Flooring: Step by Step Photos in Guest Bedroom #1

After John finished the flooring in the master bedroom, he started in one of the guest bedrooms. This south-facing room will be used as an art studio.

Some of you will remember this photo that I took after we purchased the house over three years ago. I stood in the same spot when I took both photos. To the right is the entrance to the original master bedroom. Straight ahead is a second bedroom, to the left is the entrance to a third bedroom and hall linen closet; all three entrances are barricaded with stacked books.

Bill, the previous owner, stacked the books as a security feature to prevent anyone from making an attempt to peer in rooms which were filled from floor to ceiling. He was extremely orderly and would have known if one booby trap book was suddenly out of place. Regardless of the fact that he never allowed anyone in the house, this was his way of protecting his “things.” The room was stuffed with books, a few fulls sets of encyclopedias, miscellaneous electronics and the illusive stamp collection. Voids did not exist in this room!

I asked Bill, “Did you read these books.” He said, “No, I haven’t read any of them.”

Recently, someone asked me, ” Was there anything of value found in the hoard.” I said, “No.” Since then, John reminded me that there was a stamp collection buried in this room. When John was cleaning the hoard out with Bill, he was wondering why Bill was flipping the pages of every single book. I would stop by with coffee and stand in the room where we could see our breath in the air and I would curiously watch Bill pick up one book after another. He’d flip through all the pages and form yet another stack. John would be chomping at the bit to remove them in bulk but Bill wouldn’t allow it. If John had is way, he could have emptied the entire room/hoard in three hours. Instead, it took a full month to to pick through everything with Bill. 

John found out after the fact that there was something of value–Bill thought he had placed the appraised stamps in a variety of books. He eventually found them in a box and showed them to John. 

This pink-carpeted bedroom was a like a time capsule. Bill had a lounge chair facing the west window which was literally the only window in the house that wasn’t fully obstructed. At one point in time, before Bill pushed himself out of the room and permanently barricaded the entrance with books, he would sit in the sunshine streaming through the window. 

Fast forward to now…

Next: A Visit to Andy Wyeth’s art studio in Chadds Ford, PA

 

 

 

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