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New White Oak Floor Goes In

We decided to upgrade the flooring in the kitchen and living room from carpet and linoleum to white oak. I started by silencing the subfloor squeaks by removing a couple hundred old, common nails (cause of squeaks) and adding a couple thousand screws. Next, I covered everything with a layer of 3/8" underlayment, which brought everything up to a good height and made it flat. I bought a floor stapler, a box of 2" staples, and 600 square feet of unfinished select white oak. The local supplier gave me a great deal on a mix of dry 3-1/4" and 2-1/4" wide strips. I repeated a pattern of 2 wide and 1 narrow across the entire floor and picture framed around the hearth, door thresholds, and a tiled area located in front of the door to the deck. I was sick with flu like symptoms this week (I always seem to get sick in March), so the work went slower than it should have, but start to finish it was 4 days.

I've had that little Rigid shop vac since 2007. Tons of use and zero problems.

I bought this same stapler a few years ago, when I installed a similar floor in the Boise house. Ended up selling that tool to a guy looking to start his own flooring business. I gotta say, this Bostitch tool is a flawless performer. I had one misfire in 3 days. Will be keeping this one for the long term...unless you are thinking of starting your own flooring business. If so, call me.

Lots of time is gobbled up in cutting pieces to fit around doorways and stairs. These stairs will be re-carpeted in coming weeks.

I mistakenly used a 7/16" forstner bit to counterbore the screw holes. I don't own a 7/16" plug cutter, you can't buy one in Anchorage, and that size of dowel is uncommon. Happened to find poplar dowel to make plugs from. Oh well, its done.

I was able to use the same tile for both the hearth and this new entry area in front of the door to the deck. This is charcoal "Galvano" porecelain in 12" x 24" pieces that I found at the local Habitat for Humanity store. Lowe's sells it at full price. For small jobs like this, I use a 5" diamond wheel on an angle grinder to cut the tiles.

Tomorrow, I'll rent an orbital pad sander w/ 36 and 60 grit sheets. Vacuum and mop. Then apply a few coats of Varathane's water based polyurethane for floors (~3 gallons of semi gloss). I use an 8" nylon pad and hand sand lightly after the first two coats with 180. Lucy will help me by sleeping in the truck.

Six feet of water ice and one lonely culvert.

A real winter this year! Low temps and lots of snow are giving the ditch crews quite a workout. They've been steaming out culverts and running graders and excavators all over Bear Valley this week.

And one of the lynx kittens came by the house again.

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