In It to Win It {installing plywood floors, part II}


So yes, the floor project was one of those that began to rapidly spiral out of control.  We put in quite a lot of man hours with the prep work of cutting, sanding, and staining.  In the end, though, we had a huge pile of stained boards all ready to go.


So here is a “before” picture.  (That’s a friend’s dog in the picture… nothing like dogsitting while you’re doing major renovations!)  Most of the house was, at this point, subfloor painted with grey floor paint.  The floor paint held up so-so.  At first, it was fairly easy to mop/clean, but the gloss wore off fairly quickly, and it just felt like the floor was dirty all the time, especially with Waylon tracking in and out everywhere.


The kitchen, dining room, and part of the entry way had this lovely, classic faux-brick linoleum.  I had to take up the linoleum in the kitchen where we put down tile (more on that shortly), but for the parts of the house where we were putting down the plywood, we just blasted right over it.


The house is long and skinny, so we wanted the boards to run the width, rather than the length, of the house.  Otherwise we were afraid we would end up with a bowling-alley feel!  In this picture, the weird crack on the right is actually one of those hinges that run throughout the house.  you can also see those weird white spots – those are where we stiffed the floor.

In our house, under the subfloor is this weird honeycomb-cardboard stuff, and under that is another sheet of plywood.  (From under the house, all you see is plywood.)  In some places, that honeycomb is starting to break down, and those are the spots where the floor was getting spongy.  We drilled small holes in the area, sprayed expanding foam down in them, and then (after it dried), trimmed off the excess. It actually worked brilliantly.

Anyway, the main point of this picture is actually the putting down of our very first board!  Genuine excitement.  Once Pop and Tom figured out a system, it went down decently fast, but still involved a lot of measuring, cutting, and shimming.  It was time-consuming.


While they did that, I worked on taking up the kitchen linoleum.  It was stuck.  I used a heat gun to soften the linoleum, and then peeled it up using the multitool.  Another project that was pretty slow going!


It was pretty exciting to see the floor starting to take shape, though.  At this point in the process, the floor isn’t very well protected, so we were walking on rugs and blankets to avoid tracking it up.  We also had a bit of a hullabaloo because we had somehow underestimated the amount of wood we would need, which meant some extra cutting, sanding, and staining in the middle of the process!


It took the whole weekend to get the floor down.  Basically, we both glued and nailed the floor down.  It’s pretty well stuck!

At this point in the process, we had another work week ahead, and now we had to be extra careful on the floor, especially with Waylon.  Next step – clear coat!


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