TOOLS & EQUIPMENT FOR LAYING WOOD FLOORS

August 27, 2015

The hardwoods have arrived! The hardwoods have arrived! They got here about a week ago, but we were going through “the acclimating phase.” It will be the easiest step of the process as it is where you just let the flooring sit in the room it will be installed in for 7-10 days to acclimate to the heat and moisture of your house.

EQUIPMENT & UNDERLAYMENT FOR LAYING WOOD FLOORS from Rachel Schultz 2

A rental truck was needed to transport the goods. We had to get a massive 26 footer, not for volume, but weight capacity. Having the floors delivered to just the garage was going to be $250, but renting the truck and moving it ourselves was somewhere around $75.

The flooring for the whole house weighed 6,500 pounds. That is over three tons. Looking back, I am impressed David, his brother, and brother’s fiance moved over three tons from the truck to the house in one evening. (Half of which was to the second floor). I bought them all slushies, if it helps make up for it. As the pregnant girl, I had the important job of standing around and talking to them.

David took the time during the acclimation process to research and prepare for the great DIY task at hand. There are lots of tools needed to get this big job done.

TOOLS & EQUIPMENT FOR LAYING WOOD FLOORS from Rachel Schultz

SMALL EQUIPMENT

  1. Wood putty ($5)
  2. Wood glue ($8)
  3. Pry bar ($10)
  4. Spacers ($6)
  5. Dead blow hammer ($17)
  6. Nylon tapping block ($14)
  7. Finishing nails ($3)
  8. Safety glasses ($6)
  9. Work gloves ($15)
  10. Face mask ($2)
  11. Knee pads: a must! ($15)
  12. Push broom ($20)
  13. Jamb saw ($20)
  14. Staple gun ($16)
  15. Chalk reel kit ($6)
  16. Shop vac: our house’s former owners left one, but it was very old and rusty so we went ahead and bought this one new ($50)
  17. Painter’s tool: we like this one ($6)

TOOLS & EQUIPMENT FOR LAYING WOOD FLOORS from Rachel Schultz-2

UNDERLAYMENT

There is great variance in how much you can spend on underlayment (the material laid between the subfloor and hardwoods). After some research, we chose to do the least expensive option, silicone paper. This material would cost only $120 for the entire house, while the next cheapest one would be $900 and the fancy stuff is up to $1,580.

Our friend Jon the Professional told us this: “I’ve installed both types, and haven’t noticed a big difference in how it feels to walk on, although I do think the expensive stuff helps with noise for the level below. Also, the cheaper stuff is easier to work with.” When I asked him about using silicone paper in some rooms and the nicer underlayment in certain ones (like kitchen for more moisture or temperature protection), he said a transition in underlayment would be noticeable in the finished floor. Cheap stuff all the way it is then, especially on first floor when noise protection for below is not important. 

TOOLS & EQUIPMENT FOR LAYING WOOD FLOORS from Rachel Schultz

POWER TOOLS

  1. Pneumatic flooring nailer: you can rent these
  2. Nail gun: We opted for the Porter Cable 16 Gauge Nail Gun. It comes with an air compressor and Porter Cable is a good brand ($179)
  3. Miter saw: David chose the Ryobi 10 inch Miter saw for its strong customer reviews and considerably low price ($120)
  4. Drill: This Ridgid Cordless drill was covered under a service warranty and is a nice middle ground on the quality and price spectrum. David has loved the two batteries it comes with to allow you to work continually ($200)

It was fun to begin our power tool collection. The other two I currently have my eye on are a paint sprayer and sander. Of course I will do copious (and perhaps excessive) amounts of research before buying a specific one. All we have before us now is a little bit (a lot?) of tile demo and ripping up carpet before we can prepare the subfloor and get to laying some planks.

THE LIVING ROOM PLANS

August 25, 2015

It has been so easy to roll full steam ahead on jobs that I have not yet shared an overall vision and to-do list for the house. For that reason, on Tuesdays I am starting a series of posts to walk through what we are scheming and aiming for in each room of the house. First up is the living room.

(PS: I use the terms living and family room interchangeably. Same place!)

FIRST FLOOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-7

The walls in here are dark now in my goal for the space to be moody, cozy, and the way you might feel at an old English pub or inn. (An easy description for the guy at Home Depot to understand when describing the paint color I wanted, no?) This is the rest of our list:

  1. Clean the built ins
  2. Paint walls, most of trim, built ins, and fireplace black (partly done!)
  3. Repaint ceiling white (there is a water damage stain)
  4. Window treatments
  5. Install hardwood floors
  6. Replace couch, love seat, and add two arm chairs
  7. Mount TV
  8. Create part sofa table, part desk workspace behind love seat
  9. Replace light fixture
  10. Furnish with rug, art, additional lighting, new coffee table

We spend a lot of time in this room so it one of our bigger priorities. I go back and forth about what my general philosophy is on 1) replacing things we use a lot but are lacking or 2) getting something we do not have at all.

