Saturday, August 2, 2008

install hardwood floors

We ripped up our old carpet in our living room and replaced it with hardwood floors last weekend. Turns out the subflooring is concrete. I was surprised because we are on the second floor or a two story condo. We were thinking of going with a light bamboo, but we heard too much negative feedback about it's durability. We did buy a sample and were able to scratch it up pretty easy.

We used engineered Tigerwood floors by Homelegend instead. I liked the variation in color. All in all, they were easy to install once you got the rhythm down (they make a clicking sound when properly set). I did have to restart about 1/3 of the way through because there was a gap that wasn't closing up well. I was using the rubber mallet too much ( don't force it). But that's the beauty of the floating floors, you don't have to glue or nail down as you go.

One thing I would do differently would be to use a table saw instead of a jigsaw to get straighter cuts. I ended up using a hand saw and mitre box about 1/2 way through. We did need the jigsaw for the odd shaped buts, like around the door frame.

We covered about 220 square feet and the actually labor took about ten hours total. We still have to finish up the baseboards by adding something to cover up the gap. We also need to do the transitions to the front door, balcony doors and kitchen area (which is terracotta tile).

Check out the photos:

4 Clamps (to hold planks while cutting) $4
Knee pads $15
Rubber mallet $5
Utility knife with the blades (to cut up padding and carpet) $5
Putty knife to remove chunks of padding $2
Chisel to remove baseboards and carpet nail strips $7
Jigsaw $70
Spacer and tap kit $16
Harmony sound dampening and moisture barrier (3 rolls) $150
Click wood planks (11 boxes) $600
Stick on felt pads for furniture $10

So that's about $900 in tools and materials so far.

We also had to eat out every meal since we had so much furniture stuffed into the kitchen.

If you are thinking of doing a similar project my advice would be to get a table saw, give yourself a few days and don't force it. Be patient. If there is a gap, backup and try other planks. There were a few duds that I was able to use later for the small cuts.

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