Two things…one…I’ve been watching ALOT of Die Hard lately (hence the blog post title) and two…we’ve laid down the pine flooring in our upstairs hallway and took it from this (a laminate mess):
To this (a wide pine masterpiece):
I’m not gonna lie, we tackled this project a couple weeks ago but I’ve been dreading posting about it because it’s kind of a boring “how to” subject. But I’m going to channel my inner John McClain and bring the action to this “how to lay your own wide pine floor” tutorial. PINE HARD!
Okay, let’s do this. We started by bringing home a few 1″ x 10″ x 10′ shiplap pine boards from the local lumber yard for about $7 each. We needed five of them to cover the hall so the flooring cost us only $35.
But alas, they were unfinished planks. Random note…this kind of shiplap flooring isn’t necessarily meant for flooring but it’s been gaining some serious popularity lately as the wide pine, old farmhouse style flooring is making a comeback. It may be really cheap, but the wood is also relatively soft. Meaning…lots of poly. Our poly of choice…the Minwax Fast-Drying Semi-Gloss Poly.
Before we even started to think about laying down the
John McClain smack flooring, we layered on three coats of the poly, waiting 24 hours between coats so it had plenty of time to harden. We would still have to layer on a few more coats after laying down the floor, but this would allow us to lay the floor and not worry about staining/damaging it in the process.
After the pine planks were pseudo pre-finished, it was time to prep the hallway. And by prep the hallway, I mean remove the laminate flooring that we put down temporarily over two years ago. We plan on keeping the flooring just in case we ever need another “temporary” floor again.
The other hall floor preparations included removing the transition between the bathroom floor and the hall:
And trimming down the door jams to the bathroom door so the new flooring could slide right under it. To do this, Colby whipped out his favorite tool…well…he is a boy after all so I guess this would be his second most favorite tool (Lord…I apologize…be with the pygmies in New Guinea).
Generally, when you lay flooring you layer a buffer in between the sub floor and the new floor boards. This keeps the two woods from rubbing up against each other and squeaking. We used rosin paper, but tar paper is another option. This was the leftover rosin paper from the laminate flooring, which we just kept for the new pine flooring.
Let the pine laying begin! We had already put down a pine floor in the craft room, and because we wanted a continuous floor throughout the second story, we started right where we left off.
The first board can be a bit tricky. Because we have an old, unsquare and unlevel home, Colby made about a gazillion and a half measurements to make sure all the cuts and doorway notches for the first board were accurate. But if he was a little off, at least the future baseboards would cover any gaps between the floor boards and the wall.
As you lay the flooring, you just “lap it”…aka…put the top groove over the bottom groove. Does that make sense?!
And since the hallway leads to the top of the staircase, Colby trimmed down a piece of pine to make stair tread nosing, and lined the pine planks up against it.
Then it’s just a little tap tap to make sure the boards are tight up against each other.
And then tack the boards with a few finish nails:
Colby just repeated that process, measuring and making cuts to go around doorways and vents, until he made it all the way to the guest room and master bedroom side of the house.
Now…this is where things are going to get old school. So old school that I’m feeling a little Amish over here. Some body get me a horse and buggy. After all the flooring went down, we used cut nails to really secure the flooring. The finish nails were used just to hold the floor in place until we got to adding the cut nails. What are cut nails? These guys.
They have a wide head and a tapered body. They don’t have traditional round nail heads, but a square head. These nails are hardcore nails! Rugged nails! They nail right into the face of the board so they’re 100% visible. Typically when you use cut nails in flooring, you pound them into the wood in a parallel fashion. So using an old piece of trim as a straight edge, Colby first drilled a line of pilot holes.
Two nails go in each board all the way across the hall.
After drilling a line of pilot holes, and setting up the nails, Colby pounded them all in.
And punched in any nail heads sticking out of the wood so no sock would end up losing it’s life in a battle against a stray nail head.
We worked our way down the hallway, nailing in a row of cut nails every two feet until every board was properly secured. One word of caution…be UBER careful around knots. The knots may be all cute and add that rustic charm to the wide pine floor, but they are deadly! Deadly monsters! We’re talking a real wood splitter kind of deadly. When you nail into a knot, chances are pretty good that you’ll split the wood. So avoid the knots with the nails.
But you never know, you could still split the wood if you’re not careful. Kind of like this.
At least the split wasn’t so bad that we would have to replace the board. A few coats of poly will take good care of that.
The thing that I love the most about the wide pine, shiplap flooring is how it ages. Here’s a pic of the craft room floor, which we laid a couple years ago, lined up with the new hallway flooring.
I love how the pine looks when it scuffs up and also how it yellows from the oil based poly. It took about six months for the wood to go from the light colored pine to the yellowed, more intensely colored pine flooring. And alas, we have a REAL floor in the upstairs hallway.
We still have to continue the flooring into the guest room and then the master bedroom, but this is a start. But I love the floor…except for how I keep tripping coming up the stairs because the new pine floor is so much thicker than the old laminate floor.
Pssst…Whew, that was painful to get through. Me and construction, not such a good fit. But me and staining and painting…totally my speed. What projects have you guys been working on lately? Any floor laying? Or polying?