In part one, I shared how I installed vintage hardwood floors in my hallway. For those of you not keeping up, I salvaged hardwood flooring from a tear down house to match with the existing flooring in my house. That meant cutting each board out, stripping the nails, and sorting out boards that had been damaged or cut off.
Taking on the living room was a much bigger process. After weeks of measuring, squaring, and then ripping up carpet and the plywood sub floor, we put down new tar paper, marked out the studs to nail into, and started flooring.
The room was quite a challenge for flooring newby’s, including a crooked fireplace hearth and the dining room area being 1″ larger at one end. We continued the flooring from the hallway, and worked out to the fireplace hearth. In order to keep the floor tight, we then had to switch directions and back fill the other side of the hearth, while keeping everything perfectly square. We found that screwing a piece of lumber into the studs helped keep everything aligned as we filled in backwards.
After that, it was on to building out the rest of the room. We always tried to nail into a stud when possible, to minimize any squeaking. I found the best way to work was to lay out 3-4 rows at a time to make sure the ends weren’t too close and the floor didn’t end up looking too patterned. We also had to account for the boards that had been cut off on one side for the previous home they were in. We marked those boards with tape and tried to use them at the ends of each row to minimize waste.
The installation went much faster than I expected, and we ended up within 1/8″ parallel to the final wall. As with the hallway, I hired out the sanding and refinishing to match the rest of the house. It is amazing how taking just a light layer off of the wood made it look new again. If you have a home with wood floors in need of a little love, I highly recommend hiring it out!
The final steps were to freshen up the base boards and add the finishing moldings. We also redid the fireplace hearth with new tile. My goal was for the floors to look like they were original to the house, and I think we came pretty close!