Sunday, January 29, 2012
Installing Hard Wood Floors = Self-Flagellation
Good bye carpet. Hello weeks of second thoughts and sore knees.
Each one of these bundles is 20 square feet of "rustic"
solid oak tongue and groove flooring. A total of 240 square feet.
We ended up buying 60 square more to finish the project.
About 25 percent of the boards were "junk" and could not be used.
Remember, if you decide to put your own wood floor in,
it's very important to let the wood sit in the room it will be
installed in for at least a week. The wood needs to acclimate
to its new environment before you nail it down.
We started against the wall where the majority of foot traffic will be so the
floor would appear to be straight for the main walkway. I had to pour a
leveling cement on the floor to raise it 1/8 of an inch before we laid the
red "rosin" paper against the wall. The stacks on the left are ordered
by the quality of the boards. The farthest stacks are the best boards
which we used in the walkway and other highly visible areas,
while the imperfect boards are used against the wall
and other out of the way places.
Here is Dara fitting the boards in a row so as not to have any of the
seams next to each other. You should have at least 3-4 inches in
between the end of the board and the end of the board in the
previous row. This can be a frustrating process but necessary
so you have a tight, unmoving floor.
This device is a manual nail-gun. This throws a 2 inch tapered nail
at an angle through the tongue and into the floor when you smash the
piston down with the rubber mallet. If you don't hit the piston just right
the nail doesn't go in fully and needs to be pulled.
This is the last nail in the last row! I estimate I used at least 4,500 nails
putting the floor in. It was very satisfying pounding this nail in.
I rented a belt sander to sand the majority of the room. I rented an
edge sander for the spots the belt sander couldn't reach. All the spots
in the image are dust particles that I am sure are still in my lungs.
Wear a mask when you do this!
Here is the stain we chose. I ended up putting two coats down. Once that
dried I put down a polyurethane coat to seal the floor.
And this is the finished project! Maybe in five years or so when my knees
and back forget about this, I may consider doing another room.
P.S. If you really want to test your relationship install a hardwood
floor together. If you make it through it, you were meant to be.