We’ve Been Waiting For This!

Now that most of the flooring is finished, John installed a few interior doors yesterday.

Since this is not a one person job I helped with the initial installation. At one point I thought I’d rather have a root canal than install doors–it is not easy.

We chose to do the smallest bedroom first.

  1. Nail hinged side of door to framing.
  2. Use shims as necessary to make sure the door frame is plumb.
  3. Make sure hinged side is close to plumb.

Here is the 1/8th-inch gap between the jamb and door on inside.

John added shims to the top to make sure it was plumb.

At this point, it’s a matter of adjusting the shims until it’s almost perfect (it’s never completely perfect, and of course, can be frustrating). 

John used a Porter Cable finish nailer with 2 1/2″ finish nails (click here).

Next: Cut shims off with a utility knife. John’s favorite is Walboard which is NOT retractable (click here). He likes this type because the blade is longer than retractable knives. 

We’re sort of at the final stretch, so I’m not going to be picky about which door handle style I choose for a dozen doors. At this point I just want it finished.

Due to budget, we chose in stock doors at Home Depot. It’s not like someone is going to walk in the house and open a door and say to themselves, “This isn’t a solid wood door.”

I remember in our previous house we only had to order two interior doors so we splurged on custom solid wood doors. At the time, we didn’t know to store them vertically. We stored them horizontally on the floor for about three months and they warped.

Installed and ready to be painted!

The Smallest Bedroom Will Be A Home Office

If you look to the right in the following photo, the framed out square on the upper level is in the smallest bedroom–it was an attic crawl space entrance.

The gutted 3 bedrooms, hall bath and hallway.

Standing in the 10’6″ x 8’9″ bedroom, the crawlspace entrance was above the left outlet. This is a cozy room and will be used as a home office.

The next project will be hanging doors in all the bedrooms and closets.

Baseboard will be added in each room too.

All walls are primed and ready for painting.

John will build a desk the length of the south wall with book shelves on the east wall.

With this style flooring there are about a dozen patterns that should be kept in the same course. By doing this, it appears as though each course is one continual 12′ or 16′ board. This takes extra time but worth it.

Lastly, John is now working in the hallway where the 3 original bedrooms, linen closet and hall bath all meet.

The top of the stairs in the hallway required prep work. John secured the 1×4 T&G sub floor with 2″ screws, where it meets the bullnose.

The hallway includes a small foyer that leads to the hall bath and the original attic staircase, which is now the staircase to the new master bedroom addition. The sub floor had a hole in it so John repaired it with scrap 3/4 wood.

 

Our Strong & Silent Floating Floors

We woke up to about 3 inches of snow this morning. According to the weather report, we could get up to 6 inches in our region. This is a great day for John to continue installing the floating floor in the house; he is now working in the third bedroom.

I want to begin this post by answering the following questions that Jeff, a blog follower, asked me:

Sue, I have a question. Since you’re installing this as a floating floor, have you noticed it being noisy at all when you walk on it? Squeaky or creaky? Does it feel funny to step/walk on?

My biggest fear is if I get a floor like this it will be noisy and/or feel funny. I’ve seen other floors that did both but I don’t know if it was the product or the installation.

But it sure does look awesome-congrats on the deal!

First of all, as with any project, preparation is paramount. If you’re going to install the floor yourself, start with setting all nails. Whether it’s a 1×4 tongue and groove sub floor or standard OSB board, setting nails prevents sub floor movement+noise. Our sub floor is 63 years old and the OSB in the new addition (master bedroom) is new.

Set the nails so that they are just below the surface of the sub floor. By doing this, it prevents the underlayment/pad and flooring from see-sawing.

After hammering, ensure the sub floor is smooth and on the same plane. Take the head of the hammer and run it over all the nail heads. If a nail head is still protruding, it will hit the head of the hammer. Get a nail set and set it/fix it. These are easy-breezy, simple steps but if they’re not done, it might result in a noisy floor.

Don’t forget to protect your eyes and ears and buy a quality pair of knee pads.

The engineered wood that we purchased is 1/2-inch in thickness and substantial. It is a higher-end product that happened to be on clearance. The thickness has a huge bearing on unwanted floor movement. When purchasing engineered wood, look at all options and samples. Right now Floor & Decor has some of their engineered wood on clearance. We were in the store a few days ago and I saw another pallet on clearance; it was a steal! The manager said that wood flooring will be on sale in February.

Occasionally, when John is working on the 1954 sub floor, there is a peak or valley that is 1/16th or 1/8th-inch gap. He will place a shim between the sub floor and the flooring. This will negate a low point in the floor which would have caused unwanted movement, creaking, noise, etc. The shim brings the low point of the floor to the proper height of the rest of the floor.

So to answer Jeff’s question about whether our floor(s) is noisy, the answer is a resounding NO. The floor is rock solid and does NOT move. It feels like a solid oak floor with a lively bounce…no creaks, no noise! This is due to the high quality underlayment, and of course, installation.

Inexpensive underlayment might not produce the same results.

However, there are pros and cons to everything. There is one thing to consider with this flooring–it is slippery compared to a 3/4″ solid wood floor which has more bite. Solid wood flooring is more expensive, requires nailing each board and is more time consuming to install. If it’s unfinished, you have to finish it, or more than likely, hire a floor finisher so it’s done properly.

Since we waited a long time for the flooring, I only walk on them with slippers, soft sole shoes or boots. I take off hard-sole shoes at the door.

Moving east in the Master Bedroom…

The master bedroom floor was finished in a matter of three days, including walk-in closet and hallway (one-man job).

Because each engineered board clicks and locks together, John said that it has the rigidity of a solid wood floor (if properly installed).

With this said, if I had a tree in my backyard that grew an endless supply of pretty green pieces of paper with Ben Franklin featured on each one, I would order my ultimate dream hardwood flooring from Carlisle Flooring in New Hampshire. Their drool-worthy, wide plank flooring is gorgeous.

Our floating floor(s) is a great compromise and we’re STILL ecstatic about finally having actual floors. (Thank you, Drugstore Cowboy!)