Saturday, January 23, 2010

Installing Hardwood Flooring

So last year Tim found 5 boxes of hardwood flooring--solid oak, not engineered--for $25 a box. The store said they were a set, all matched. So we bought them. And gave them to my parents to do their floor. BUT they decided to go with concrete (good choice!).

So we got the wood back.

So I decided to install it in the bedrooms.

By myself.

Before we unpacked anything.

And, with a 1 year old hanging around, it's taken a long time.

First, I tried using the old carpet as the underlayment, but that didn't work. So....I found something that did work that we have a bunch of: Cardboard. If you ever try this, diaper boxes are the best. I tried several different kinds, and they had the best results.

Unfortunately, it turned out all the boxes of wood weren't matched colors. We had 3 boxes of walnut stain, and one each of gunstock and honey. Fortunately, I have two bedrooms to do: one 120 square feet and one 80 square feet or so, and there happened to be 40 square feet in each we got one walnut room and one that will be a pattern (stripes maybe?) of honey/gunstock oak (which are very close and will look really nice together).

I had no tools, money, or desire to nail down the floor even though it was made for that, so I bought myself a thing of wood glue, pulled off the baseboards, and went at it.

I did 1/3 of the floor over the last 7 days and 2/3 of the floor today and found that the parts that I glued to each other came out fantastic, and the parts I just "floated" are good, but not quite as good. Still, it came out good. Not a professional job, but with furniture in there, only a professional would notice that!

Unfortunately, I went into this project hurting. And now that it's done (except one last baseboard that will go on before I sleep, but maybe when Tim comes home and does it for me!), I think every part of my body hurts. Both legs. One knee had just recovered from some bizarre pain (I can't say injury because I don't remember injuring it!), the other I managed to kneel on the corner of a board right and hurt it. Both hands are REALLY hurting--wrists already ached from too much typing on a laptop (not as ergonomic as a keyboard), now my hands and fingertips hurt to touch. My back aches. My arms ache. My shoulders ache.  My neck aches. I'm shivering and can't stop even though the heater is on.

And I don't usually get hit with the full effect of any overdose of physical action for 24-48 hours. So I'm dreading what happens next.

Yes, the floor is done. And yes, it looks beautiful. (I'll post before and after pics when Tim gets home with the camera).

But at what cost?

($77 and pain....)

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