Because I can't sit still for more than a few minutes at a time, I've been working on installing hardwood floors in our Bedrooms. It all started a few weeks ago when I found a Craigslist ad for pre-finished birch hardwood for $2/square foot. Since our carpets are the original carpets for our 1989 home, and the original owners smoked a lot, I have been waiting a long time for this day to come.
The flooring outlet place we bought the wood from in West Bremerton had just about 500 square feet, which should be enough to do all three bedrooms and the hallway between them. Since I already had an air compressor, along with many other tools, all I needed was a finishing nailer and a lot of nails.
We started with Coughlin's room, which was in the worst shape since someone who stayed with us previously had some not-so potty trained dogs. Brandy removed the carpet, pad and tack strips and I pulled up most of the staples (they used an inordinate amount) and took out the trim as well as the closet doors.
Here are a couple of pictures showing the subflooring. Luckily, even though our home was built in the late 80's, we have solid plywood floors. I think it's 5/8th", but haven't done any drilling through to check. It doesn't sag and it's very solid, I am glad about this because it was a popular trend at the time to put in particle board, which is horrible.
All of the small yellow spongy looking spots represent a staple for the pad, they went really overboard.
After everything was removed, we put down 15lb asphalt paper (for roofing) to provide a moisture barrier and to improve the insulation, even if only slightly. I used my staple gun to attach the pieces that I rolled out and cut with about a 6" overlap.
Next we put in the floor, some sites and how-to books say to use a flooring stapler, but those are expensive (even to rent) and so big that you can only use them on about half the job, since they don't fit in the small spaces. The device itself is about 12x12 total with a mallet activated button on the top which you have to hit to drive the staples. After reading up on it, I decided that a simple finishing nailer would be better for me, it fits into fairly tight spaces if you get creative, and with three or four nails per board, I haven't noticed any signs of looseness.
The first room I finished was Coughlin's, he stayed in our guest bedroom for a couple weeks while we finished his room up.
Here is his finished room looking in the door (you can see Kitty Cow enjoying the new floors).
This is the closet side of the room finished.
And this is the other side of his room.
The next room to work on was the hallway, since all three rooms and the hall will be connecting, I have to go from one job to the next, maintaining contact the whole time. Even if I measured out the spaces perfectly in advance, there would be no way to get the wood to match up as nicely as I have by going from one room to the next without breaking the connection.
The hallway required a lot of small detail work, so it took just about the same amount of time as Coughlin's bedroom. I had to remove the trim on our three bedroom doors, one bathroom door and had to take out entirely the door for the hallway linen closet.
This picture shows one of the heavily detail oriented corners of the hallway, the door to Coughlin's room and the bathroom being just a few inches apart. I had to trim the flooring and the door trim very carefully. You can see the very small gap between the door-frames and the floor where you can see a bit of black tar paper. Those gaps look big in this zoomed in picture, but from a stand in normal light you can't see them at all.
The small 1" trim pieces that go in the corner were pretty beat up, but they are hardly noticeable with normal lighting so I decided to keep them anyway, it was easier than finding and cutting new trim, especially since it wouldn't match.
Here is the view looking into our bedroom. You can see our nasty old carpet with the exposed pad below. It will be coming out soon as part of this project, so we didn't put any effort into making it look nice for the time being.
On the left you can see the edge going into the bathroom. I had to make careful measurements and cuts to get all the pieces to line up perfectly. I will probably get a small wood reducer strip to cover the threshold there, so the wood must be perfectly flush.
This is the view into Coughlin's room from our room. You can see the hallway closet to the left of Coughlin's door.
Here is the view from the living room into the hallway. We still have to work on the guest bedroom on the left.
I turned the last piece sideways so that the floor was held in tighter and it gives me a dividing point where I can change to a different color, stain, size or grain in the living room, since I don't have enough of this birch to do more than our three bedrooms and the hallway.
Hopefully I can find a deal as good as this for the rest of the house so I can do the living room and family room for a low cost.