DIY Weekend: Hardwood Flooring

Not too long after we moved into our house, Angela and I tore out the old car­pet in the sun­room and laid car­pet tiles. We were actu­al­ly very pleased with them; they’re good qual­i­ty car­pet and did­n’t wear out. How­ev­er, after get­ting a sec­ond pup­py who had a large yet weak blad­der (Mag­gie…), Angela quick­ly got tired of hav­ing to try and clean out the stains. She had want­ed hard­wood floor­ing in that room for some­time and last Sat­ur­day, my friend John­ny stopped by. We got to talk­ing and decid­ed that the next week­end (the past two days, that is) would be a good time for both of us to do just that. In order to max­i­mize our time, we went to the big-box hard­ware store to find some mate­ri­als.

We hap­pened to find some bam­boo hard­wood floor­ing. It was at a real­ly cheap price – rough­ly one third of typ­i­cal 5/8″ hard­wood – so we got five 24 ft2 pack­ets. Anoth­er great thing about bam­boo is that it’s fast growth mate­r­i­al, which is great for the envi­ron­ment (and also the wal­let).

Beginning New Floor

The bam­boo floor­ing over a 30lbs. roof­ing paper as a mois­ture bar­ri­er.

We got start­ed yes­ter­day morn­ing after help­ing John­ny bring over some of his tools: a miter saw, table saw (which we did­n’t need), air com­pres­sor, and nail gun (which we could­n’t have done with­out). We laid down some build­ing paper which prob­a­bly was­n’t nec­es­sary but i sup­posed to help with pre­vent­ing squeaks. We snapped out begin­ning line and then spent the next two hours get­ting the first two boards around the radi­a­tor laid. The rest of the room went much faster, though. We tried to spend some time get­ting the edges right and we cut off some of the old­er mold­ing such that it would set on top of the wood floor­ing, which looks much clean­er. We fin­ished up last night with all but three boards laid.

This after­noon, we went to the big-box hard­ware store once again to get some addi­tion­al floor edge mold­ing to go around the room. We used a 5″ edge mold­ing with a piece of quar­ter-round at the toe, sim­i­lar to what occurs through­out our house. It’s an edge fin­ish detail that is very for­giv­ing for un-even walls, which also occur in spades through­out this house. It also looks quite fan­cy and we end­ed up with real­ly nice fin­ish. That took about four more hours this after­noon and the fin­ished prod­uct is some­thing that we’re all real­ly pleased with.

Finished Product

The fin­ished prod­uct, except for now the room looks like it needs a fresh coat of paint even more than it did before.