Monday, December 17, 2007


...can be fun, I guess, maybe if you know what you are doing. For some reason, well I guess there was a reason, I decided to rip out the old oak floor in my son's room to be, and put in a new one. I was going to refinish the old one, but some of the floor boards near the radiator were very stained (as in black instead of a nice medium stained oak), and some of it seemed rotten where the boards joined one another. Of course I had already rented a floor sander, and bought all the refinishing needs before I decided to go and look at flooring costs. When I saw the price of Bruce (brand name) 3/4" thick solid oak, with laminated finish already applied, I almost said whoopee. It was only $2.99 a square foot.

I went home with the sander in the trunk, but I told the wife about the cost of the new wood. Cost to refinish the old wood floor would have been about: $225; cost to put in a whole new wood floor, about $415 to $475. I went back ton the store, this time with Brendan in tow as helper, and dropped off the sander. I got a refund (actually cancellation of the charge for it which Brendan handled); and I bought 160 square feet of the Bruce floor boards. I actually only need about 120 square feet of it, but the extra is good to have in case of bad cuts by me, or imperfect boards in some of the boxes. What I do not use gets returned, and refunded. I will measure three times, so as to only have to cut once for each piece. Yes I know the saying is "Measure Twice, Cut Once", but I can be a spaz when it comes to things like manual labor.

I have already torn out the old floor; did that this morning into this afternoon. Now for a good clean up of the old building cloth (which was under the boards) and dust and nails (which are now all over the room) and old wood (which needs to be cut and tied into bundles for the trash). Then I'll nail down the subfloor where it creaks or has come a bit loose over the years; and after that I'll put down new Asphalt/Felt Building Cloth over the sub floor. Tomorrow, after the new floorboards have acclimated to the temperature and humidity in my house, I'll start to put in the floor boards. I imagine this would be easier with a nail gun, but alas I am old fashioned and I will use a regular hammer and casing (finishing) nails, and I will pre-drill mail holes into the oak. (Yes I have some experience nailing down oak floorboards, only on a small landing before, but I do know oak does crack easily if the nails are not dulled, or nail holes are not pre-driled, and pre-drilling is better). This maybe a few more hours of work for me, but I kind of like doing it this way. Hopefully I will not regret it it because I smash my thumb once or thrice.

Now getting back to one of my earlier points - there must have been some reason as to why I decided to do this spending more money and effort to lay a new floor instead of refinishing the old. Oh yeah, I thought some of the floor boards had rotted. Well guess what, they were only badly discolored, and somewhat separated from the adjoining ones, but not rotted. I am pretty certain though they were well on their way to rotting. I think the black stains were from cat pee, from the previous owner's cats many years ago. More money, more work, but at least now the floor will look really nice - and hopefully not squeak any more.

All the best,
Glenn B