October 10, 2013

While I was Working: The Story of the Floors

Laying flooring takes some serious time and devotion.
But so worth it when it is down!!

We decided to go with pre-finished birch floors. The price was right and gave us that dark high end look we wanted. We put this flooring in the living room and hallway entering into our bedroom, and the master bedroom itself. Go {here} for how I keep them nice and clean and my sanity intact! :-)

This is an engineered wood, floating floor. We had to do this since our sub-floor was a concrete slab. Kevin decided to put in the work and buy his own tools to install them himself.

Most of these tools were saws. I never knew how many saws there were in this world...



Oh and did I mention Kevin did this little project over Christmas while I was working the holidays. Yep this could have been our Christmas card..
See!! Another saw!!

I wish they would just go down like this so easy, but here goes the process:

We placed the quarter inch spacers against the wall and then the 3/4" spacers against the tile. We had the bigger spacers against the tile because we needed to use transitions (a whole post on that later...)

Then Kevin placed the moisture barrier and underlayment. This is a padding for the floor and acts as a noise reducer. The moisture barrier keeps the moisture from the concrete from seeping up to the wood.

Then start placing the wood!  Kevin started in the corner of the hallway and started laying end-to-end, measuring the length of the last plank, chopping it to size (with a miter saw), and continuing across the room.  He did three boards across at a time, laying them out first to make sure there was a good mix of where the boards joined together. I am glad he was there to do the math. If it was me we would be sunk.

We periodically taped the boards together, which is recommended. This helps ensure that there is no slipping or shifting during the install. If there are two of you working on this project, one person might grab boards, run a bead of glue along the end grove (seen above), and hand them to the other person who’s clicking them in and hammering them into place. The person on glue duty can also toss down some tape as you go. Then switch jobs every once and a while to ensure that one person isn't getting too sore/tired.

Oh yeah wait. Kevin did it all himself while I was working. Yeah he was really sore and tired...

The finished dusty final product!!

The process was time consuming, even more so because Kevin tackled it himself. To do our living room, hall to the master bedroom, and master bedroom took about three 10 hour days.

The baseboards gave us a lot of trouble. We had hoped we didn't have to remove the baseboards, but realized our small 3 inch baseboards behind the floor with quarter round would look weird. Instead, we decided to pry up all of the baseboards (somewhat tedious) and left the quarter inch expansion gap. Then we re-installed the baseboards which were thick enough (thankfully) to cover the expansion gap.

Ya so like I said we did these over Christmas...we don't rush our projects here and I can tell you that we still haven't re-cauled our baseboards against the wall or touched them up with paint (taking them off and reinstalling them can bang em up a bit). I need to do that here soon.

So much better than that carpet we pulled out {here}

Other notes, thankfully living in AZ during this process, we were able to keep our mess confined to the covered patio keeping our work area clean. Worked out well for us.

The door jams: Kevin used a jam saw (also known as an undercut saw). The door jam goes directly down to the concrete so you had to cut it so the wood could run seamlessly under it. To know how much to cut, Kevin used a scrap piece of wood and a scrap piece of underlayment as a guide.

Thankfully it was a first floor remodel so lugging up big boxes of wood was not an issue.

And that is that!!

4 comments:

  1. Wow!! That is a LOT of work. I've worked on a lot of remodeling projects, but never involving laying wood flooring! But that's pretty cool afterwards for him to be able to look at that floor and say he did it himself!

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  2. Such pretty floors!!! Uh, yeah that's a lot of work though and I'm sure it wasn't easy. Thank goodness you can enjoy them for the next however many years to come! :) xo

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  3. I know from first hand experience that your floors look AMAZING in IRL. I had no idea how much work Kevin put in!! Ps, Ryan has those same clamps. It's like they're the same super helpful person :P

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  4. We have the same floors in Cherry Oak! Love it!

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