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Thread: Layin' 'em down

  1. #1
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    Default Layin' 'em down

    The demolition is done, now the new stuff goes in. I figured this would be a good way to keep myself out of trouble while my wife's in Kathmandu (really). It's the last room on the main floor without wood floors; I did the others a few years ago. Very old-school - 1-1/2" oak boards and oodles of nails.

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    I love the look of narrow planks, but the installation seems like it takes for ever. Is that a tar paper underlay? Is that raw wood or prefinished

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    I’ve done both entry ways into the house, about 50 sq feet total. Your a better man than me doing a whole level.
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Yes, light roofing paper over plywood, raw wood. You can see what it looks like finished through the door. Installation's not too bad; at least I don't have to worry about a schedule or making money. One benefit of the narrow planks is that the thing is very stable, even with the enormous changes in humidity here between summer and winter.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 03-07-2018 at 10:59 PM.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Should have just run it right on top of the old shag carpet.

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    I mean, if it's good enough for bathroom tile...

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Looking at putting wood floor in the A frame.

    Looks good, Keith.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    Should have just run it right on top of the old shag carpet.
    I still find it hard to believe anyone would be enough of an idiot to do that, but the curve goes out a looong way in both directions. The carpet was a little too new for shag, I think, thank the gods. It was nondescript tan carpet probably 25 years old, but the underlayment was particleboard - to be fair, a little better than average and stamped 'certified for use as underlayment'. But using something for underlayment under carpet that disintegrates if it ever gets wet???
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    K K K K K K Kathmandu? That's really really where she's going to? . (If I ever get out of here...)

    I've lost count of the number of hardwood floors like that I've laid - 3 rooms in this present house alone, and at least that many in prior houses. It does indeed make such a huge difference. And I completely agree with doing it when you are the only occupant in the house, for all kinds of obvious reasons.

    On my phone I can't see if that is the prefinished stuff or if you have a date with a sander and poly mop coming up. I much prefer the look of floors finished in place, without all those little arrises chopping up the floor... but there is much to be said for being done when you put away the nailer. It is getting tough to even find the unfinished flooring round here...
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    I've got a pneumatic nailer just like that. I covered over 1100 sq ft of my main floor using that thing. Back in the day, I used the non-pneumatic version. Wow, you really had to swing that hammer to get the job done. Hard, hard work, bending over that thing all day.
    Decades ago, while renovating a house (1960's vintage) in a large development where the houses were built fast and cheap, I had to tear up the old oak hardwood floor. The contractor was so cheap that the floor was only nailed every fourth row! How that floor stayed down all those years is a mystery.
    Will you be sanding the floor yourself? Those sanding machines are wicked devils!
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    1 1/2” wide hardwood would be very unusual around here. Most is 2 1/4” or 3 1/4”. I do like the look of it though.

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    1 1/2” wide hardwood would be very unusual around here.
    Here too. Old houses use 1-1/2", and it's mainly manufactured for repair jobs. It was hard to find; I had to special order the big lot for the rest of the house. It's also a bit more expensive, since the runs are small and there are more edges to machine per square foot. But She Who Must Be Obeyed wanted 1-1/2", and now that it's in I think she was right.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    I've got a pneumatic nailer just like that. I covered over 1100 sq ft of my main floor using that thing. Back in the day, I used the non-pneumatic version. Wow, you really had to swing that hammer to get the job done. Hard, hard work, bending over that thing all day.

    Decades ago, while renovating a house (1960's vintage) in a large development where the houses were built fast and cheap, I had to tear up the old oak hardwood floor. The contractor was so cheap that the floor was only nailed every fourth row! How that floor stayed down all those years is a mystery.

    Will you be sanding the floor yourself? Those sanding machines are wicked devils!
    I love that nailer; it makes it almost pleasant. The non-pneumatic version sounds like WAY harder work than I want to do at my age, or even 20 years ago. And how they did it 100 years ago doesn't bear thinking about. I nail about every 8" along every board, barbed cleats.. Probably excessive, but that floor ain't goin' nowhere, nor will it squeak.

