Hardwood Floor Install – Hallway

It is now Tuesday, and I still cannot move from our Hardwood Floor install on Sunday. BRUTAL! But let’s start at the beginning of this weekend to recap.

Friday, Collin was off, so he worked on Drywall, patching and sanding. When I got home Friday afternoon, we headed to Wood Floors Plus to pick up some wood floors. We originally planned on buying Unfinished hardwoods that we would stain and seal ourselves to same some money. Honestly, at this point, I’m getting tired of every project taking a week or more, so we made a last minute decision to just purchased the pre-finished hardwood floors. It was a little more money per square foot, but the Pro’s out weighed the Con’s, especially considering this is the hallway that goes from our bedroom to the bathroom, making it difficult not to walk on for a week.

We purchased 100 Square Feet of the hardwoods, loaded the car and headed home. The floors had to acclimate to our houses humidity for the next few days, so we loaded them in to the living room and went out to dinner and drinks.

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(The floors – Very Busy Acclimating)

Saturday I was supposed to do some work on sanding and prepping while Collin was at actual work all day, but instead Anastasia invited me to brunch, and brunch always wins. I should make a tee-shirt: “BRUNCH ALWAYS WINS”. So, Saturday was a total flop house-wise, but whatever…

Sunday was a new day and we had big plans! We got up early, hit up Home Depot for supplies and the flooring nailer rental. When we got home, we realized there was a little more prep and clean-up to do before we started the install.

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Here is a list of Supplies:

  • Pneumatic Floor Nailer and Mallet (rented)
  • Nail Gun
  • Rosin Paper
  • Hammer
  • Stapler
  • Nail Set
  • Wood Putty (Matched to Floor Color)
  • Saw (used both a compound saw and a jigsaw)

After the floors were cleaned and ready, we used the stapler to staple down the Rosin paper. The Rosin paper acts as a vapor barrier. We stapled that edge to edge down the hallway.

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Next we marked 1/4″ off the wall with a chalk line. This will be our starting line. We laid the first row down the starting line and nailed in with a nail gun. As Collin nailed, I followed behind to set the nails a little deeper and patch with putty.

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You need to leave the gap so that the floors have room to expand and contract and not warp. Do not install the floors up against the wall! The gap will be covered with the baseboard moldings.

The second row also needs to be nailed in, since the floor nailer won’t fit yet:

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After the second row, you can start to use the flooring nailer. Basically, it just bumps up against the board, and you hit it with the mallet. That sends the staple in to the boards securing them to the subfloor:

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We had to cut out around the air vents in the hallway and in to the guest bedroom:

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Progress:

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All done!

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Honestly, this project is not difficult, but it is physically demanding. I was sore for 2 days (so far) from the constant squatting, bending over and trying to get the wood planks nice and snug. Also, it took us a lot longer than expected – around 7 hours for the 100 Square Feet. But it was one of the most instantly gratifying project to date! The floors look and feel amazing! Even though we are exhausted, we are really excited to keep installing the 2 guest rooms over then next couple of weeks!

Monday night, I spent the evening covering the floors with drop clothes to protect them from the final drywall sanding and painting planned for this week. I’m hoping to be able to finish priming and painting this week, although that might be a bit optimistic.

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