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!)

 

 

 

 

Installing a Floating Floor in the Master Bedroom

In October, we went to our local Floor & Decor store to look for flooring. In a matter of minutes we saw a pallet of flooring on clearance. It was exactly what we were looking to buy, and lucky for us, it was substantially marked down. We asked the salesperson if the clearance price could be marked down further if we bought the whole pallet.

The manager marked it down to only a $1.00 per sq ft for 1100 square feet of flooring.

Considering we have to install flooring in the entire house which is just under 3000 square feet, we were pleased as punch with this purchase. What a deal!

Additionally, we bought two rolls of eco-ultra quiet, acoustical, heavy weight, high density underlayment which is a little pricey but absolutely necessary for installing floating floors. Each 450 sq ft roll is just under $300.00. 

With this amount of flooring, we planned to install it in the new master bedroom and original three bedrooms.

With outdoor projects going on in October and November, we planned to install the flooring once it got cold outside. So just before Christmas, John rolled out the underlayment and installed the flooring in the master bedroom’s walk-in closet first (to the right in above photo).

John has installed traditional 3/4 hardwood flooring in the past which requires nailing. This was the first time installing engineered flooring, so he decided it would be best to start in the walk-in closet.

However, he watched a couple YouTube videos first. 

John was amazed at how quickly he covered the sub floor with 6 1/2″ wide plank boards. Since there isn’t nailing and it’s simply drop and lock, anybody can tackle this project, especially if you’re doing it with another person.

The key is is to start the flooring on the longest wall. The only cutting required is the last board in the course. Occasionally, in order to align seams  properly, two cuts might be required. Seams should normally be no closer than 12 inches.

Each box has six planks (each plank is 48″ L).

John spent a little extra time matching the grain board to board.

In this photo, the grain is lined up perfectly.

A small rubber mallet and a Universal Tapping Block  is recommended to lock the boards together.

Other tools required:

-Mitre Saw or Circular Saw

-Speed Square

-Jigsaw

-Measuring Tape

-Shims

NEXT: Finishing the flooring in Master Bedroom

 

 

 

 

More Deep Window Sills

Here’s the finished window sill in the home office. The oak wood sill will be added after we paint the room. For photo purposes, we placed a piece of wood on the sill to show depth.

Outside, temporary 2x4s are holding up the barrel front porch, which will be a spring project along with a slew of other outdoor projects (finishing the Hardie siding on the front of the house and above the box bay window, gutters, patio, front stoop and walkway, etc).

The window faces south. (A closet is to the right.)

We had snow a couple of days ago. It went from 60 degrees overnight to frigid temperatures and about 2 to 3″ of snow in our area.

Winter skies are very dramatic, aren’t they?

It’s necessary for Kiwi to wear a coat outside (pugs get cold easily). The one he’s wearing fits snuggly due to the Velcro on both straps (one in front of his chest and the other around his girth).

It’s a Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Jacket that was sent to me for review. He’s wearing a size medium which is for dogs weighing between 26-40 pounds. Kiwi doesn’t have anxiety but the jacket is comforting for him to wear during the brief times he is alone. I believe that for dogs who may have anxiety issues or separation anxiety, this jacket will help due to its constant gentle  pressure that it provides. The fact that it’s a great fit is a big plus.

After John finished the work on the window in the home office, he started doing the same work on the 3.0 x 4.0 west windows in the new master bedroom. The windows are the same size in all four bedrooms.

The window sills will be about 6 inches deep.

We’ll have recessed wood shutters in each window.

Almost Finished…

By last night, the master bedroom was close to being finished. Today the south wall will be primed followed with the hallway and walk-in closet.

Click here to see addition when it was being framed. 

The east wall…

The north wall. Of course, the leaking French doors have put this wall on hold. We have to remove the doors and install them correctly.

The door manufacturer, Feather River, does not fix the sloppy installation job that the installers did and who were provided by the business owner who framed the addition. And, no, I would never call this individual up to tell him to correct several problems with his work–not worth it.

The west wall…