    I actually bought an ex-rental sander from Home Depot, that thing with four big random-orbit disks. It's a little slower than the drum kind, and I don't know how it would work for stipping floors, but for new work it's wonderful. You pretty much can't damage the floor, probably not even if you try. You can let the damn thing go, and it just wiggles and keeps sanding. I'm going to have to get my son to help schlep it up from the basement, though; it's seriously heavy.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 03-08-2018 at 09:00 AM.
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Very nice looking floors. I've had hardwood, both new that I have installed and old that I have refinished. I do love them, but this house will be getting 100% vinyl plank floors when I get to that stage.
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    I still find it hard to believe anyone would be enough of an idiot to do that, but the curve goes out a looong way in both directions. The carpet was a little too new for shag, I think, thank the gods. It was nondescript tan carpet probably 25 years old, but the underlayment was particleboard - to be fair, a little better than average and stamped 'certified for use as underlayment'. But using something for underlayment under carpet that disintegrates if it ever gets wet???
    The house the kids rented had the bathroom floor levelled under the tiles with plasterboard..
    I used this
    T & G Flooring Grade Chipboard or P5 is a moisture resistant structural grade flooring grade board. It is used generally in flooring applications as the construction of the board adds strength when boards are slotted together and screwed or nailed down to floor joists.
    to replace the cupped T&G softwood floor in the bathroom remodel.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    That's quite a job, Keith - and I'll be they're going to look great. I've done vinyl plank, but never hardwood. (We found old oak under the carpet when we bought the house, but we moved out for a week and had a professional refinish them, and I'm quite happy we did!)

    What are you doing about it?




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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    K K K K K K Kathmandu? That's really really where she's going to? . (If I ever get out of here...)

    On my phone I can't see if that is the prefinished stuff or if you have a date with a sander and poly mop coming up. I much prefer the look of floors finished in place, without all those little arrises chopping up the floor... but there is much to be said for being done when you put away the nailer..
    I think she may be back in India now, but yes, she was indeed in Kathmandu and Chitwan National Park. I should sing her the song when she gets back. The floor's raw wood; I also think they look MUCH better finished in place, although it's obviously more work, and the durability of anything I can put on is probably not as good as what they can do in a factory.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 03-08-2018 at 09:57 AM.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    looks good. i hope you have some comfy knee pads!

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanMc View Post
    I hope you have some comfy knee pads!
    I do, but I'm definitely getting too old for that sh!t. When I was done pulling everything out on Sunday, it was all too obvious that I wasn't 20 anymore, or even 40. Fortunately, laying the floor can be mostly done standing.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Proper job Keith!

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Nice!
    David G
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    I do, but I'm definitely getting too old for that sh!t. When I was done pulling everything out on Sunday, it was all too obvious that I wasn't 20 anymore, or even 40. Fortunately, laying the floor can be mostly done standing.


    you can work all that while standing? that's a huge bonus if you can. the last time i laid real hardwoods (or any floor really) i was all hands and knees

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    A lot of bending, but not hands and knees; knock the boards into place with the hammer, then nail. That air nailer is a great tool.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Check with Pless and see what he used for his bathroom remodel. LOL.
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerarddm View Post
    Check with Pless and see what he used for his bathroom remodel. LOL.

    a recliner?

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    K K K K K K Kathmandu? That's really really where she's going to? . (If I ever get out of here...)
    i was humming that song too while reading the thread. so glad to see people working with wood here.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Last new floor I put in was cork, which is as easy as it gets. The kitchen lino could use a redo.
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerarddm View Post
    Check with Pless and see what he used for his bathroom remodel. LOL.
    Did he lay down tile over shag carpet?

    Seriously, though, I'm very pleased that the floor discussion hasn't turned into a wooden purity contest. Aside from the Chilean ABX plywood underlayment, there's nothing I'm putting in that would have surprised anyone in 1900. The air nailers and big power sanders are easier, but they have no effect on the product. Well, the finish is different, but it doesn't look any different (and it smells a lot better during application). But if somebody prefers prefinished wood, or prefinished 'engineered' flooring (glorified plywood) , or even vinyl - that's just fine by me. Whatever floats your boat.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 03-08-2018 at 02:25 PM.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Did he lay down tile over shag carpet?

