Days of Floor

On Monday, Mark began the monumental task of flooring the main level of the house. The kitchen and dining room already have hardwood in good condition underfoot, so we won’t need to touch those locations. In the living room and hallways, where we recently laid a new plywood subfloor, we clearly need a new finish floor too. Laying that down is our biggest goal this week.

Bob got a sweet deal on distressed-oak tongue-and-groove flooring, with 2-inch width to match the kitchen floor. The bundles are comprised of random lengths (mostly shorter than a foot) and contain “some defects”… which meant, we soon learned, that some pieces might be a little wider or skinnier than the others, or have a tongue on both sides, or one side just flat.

Once we eliminate the unusable pieces, we’re still a bit picky which of the remaining lengths we’ll actually utilize. We like knots and other natural defects that add character, but chamfered edges and broken corners – aspects that LOOK like mistakes – go straight to the burn pile.

The stair landing came out handsomely.

The stair landing came out handsomely.

Mark began with the high-traffic stair landing, using the best pieces and getting his groove established. His next segment, the hallway by the basement stairs, proved much trickier. Obstacles like doorways, wall corners, and a 6×6 timber support post all demanded fancy cuts. Hans and I helped per our availability, sorting bundles into useful/useless pieces and laying out the rows. Our primary tool is a familiar one: the pneumatic flooring stapler.

Mark and Hans at work in the living room. Hans operates the pneumatic flooring stapler.

Mark and Hans at work in the living room. Hans operates the pneumatic flooring stapler.

By now we’ve cleared the complicated areas; our remaining flooring area spans the full width of the room. Meanwhile, I’ve finished wiring the living room ceiling, with its three low-voltage circuits relaying back to the basement stair nook where we’ll house a transformer. More about the ceiling next time.

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