hardwood floors

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by woodsmokeinherhair, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

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    OK .... It's looking like I am soon to be at the point where I can do something to my floors. My house was built in the 1970's and has carpet throughout.... probably the original carpet! te he! It is full of sand and dust and I am thinking that I just might like to have hardwood floors. My house does have a crawl space underneath, although I am not sure it is big enough for a person to actually crawl under there (it is, I guess, just for ventilation), and I am not sure exactly what is under this carpet .... but it's firm and I don't see why a hardwood floor couldn't be installed.

    Now, I know that there is that stuff you can buy and just snap it together as you go, and instantly have a hardwood floor. But I thought that was pretty pricey myself, and it actually looks flimsy to me ..... You know, every little nick is gonna show and you will lose your perfect little floor.

    So, can someone tell me why I can't build a hardwood floor the way they used to do it? And just how did they used to do it anyhow? lol ..... I am not looking for an immaculate or perfect floor. I have a woodstove in here too, and I am going to put some kind of tile underneath and around that. I would be more then happy with something akin to the floor in the local hardward store/turned craft emporium tea room, that was built more then 100 years ago ..... with all of it's nicks and bangs. So .... how do I go about this? lol Any suggestions? Websites I might check out?

    Woodsmokeinherhair!
     
  2. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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    Go to the corner of the room and pull back the carpet and see what's under it. I you don't know for sure take a picture of the wood and post it here I'm sure someone will tell you. :cowboy:
     

  3. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    I am doing it the way they used to do it!

    I got my wood from here:

    http://whiskeyflatslumber.com/

    So far I haven't got much of it put down yet but I LOVE it. It comes in variable widths and is VERY thick. A bit of a splurge (okay a lot) but I do love it very much. For my 1100 sq foot house the total bill was close to 6K CDN. Actually, prefinished regular old hardwood (the kind that has tongue and groove edges but is real wood) is usually $6/sq foot so I think I did okay. Installing this is a bit more work: you have to measure, mark, and predrill holes then screw it into the subfloor (over a layer of roofing felt). After it's all laid down, you sand it with a big rented industrial sander thing, then stain and seal. But, when it's finished it looks like an old fashioned floor, and that's what I wanted.

    The snap together stuff is laminate. It's pretty good, actually, but not as durable as real wood. The prefinished real wood is also very nice and quite easy to install, really. My parents have had it in a few houses, and it's good stuff. If it gets all banged up, you can sand it and refinish it. Or leave it banged up. :)

    I hope to stay in this house until I am old and gray, so I wanted to do it "right the first time". This is one of the few things I gave myself permission to spend the extra money and effort on. :)

    I'll send pictures when it's done!
     
  4. danb98577

    danb98577 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you-old style hardwood flooring is nice and far superior to that snap together "picture of wood" flooring that is so popular now. Remember the paneling craze of the 60's?
    I am sure there are tons of sites on installation and brands on the web. One older company you might want to look for is called Bruce Flooring. Been around many years. There is even a fellow out in this area that is making and selling alder flooring. I imagine if you were set up with equipment you could make it out of anything within reason. Good luck
     
  5. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

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    wow! you people are fast! I look forward to the pictures and I will do some studying up on the ideas that have been given so far! Thanks!
     
  6. FrankTheTank

    FrankTheTank Well-Known Member

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    Our house was built around 1960 and we just had the floors redone less then a year ago. Now they are gorgeous! Go for it!
     
  7. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    This is from another recent post of mine, you may enjoy?


    Our floors are 2 x 8 and 2 x 6 rough Pine (previously dryed or fire-killed -- not sure which.) The neighbors, the Gonvick brothers and father, sawed them and sold them to us 34 years ago for $200. I put tar inbetween (from a tube at Home Hardware), sanded them with a belt sanded and put 8 coats of marine varnish on them. That's for 560 ft2 on the first floor and 250 ft2 of the second floor.

    [​IMG]
    Floors today. To keep up you sweep up the dirt, mop, and take off your shoes -- that's all there is to it. Right in the front of the picture is one of Nancy's beautiful braided wool rugs made from old wool blankets -- we've got lots of 'em all over the cabin -- the floors make them stand out.

    Good Luck,

    Alex

    BTW We have wood every where except the bathroom, there we have 4 x 4 tile. And under Katie the Cookstove we have 4 x 4 tile (which you can see in the picture -- under the water bottle) and under Blaze King wood stove (to the upper left in the picture) we have 12 x 12 tile.
     
  8. silverbackMP

    silverbackMP Well-Known Member

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    We pulled the 3 1/2" wide oak floor out of a turn of the century house that was going to be torn down and installed in my parent's 1800 sft house. I also tore out 7" wide heart pine out of a 1850s church that was being torn down. Ran it spraringly through a surface planner to remove the dirt but keep the aged look; applied satin oil poly and installed it on the ceiling of my parents living/dining room (half cathedral).

    Almost free for all of it.
     
  9. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you don't already have hardwood floors (and you might under that carpet) some of the better/thicker pre-engineered wood might be your best solution. If you put in the real hardwood, you'll basically have to change/adjust your baseboard and door trim...which you can do, but it all adds up. Take note of Alex's comment about rugs and shoes. His advice will greatly extend the life your floor finish. Good luck.
     