    Seriously, though, I'm very pleased that the floor discussion hasn't turned into a wooden purity contest. Aside from the Chilean ABX plywood underlayment, there's nothing I'm putting in that would have surprised anyone in 1900. The air nailers and big power sanders are easier, but they have no effect on the product. Well, the finish is different, but it doesn't look any different (and it smells a lot better during application). But if somebody prefers prefinished wood, or prefinished 'engineered' flooring (glorified plywood) , or even vinyl - that's just fine by me. Whatever floats your boat.


    i'll tell you what... i went into a friend's house while he was laying down some newer vinyl that was textured and colored to look like slate. it was pretty nice. i even took my shoes and socks off to walk on it to get the feel. it didn't "feel cheap" at all. if anything, since it will contour to fit uneven old floors, it felt MORE solid than most of the engineered wood floors.

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Not that long ago I laid 3500sq ft of 3 1/4 red oak. My brother placed it and I nailed it using the old style nailer. Those old time bastards say that a non air assist nailer was better because it drove the planks together better then just sort of nailing them in place which the air nailer does. I'm not sure whether that is true or not. It's a lot of work but since my brother was 15 years older then I, it seemed like the right thing to do, him placing, not nailing.

    I have a few hundred feet of 1 1/2 red oak I've been using for years to finish up near the wall, saves ripping the planks. All of this is bound with metal straps which I have not seen on any of the flooring I've installed, must have been left over from the 60's.

    I nail every 8"s, one in the beam and one between using 2" nails. I can't imagine how many swings of that hammer for 3500sq ft of 1 1/2.

    Funny story, when I was a kid my dad hired an old guy to lay a couple thousand sq ft of flooring in a house and he didn't uses a nailer, all hand nailed. Even back then we had hardened spiral nails. Dad told me to go get that old keg of cut nails down in the storage building. Showed up at the job and carried that 100lb keg of cut nails in and dropped them down on the floor. The old guy looked at them and spit some tobacco juice on the floor and filled his apron.

    He used a 24oz hammer, drove the cut nails and used the next nail to set the first, turning the nail 90 degrees so he just used the head to set it. I don't know how many nails he drove but it wasn't un heard of to lay three, four courses before nailing.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    I can't imagine how many swings of that hammer for 3500 sq ft of 1 1/2.
    That's the sort of challenge an engineer can't resist. 1-1/2" boards and nails on 8" centers give you an average of 16 nails per sq ft, or 56,000 in 3500 sq feet. Seems about right; I think I used twelve boxes of 1000 for the rest of the main level. I really can't imagine nailing all that by hand; the non-pneumatic nailer is bad enough.

    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 03-08-2018 at 04:07 PM.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    I’ve actually put hardwood over low knap indoor/outdoor carpet—but I put 3/8 plywood down on the carpet first with polyurethane construction adhesive and then poly glued and nailed the flooring over that. It sanded and finished just fine, and it looked great for the 13 years I owned the house. I imagine it’s still just fine.

    The carpet was that industrial rubber backed stuff that was glued on a cement slab, and there was no way I was going to use one of those vibrating scrapers to get it off...as it never comes off clean and it’s a giant PITA.

    I’ve never regretted doing it—the hardwood floor was a major selling point when I sold, and it still looked brand new after 13 years.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Quote Originally Posted by leikec View Post
    The carpet was that industrial rubber backed stuff that was glued on a cement slab . . .
    Eeeeew. I'd probably have done the same. A subset of Murphy's Law is that what you want to take apart holds on like grim death, and what you want to hold together falls apart on its own.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Eeeeew. I'd probably have done the same. A subset of Murphy's Law is that what you want to take apart holds on like grim death, and what you want to hold together falls apart on its own.
    Exactly...it’s a horrible job to get that stuff off.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    There are some jobs that I've dated and signed my name before covering it up, that job above I would have written "I'm sorry"

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Layin' 'em down

    I always do that, ever since I was removing many layers of ancient wallpaper and found on the plaster underneath (which had never been painted) "Norman Clark 12-3-14". I don't know who he was, but he did a nice job with the plaster.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

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