New hardwood flooring...

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Blog entry by woodgizmo posted 09-27-2007 04:17 PM 806 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife and I decided that since we were going to be empty nesters this fall, we would take the opportunity to redo the flooring in the main level of the home. We started the project in the latter part of February finally finishing it up in the late part of May. My wife is a nurse and ended up being called to another facility for several weeks which slowed up our progress considerably.

Originally the living room and dining room were covered in a Berber carpet and the kitchen and foyer were tiled in ceramic. After many hours of chipping, sweeping and swearing we removed all of the old ceramic tile.

A few hundred more hours (or so it seemed) we managed to pull the twelve bazillion staples out that were holding the carpet pad in place. (The old carpeting has found a new home at my older son’s college dwelling, where he and seven roommates now enjoy a beautifully carpeted living room!)

Finally we were able to start the installation of the actual hardwood flooring. Now I’ve done laminate flooring before. We did an area in our game room that took just over a weekend. Let me tell you, 3” strips of hardwood flooring take a bit longer.

After installing about 50 rows, we discovered a flaw in one of the boards we had installed 13 rows earlier. Guess what? The boards are tongue and grooved together, so we had to remove 13 rows to replace that single piece. That set us back almost two days. I’m sure glad we decided to staple the flooring down instead of gluing like we had originally intended.

Several weekends later and several uninstalls and reinstalls and we finally reached the other end of the room. By the way, the main area of our home is 28 by 28. That is a lot of 3” rows!

The original sub flooring in the foyer and kitchen was a bit rough and uneven. I decided to put a 1/4” layer of OSB down to make the installation of the new stick on tiles easier. We got a bit of grief from some folks that hadn’t seen the new tiles right away. They couldn’t understand why we would replace perfectly good ceramic with a “stickie tile” from one of the local BORGs. After nine years of use, we were not happy with the cold hard tile which constantly seemed to be getting chipped or cracked every time you dropped something. Once the folks saw the new flooring, we had a hard time convincing them is wasn’t travertine!

I had a bit of a problem with some of the tiles not sticking well to the new OSB underlayment in the foyer, so when it came time to do the kitchen, we primed the entire floor first. Problem solved!

We found the entire project to be quite rewarding. We’ve received numerous “oohs and ahhs” and the new flooring is holding up really well. Here are a couple of shots to show the final results. Hope you enjoy.

-- Hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all!

7 comments so far

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 3460 days

#1 posted 09-27-2007 05:30 PM

Great job! I did about 1800 feet of 2 1/2” hardwood in our house. The floors grow pretty slowly. You did a great job!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3584 days

#2 posted 09-27-2007 05:56 PM

Really enjoyed the “process” pictures.
Interesting re: the coldness of the tiles. I always wondered about that.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Calgirl's profile


188 posts in 3319 days

#3 posted 09-27-2007 08:37 PM

Wow. What a nice way to change the entire look of your rooms. They are gorgeous! Very nice job.

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3824 days

#4 posted 09-27-2007 10:58 PM

Great installation job. My wife and I now curse every ceramic tile we have in our home (The Knees). I’d go for wood any day.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Drew1House's profile


425 posts in 3511 days

#5 posted 09-27-2007 11:29 PM

I am in the process of installing 600 feet of prefinished maple (5 inch) and about 800 feet of 20 inch tile. What a pain in the but! I hope we get it done within a couple of weeks… I am sick of it already.


-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 3358 days

#6 posted 09-28-2007 02:14 AM

Great pictures and finished result! A big job to tackle, but it looks like it was worth it. What did you learn that would make it easier if you were to do it again?

-- Robb

View woodgizmo's profile


43 posts in 3327 days

#7 posted 09-28-2007 03:36 AM

The biggest thing I learned was to check and recheck for defects because it is a major pain in the arsh to back up and repair. Also, when installing vinyl “stickie” tile, prime the subflooring. It is a night and day difference when in comes to adhesion.

Thanks for looking folks…

-- Hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all!

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