/moisture barrier between the hardwood flooring and the subfloor like the rest of the original hardwood flooring does, but it needs it.

And this room also has 1″ x 10″ and 1″ x 8″ lumber as a subfloor as well, complete with knot holes, gaps, etc. All of the parts of the house that still have the original flooring have that as well, but those areas have the vapor/moisture barrier, so it’s not as big of a deal to me. But I would imagine that this room not having a solid subfloor PLUS having no vapor barrier is what has contributed to that one board rotting, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some hidden damage under the rest of the flooring as well.

All of that to say that the long-term plan is that this room needs a new subfloor and new flooring. BUT…there’s no way I’m doing that right now. I just want these two rooms (home gym and master bathroom) finished right now, and there’s absolutely no way I’m going to go backwards right now.

So for now, I removed the part of that one board that was completely rotting, and checked the subfloor underneath it. It looked like an old piece of lumber, but there wasn’t any bug damage or rot in the boards. And then, instead of taking the time to carefully cut and install a new red oak floor board, I just filled the gap with Loctite spray foam.

This foam, when it dries, is incredibly dense and hard. And it also expands to several times the original size. I sprayed it last night before I went to bed, and this is what it looked like this morning. 😀

So then I just used my long, flexible serrated knife to cut off the excess flush with the flooring.

Again, this brand of foam is incredibly dense and hard, unlike some other brands of spray foam I’ve used, so with it being so close to the wall, I’m certain it will be fine as a temporary solution. I’ll put the foam gym flooring squares right over this, and no one will ever know…

home gym foam flooring

And then at some point in the future (perhaps when we tackle our big addition), I can take up the foam squares and have this flooring and subfloor completely replaced. That will also give me peace of mind for the long run since we’ll be able to check all of the floor joists for any damage once the subfloor is taken up.

But again, while I do want it eventually taken care of, I don’t feel any sense of urgency to get it done immediately. So for now, the original flooring is just going to get buried under a layer of gym foam flooring, and Future Kristi will take it from there. For now, I just want to get this room (and the master bathroom) finished, and I don’t want any more delays.



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  1. As part of team no-crown, I like your solution a lot! It looks very clean without taking up valuable real estate on the wall.

    1. I was on the no-crown team also and I think this was a brilliant solution. I agree, it looks very clean and the strips still shine. Sorry for your miserable weekend but the final result looks great! It actually looks better than the crown would have because you can see those stripes 🙂

  2. Again, I’m impressed by your creative problem-solving. Faced with a design or maintenance dilemma, I’m apt to say, “What would Kristi do?”

  3. Oh, this was what I wanted for you. It makes a nice finish along the edge, without being quite so big and covering so much of those beautiful stripes you painted. It is so much less formal a look as well, in a gym – like it kind of should be in my mind. So sorry it was a nightmare trying to do then undo the crown moldings….UGH. It will look perfect I think…very soon, and then you can get your room together as you planned. Can’t wait to see it…very soon now! You are definitely coming around the bend with this room, and made lots of progress now. Perfect idea about the floor. Do not stop progress for that right now…it definitely can wait until more heavy construction is ready to go. Sorry for the frustration, but I am so happy for you to solve, and move on. PS) I think we all need to see the backwards and forwards of your projects as it WILL happen to all of us on most large projects…it’s how you handle it that counts!

  4. I didn’t even finish reading all the comments from your last post about this room. There were sooo many of them, I just gave up. I do remember thinking it made sense not to use crown molding, even though I love crown molding. But I did think the idea of just a simple small trim might work.
    Then today to read about putting that small trim on the ceiling instead of the wall to free up the wall real estate?
    I’ve just spent the last 15 minutes wandering through some rooms looking at the ceilings while thinking hmmmm….

  5. I very much like your trim solution! This is a different room with different rules and I think the edging is beautiful! Kristi for the win! 😊

  6. Your trim kind of echoes the window/door trim. I like it! I was going to say that even if your ceiling isn’t curvy, maybe the walls are – if that’s the case, installing on the ceiling is the best idea!

  7. I like the new trim. Looks perfect. On the floor, I hate to see you finish it all, put the rubber floor in, all the equipment, and then haul it all out again later to replace the floor. That sounds like a lot of work. But then, maybe the floor as it is will last for 20 years. Who knows.

  8. I was one of the ones who suggested continuing the stripe, so I’m glad you liked the idea! Bummer that it didn’t work out, but you came up with a terrific solution. That’s what I love about your blog. Not only great and clear instructions and fantastic info, but you show us your process when things don’t work out as planned. You are a creative problem solver, and that is so valuable! Keep up the great work, it’s a joy to read your blog!

  9. I was also team no-crown! I love this small trim on the ceiling, especially as it’s in your personal space. No one will see it except for you and Matt! This room didn’t need to be so formal as the rest of your house and those beautiful stripes are now front and center. The icing is the smaller trim you went with! I’m thrilled for you to be so much closer to finishing up this room and can’t wait to see it done. 😋

  10. I too was on the “no crown” team — ‘How about a thin strip?’ You nailed, Kristi. Looks great. For now, the floor solution will be great. Yay!

  11. Kristi,
    I am an avid follower of your work. Re ceiling trim, since I have no idea of how to saw, mitre, nail, etc., in a couple of rooms I have simply used Elmer’s glue to affix ribbon on the wall where it meets the ceiling – quick and easy. It may sound chintzy, but it looks very professional and has stayed up for a couple of years. Visitors have asked how I was able to paint such straight lines. I live in the Dallas area so you may be aware of our foundation problems and shifting walls, so I find ribbon yielding and easy to work with. This may not post since I am also computer illiterate and don’t know my “website.” Ha ha ha!

  12. That small trim is perfect. The walls now look finished; that’s all it took. So sorry you had to experience such frustration beforehand, but, as usual, you solved the problem. Fantastic!

  13. How frustrating for you Kristi but you are tenacious and just keep going. We have a saying my husband and I, if there’s a problem then there is a solution, we just have to find it, which is not always easy. Sometimes though these solutions seem to just gel and give a much better option.
    In Australia, where we live, we do not use crown moulding, (we call it cornice)made out of wood. Ours is always made from plaster and is attached using cornice cement. It comes in long lengths and there are hundreds of different patterns from which to choose. You can even take a piece of cornice which has a long discontinued pattern and have a mould made so you can seamlessly repair cornice in old or heritage listed homes. It is also great in wet areas where moisture might rot the wood, we just paint with special paint for wet areas and as we say in Australia “Bob’s your uncle”. We also use plaster for wainscoting and for decorative finishes on walls and for ceiling roses.