FIRST FLOOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-8

Here is an example. Our old couches (not pictured) really held the room back from being the aesthetic we are going for, but they are functional and comfortable. Or, we do not have a place to eat in the sunroom, so we could buy a table and chairs for out there and enjoy a whole new area we did not utilize at all. Come winter, however, we would never go out there but will still be sitting on the same not-my-favorite couches for a few hours everyday. When the paint and floors are done, maybe that will make me not mind the couches as much. Or they will stick out even more!

Next week’s planning post will be the exterior because I must get it in before old man winter even thinks about blowing. (I know, winter.)

PAINTING THE LIVING ROOM DARK GRAY

August 24, 2015

Where we left off, I made my best attempt to get you on board with our living room being dark gray, well, pretty much black. I also explained I would paint all the trim the same, dark color. What I was not too precise about was defining “all the trim” since this room has a fireplace, beams, and built-in bookshelves.

The truth is I was not being precise because I was not yet sure myself! Our plan is to paint in stages and reassess the look one piece at a time before deciding to go on. Make no mistake though, it is definitely realistic everything will end up painted – shelves, mantel, brick, etc. That is the monochromatic look I am going for.

FIRST FLOOR BEFORE from Rachel Schultz-7

The parts we do know are staying wood are the beams and crown molding. The door frame to the kitchen will too because it has a pocket door I think should be the same as its frame. Toss in the sliding door as well because it is intricate and I do not want to mess with it for now.

PAINTING THE LIVING ROOM CHARCOAL from Rachel Schultz

This leaves the chair rails, baseboards, and door frame to the entry to be painted the wall color. And then the whole conglomeration of all the built-ins and fireplace is a firm maybe.

We started by using two coats of Kilz Premium to prime the chair rail and door frame. I ended up having to wait on the baseboards because this carpet is a thick shag and I can do it much more easily while we are down to the subfloor when David is laying the hardwoods.

PAINTING THE LIVING ROOM DARK GRAY from Rachel Schultz

The color we chose is Ralph Lauren’s Chalk Stripe and I must take a brief detour to talk about color matching. We did test pots in Ralph Lauren and Behr Pro paint of supposedly the same color. Chalk Stripe is from the Ralph Lauren line, but I wanted to see if I could get it matched well in Behr Pro, which I think is the best value for the paint quality. (In my area, it is $19 a gallon versus Ralph Lauren’s $35.)

They color matched the exact Ralph Lauren paint chip into Behr Pro and even tweaked it three times. They are not the same. This is not a diss to my Home Depot guy because he worked really hard to get it the best he could. Color matching can get close, but if you care about the precision of your color, the technology is just not there yet.

Chalk-Stripe

In my opinion, you must buy the brand the paint chip was in. Maybe lighter tones match better for some people, but my several recent projects with medium or dark shades did not line up well. I think you have to go into paint matching with a critical eye and do not automatically trust what is mixed up will look the same from brand to brand.

Back to the living room, the backs of the built-ins are drywall, not wood, so we painted those in the first go too. After a few hours on a Friday night, there it was! All up on the walls! And then the horrible feeling hit. When you finish painting the whole room and once it is there for you to really, fully see for the first time you realize: the color is not right.

PAINTING THE LIVING ROOM DARK GRAY from Rachel Schultz 2 PAINTING THE LIVING ROOM DARK GRAY from Rachel Schultz 3

So disappointing. I was totally sick about having to tell David the next morning. My goal was for it to look black, so to make it not crazy intense, I chose a dark charcoal thinking once it was on all four walls in a not very well lit room it would appear black. Well, it did not. It looks very gray and actually, oddly blue as well. You can do the test pots, but you still will not know for sure until it is done!

The relief is I do really like this color, it is just not what I am going for in here. And, the room is still a lot better. We have about a gallon left, so I think I can cut our loss and make use of the it for the master bedroom.

Seeing this has affirmed to me the cabinets and shelves must get paint as well. Painting wood! Feels scary! Do not send me hate mail!

We will not paint the built-ins until we are sure we have the color on the walls just right. Then, do we paint the brick? Do we paint the mantel? The fireplace door? I do not want to make any firm decisions because going from a white carpet to a medium wood floor will definitely change the coloring and how everything feels. My prediction: all will be painted except fireplace door, but to be continued.

Copyright © Rachel Schultz 2015

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