Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Living room hardwood floor finished!

Finally, we have finished the living room floor! We've been waiting for this since we moved in, basically, and things kept getting in the way of working on it, and then when we finally did get to it, it took much longer than I had anticipated.

A bit of background for those that don't know: the majority of our house had hardwood originally, and I refinished it all before we moved in. This room, however, was originally the garage, and so didn't have any hardwood, because carpet was installed when it was converted. Since we were restoring the wood floors in the rest of the house, it made sense to install hardwood in this room as well.

We waited a long time to start, because once it started raining in the fall, we discovered that the roof had leaks in that room. I went up on the roof on several different occasions squirting roof goop in various places hoping to stop the leak - there wasn't anything hugely obvious, instead, there were many small things that could have been contributing. Once we felt that the leaks were taken care of, we finally started working on the room.

A before picture from May 2016 when we bought the house. There was laminate in the dining room and kitchen, and terrible
carpet in the rest of the house. This was before we knew about the hardwood underneath everything (except for this room).
Lauren observing some of the beginning stages. The row of new looking plywood was new because what was there was actually
T1-11 siding, which in addition to being too thin, i.e. not the right height, is not nearly stiff enough to be used in a floor. The blokes
who did the floor in this room were clearly not professionals.
Lauren showing her Bow Bow what Dada is doing.
Viewing the room through a cardboard tube. At this point the cardboard boxes have ceased to act as an effective barrier for Lauren.
Before we started laying the floor, we had to blow cellulose insulation into this exterior wall, as there was none.
It made sense to do this before we had a nice new floor to potentially mess up.
Watching Dad and Josh (a friend from church) blow in the insulation - very dusty work.
Adding blocks to screw the hole plugs to in order to patch it all up.
Mudding. It's a sturdy woodstove.
After finishing the insulation and painting the floor to seal it off from things beneath it, we got started laying the hardwood. I had a friend
(Josh again) help me get started, and am very glad I did, as he and I worked through some previously undiscovered issues with the
peculiar way the floor curves.
This is how much we got done the first day - doesn't look like much, but it took a lot of prep work to get this far.
After renting a nailer for a two-day stretch on a long weekend, I realized that this would take a lot
longer than I expected, and ended up purchasing a refurbished nailer which was about the cost of
3 days of rental. It has since paid for itself.
Lauren using the boxes of hardwood as a stepping stool for looking out the window.
Our newest flooring installer
Getting it lined up just right
Need a longer piece
Things begin to get interesting as I reach the stone work around the woodstove area
First diagonal cut complete. All of the acute angles like this that I couldn't do on the compound miter saw were done freehand on the
table saw. Especially fun when two different angles land on the same piece due to a change in the direction of the border boards.
Looking good, Dad!
Progress shot
Lauren hanging out with her Mow (pronounced Mau, meaning Meow)

Floor complete!
Putting a couple last coats of paint on the baseboard
Baseboard installed and room cleaned out. Only 10 months after we bought the house... :P
Though it's not perfect, I'm really happy with how this part turned out. I plan on filling the gap between the wood and the stone with
some mortar that matches the stonework mortar. Note: the baseboard on the right side looks bad because it's not actually installed yet.

All in all, we're really happy to have it finally done, and glad that we will at last be able to unpack our books and set up our living room in a more usable manner. Many thanks to all the helpers - Josh, Ali, and Lauren :)


  1. Glad you finally got it done. I love the pictures of Lauren helping out!

  2. That looks super nice! Can't wait to see it!

  3. That looks amazing, well done!

  4. Such adorable pictures of Lauren! And great work!

  5. Loved seeing Lauren helping, such a sweetie. Ali, I'm sure you did your share of support work as usual, wonderful job. Jonathan, Wow, such a great job, and with so many 'extra surprises' along the way. [ Usually that is the case in an older home]! Dad and I are proud of your skills, good thing you don't have to do this every day.

  6. Impressive work, particularly that stuff around the stove.