That Was Hard(wood)

It took more muscle and time than we hoped, but we’ve successfully pulled up the tile floor, cement board, subfloor and installed the new hardwood.  The rebuilding has officially started.  Ben tore out the tile on Monday night, which left us with a lovely kitchenette.  Simply a stove, microwave, and one cabinet.

He took the week off to work on the kitchen.  Fun vacation, right?  With the tile up, Ben, with a little of my help, painstakingly tore up the cement board.

Seriously, it was a pain.  The screws from the tile backing held like crazy and the nails were abundant.  Luckily, Handy Sammy came to help.

Removing the sub floor took a lot of muscle.  Some areas received too much muscle.  The boards flexed and some broke.  I’m not going to lie, I freaked out a little.

As always though, Ben had a plan.  True to form, things have to get worse before they can get better.  So, Ben started by cutting off the damaged boards, leaving a hole between the joists.

Actually, this happened in four spots.

Did you notice the chaos and mess?  And the fridge placement?  Anyway, back to fixing the gaping holes in our floor.  Ben screwed pieces of two by fours on each side of the hole into the joists first.

Then he covered the holes with pieces of 3/4 inch wood material.

Before we could get started on the floor install, we screwed every board  to the joists, just to prevent any squeaking.  That was a pain in the butt, too.  I’ve never had to use a drill for that long.  Makes me want to invent a cushy drill grip.  After all that screwing (haha), we laid down the rosen paper.

We had to nail one row of the wood perpendicular to the existing dining room hardwood floors.  It would have been way to difficult to line the new floor up with the old floor if we hadn’t done this.  Unfortunately, Ben laid this with the groove against the dining room floor.

Which meant he had to start installing from the stove side.  He had a few wires and the gas line to cut around.  The first few rows are always the most difficult to install, because everything is based off that.

Fortunately, the 5 inch wide planks installed quickly and easily.  While Ben installs the planks, I select which boards will go where.  I have a method to my madness, though.  First, I pick out the pieces of wood I like best.  These will go front and center.  This wood had tons of pieces with large knots, so I made two more piles.  One of the knotty pieces (not to be confused with naughty) and another of clean wood.

We had to remove all the trim that was against the floor, too.  The new floor is 3/4 of an inch lower than the old floor, so we’ll have to lower everything.

Ben borrowed an air nailer from a friend, which made the job quick and easy.

He wanted me to show you how great of a multi-tasker he is.  Here, he’s using both of his hands to nail and his foot to hold the clamp down.  Ooooh, ahhhh.

And here’s the floor we finished as of a few hours ago.

And now for some detailed shots.  The transition between the original flooring in the dining room and the new floor.

Toward the wall, Ben had to face nail because the other nailer can’t get that close to the wall.  That’s okay though, this won’t be seen as the cabinet will cover everything.

The back door landing looks great, too.  We still have to add a piece along the top of the stairs.

Now you’ve seen the most recent progress.  I’m hoping to get at least a sink back some time today or tomorrow.

Have you ever ripped out a beast of a floor?  Put down pretty new hardwoods?  Do you prefer wider planks?