  10. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pull back the carpet and see what's under there now. It is likely some type of flooring boards. Many older houses put in pine flooring. It may be that a rental floor sander could give the floor you already have a beautiful new look.
     
  11. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

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    What a lovely floor! thank you for posting that :).

    ok, I'll be cleaning and rearranging my living room this afternoon, (company coming tomorrow, lol) so I'll pull up this corner over behind the computer later today and check out just what the floor looks like down there.

    I already have ceramic tile down in my kitchen and bathroom, I had it done before I ran out of decorating money from my original move, lol. And I had a 6 inch platform covered in slate made for my woodstove, but that isn't really working out .... it's kinda .... flaky, lol ...... or maybe I'll just call the guy who installed it and get him to straighten it out. Kids who drag in wood and then wham it down on top of the slate haven't helped the situation, but they are older now and see the damage done and aren't quite as neglectful as before. I'll just see about that when I get that far though. I did measure, and just my living room and small hallway is about 300 foot total, which is probably all the wood flooring I am going to do, as I am considering going to go ahead and do some really short carpet in the bedrooms.

    but don't mind me, lol ..... keep the ideas and pictures coming! lol :)

    Woodsmokeinherhair!
     
  12. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    I like real wood because it ages more gracefully. I know a potter in an old farmhouse that did a great job redoing the kitchen floor with simple pine lumber. He used roofing nails, which looked like antique nails when he was done. He also aged it nicely by beating it with chains and stuff, but I think kids and husbands can do a good enough job of that on their own.
     
  13. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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  14. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    When we tore down an old (1916) barn, we took the haymow flooring and used that for our new kitchen floor. http://www.mullerslanefarm.com/kitchen

    We laid the boards, sanded it well, counter sunk the screws, then plugged them. Couple coats of urethane later and we are set! There is tile under the parlor stove.

    Alex - love the idea of the tube of tar for the cracks!
     
  15. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    We just put in a floor bought from Lumber liquidators. If you like what you see, call your local store to order rather than use the internet. The local folks KNOW what they have in stock and will hold it. Might make a big difference if it is a long drive esp with the price of gas these days. Ours is Bellawood ash - natural. Nice product, easy to install.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. CatsPaw

    CatsPaw Who...me?

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    Laminate floors are really up to par now. They as durable as anything.

    Prices range from $1.00- $5.00 a sq.ft. $4 or so to install. They range from formica over masonite to veneer over solid wood (recycled scrap) substrate. Some are click together, some are glue downs. Some require sperate padding, some have the padding pre-attached.

    The thing I don't like about the click and locks is they sound hollow. Imagine if you will (that's my rod serling impression) putting sheets of cardboard over your existing floor and walking on it. that's what it sounds and feels like. Yes, they have padding underneath. But, if the floor isn't dead flat, there WILL be hollow spots (which is even worse 'cause as you walk you'll go from solid to hollow to solid to hollow.)

    Consider going to a local mill. You'd be surprised at how cheap some can mill up flooring for you. Often you can bring your own or they'll provide wood. Did a straw bale awhile back. They snaked white oak beams out of a tear-down. Had them resawn locally into floor. 100 year old quarter-sawn white oak is NOT cheap flooring. they did it for about what store bought flooring was ($3-$4 a sq.ft.) Mills can often get some really cool wood too.

    If you're going to stay around for awhile, go with nail or glue-down real wood.
     
  17. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    Alex,
    I like the idea of the tar also. When did you apply the tar? Was it later after it dried or when you laid it? Was it tongue and groove and did you lay a bead of tar in the grove and then nail in from the tongue, or was it non-tongue and grove and just nailed down with the tar applies later after it dried? Would you do either?
     
  18. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I have 3k sq ft of red/white oak - utility grade - 4"wide tongue and groove from lumber liquidators sitting in my garage right now......My whole house was white, peel and stick linoleum tiles when we bought it, I painted the floors barn red, added some other colors to give them depth, and put three coats of poly on top. They have done very well with three boys and two irrigated acres for the last three years.

    I can't wait to have the wood done though! It's for resale -but I will have it in my next - hopefully forever, home.

    We put lumberliquidator's three inch, tongue and groove planks down in our guest house too. Great resource.

    Niki
     
  19. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

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    Well, I pulled up my carpet and it is only plywood under there *sighs*. I also looked up the Lumber Liquidators and there is one about an hour away from my home, so I was real happy about that .... providing it comes down to that.

    The other thing I did was try to make contact with a local small sawmill to find out what they might have available. I couldn't find the phone #, so I just stopped by. The owner wasn't there, and I talked to the son, who seemed to think that they would have to make tongue and grooves and the cost would be prohibitive. :shrug: I got the phone # though to call back.

    So, am I to understand that it doesn't necessarily have to be tongue and groove? Just straight cut boards, well dried and .... what? an inch thick? lol .... (see how little I actually know? lol) .... I just think I better know what I am talking about better before I call this saw mill guy and talk to him (and he sees how little I know too! lol)

    Woodsmokeinherhair!
     
  20. Dave S.

    Dave S. Well-Known Member

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    The wider apart your floor joists the more you will appreciate tongue and groove, it helps spread the weight out among the other floorboards. If your joists are fairly close you may not need T&G. Also if you used thicker flooring you can get away with wider joist spacing.