Three inches at a time is a real fun way to cover four hundred square feet of floor space. It makes me understand the appeal for some people of buying a big role of carpet and having some burly dudes from the carpet store install it.
The installation of the floor occurred over some vacation days I took from the day job in April. It used to look kind of like this:
It had a few things going for it, like walls. And a ceiling. And… well, beyond that the future master bedroom needed some help. I painted the walls and created some rustic trim for the window:
The floor installation wasn’t a difficult job so much as it was more time than I’ve spent crawling around on the floor since I was two.
The flooring I used was 3/8″ walnut from Launstein Hardwood Floors. The nailer I had access to only worked for 5/8″ or thicker hardwood, so the installation went something like this.
1.) Lay out pieces. I have an issue if the seams end up too much like a pattern or if the color of boards isn’t consistently mixed across the floor, so this meant opening several packages of wood and mixing up lengths and colors.
2.) Glue. Because this is only 3/8″ a construction adhesive needed to be applied to the back of each board.
3.) Nail. Nails went every 6 inches or so with the small finish nailer. (Those are not my hands by the way, I had help with this project.)
4.) Repeat. FOR.EV.ER
It seemed like a good idea to leave the floor in its unfinished state (with a strip of cardboard to protect the path from bedroom door to bathroom door) while buckets full of concrete were being hauled in for the bathroom counters. Since the floors needed a light sanding anyway, any accidental scratches could be buffed out.
When work picked back up on the floors, it started with a cleaning.
5.) Shopvac. I would guess this is self explanatory.
6.) Sand. This wood comes pre-sanded so it just needs a quick hit with 100 grit sandpaper to get rid of any minor scratches or fingerprints. It would have been easier with a large orbital, but in this case a small one did the trick. At some point you forget what its like to walk upright anyway.
7.) Tack cloth. It doesn’t matter how good you shopvac, there is always more dust to be found with a sticky cloth. I found I trusted the actual sticky cloths better than the washable static kind for this endeavor.
8.) Poly. This might be my most favorite job ever. The transformation in this walnut with just a coat of clear satin poly is absolutely stunning.
Here’s a closer look. I feel like a magician.
9.) More repetition. The floor looks good when the first coat dries, but you can see some places where the wood absorbed the poly better than others. This has to be sanded one more time and then hit with the tack cloth. Again.
10.) Finally, a finished floor.
Its amazing what a little paint and some hardwood will do for a room.
Almost looks livable, doesn’t it? Of course, I’ll be spending a little quality time with a coping saw putting in baseboard before that happy day comes, but it’s close.