Installing Vintage Hardwood Floors | Part One


When I bought my house, most of the flooring was covered in beige carpeting (an interior designer’s nightmare). One of the bedrooms had the hardwood floor exposed and although it wasn’t in the best of condition, I knew it could be re-sanded. When I finally had access to the house and went to rip up the carpet, I was heartbroken to find that the bedrooms and all of the closets in the house had hardwood floors, but the hallway and living room did not.

After coming to terms with the fact that I would wait until my house was paid off and then save up to install the floors, I lived with the awful carpet and tried to work around it. Then, in a match made in remodel heaven, I had the opportunity to rip the exact same vintage red oak flooring out of a house that was being torn down. And by rip, I mean we literally cut the nails underneath the floor to pull up the boards without damaging them. For over 500 square feet of flooring.

We then had to use a punch to remove the nails one by one and note if any of the end groves had been cut. I also measured each board and noted its length on a piece of tape and stacked the wood by size in my basement. Sounds like absolute madness right? But just wait!

We started adding the flooring in my hallway after ripping the carpet and sub floor. Luckily the house had been set up for the hardwood floor so we just had to continue out from the bedroom doorway. A few of the door frames had to be cut so we could slip the boards under without any gaping. We also had to add a transition board to the back bedroom and closet where the flooring wouldn’t have lined up.

At some points we were sliding rows in that we’re the exact distance from the bedroom to the closet without any gaps in the rows. This is where heaving the measurements on the boards came in pretty handy!

After a few weekends of working and hiring a professional to come sand it, you could barely tell the floor wasn’t installed in 1950 with the rest of the house.

And then it was on to the living room..



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