|Preparing to cut boards to fit around the wood cookstove hearth|
Previously, I told you about the problems we had with the original hardwood floor, and how we were dealing with some of those. The old floor became our subfloor because previously, there wasn't one.
We put the vapor barrier down as we went. I was glad to cover all those cracks between the old floor boards. We used leftover asphalt roofing shingles as shims (above), to level individual boards that needed it.
The boards are 9 inch wide Southern yellow pine planks. It's #2 grade, which means lots of knots. Perfect for a rustic looking kitchen floor.
This is the second wood floor we've installed (1st one was in the dining room), but we had problems with this one that we didn't have with the first. One, was that the boards weren't all the same width, varying by a quarter of an inch. Those we were able to use where we only needed one board's length. More significantly, the ends of nearly all the boards weren't square. The time we saved by not having as many boards to nail, was lost because we had to check and then trim almost every one.
The good news is, the wood cookstove hearth and new floor are even! No worry about tripping over it.
Any gaps (both around the hearth and elsewhere) as well as knotholes, will be filled in with wood filler. Dan secured the hearth border with countersunk screws. The holes were later filled in with half inch dowels to look like trunnels. Trunnels are tree nails, i.e. old fashioned wood nails, or, dowels. We did the same at the ends of all the planks....
Face nailing with cut nails is a traditional way of securing plank floors. We were concerned about nails potentially working their way out (even though cut nails rarely do that), so Dan opted to countersink screws and fill with dowel as he did around the hearth. Even though they are tongue & groove and therefore blind nailed, this stiffened up the "give" in the floor from the wider planks. We like the look this gives the floor.
Here's what it looks like so far. One view...
.... and another.....
It feels wonderful underfoot and the whole kitchen seems so much cleaner and secure. Of course, we made lots of dust in the process, so that's somewhat of an illusion.
There's still a lot of work ahead of us. We need to fill knots and gaps, sand, stain, and finish. Then there are the thresholds and baseboards. After that we can install base cabinets! And do the plumbing! Yay!
I do have one resource to recommend, a Taunton Press DVD with Don Bollinger, Laying Hardwood Floors. We borrowed it from our county library, and found it to be excellent. There is a companion to that one, Sanding and Finishing Hardwood Floors, which is equally good.
Hopefully this is the last hardwood floor we'll have to install. It's been fun, but laying hardwood floors is definitely not our calling. :)
Next: Choosing & applying the stain