like talking about it almost brings back all of the pain and aguish?
that's a little bit how i feel about installing hardwood floors!
(i am kinda joking about that, and kinda NOT joking at the same time!)
i also happen to feel that way about moving!
anyway, i just wanted to give y'all a very breief intrciduction to how my husband and i spent about 300 hours of our lives:
i wouldn't use this as a guide on exactly how to install hardwood floors, but it will defeintely give you an idea of what you are getting yourself into if you decide to tackle this yourself!
we stapled down about half of the felt, but ultimately found that NOT stapling it down worked the best to reduce wrinkling and bubbles.
hardwood comes in bundles, like you see here. the woods needs to be acclimated to the space where it will be installed because it is sensitive to moisture levels and temperature and will expand and contract. bringing it inside a few days before it will be laid will allow it to "get used" to the air in your house.
mixing two bundles will ensure an even distribution of lengths, color and grain.
we laid red oak #2, which means that the wood has some "flaws" like wormholes and knots. we actually love the "flaws", and feel like it gives a floor more character. there are also on occasion, boards that cant be used due to missing tongues or grooves, or really large knots and imperfections. we found that, on average, about 10% of the boards were "undesirable" or unusable.
(red oak #1 is a more "even" product--less variation, fewer worm holes and knots. it also costs more that #2.)
a few things to consider:
make sure the joints are not too close together. a good rule is at least 2.5 widths of wood between each seam. this will ensure a stronger floor.
make sure that each plank fits together nicely. sometimes they are milled wrong or are missing a tongue or groove.
we found that the work went faster when the "racker" was 4-8 rows ahead of the "nailer".
at the end of each row, there will almost always need to be a cut made.
for this project, we used a table saw (for long narrow rips along walls), a chop saw (for end cuts), and a jig saw (for cuts around heat registers and door casings).
and drove them in about every 6". even though the nail gun is pneumatic, it still takes a pretty hefty swing of the mallet to drive the staple in! translation: it is hard work and will make you sweat a lot.
the staple should fit nicely, right at the top of the tongue. see how you can barely see the staple? that's what you want!
if that is the case, it must be removed with with a hammer and chisel, and the entire area cleaned of wood chips and debris.
loads of fun.
(can you hear the sarcasm dripping off that comment? i hope so. that part was the WORST.)
once you get close to a wall, the staple gun cant be used becuase there is not enough room to swing the hammer. a nail gun must be used instead.
of course, laying the wood is just the beginning of the process...
have a great thursday everyone!