Oak Floors Before Drywalling?

cjcaliMarch 29, 2012

We are remodeling our entire house. We'd like to put our unfinished oak floor in before drywalling the house. We'll leave the floor unfinished, but cover it up so the dust/mud doesn't get in it. A few dents are fine because it is rustic. I've heard that there could be a moisture problem. I'm in the SF Bay area, and it has been raining for the past few weeks anyway - and is otherwise dry all year. Thoughts?

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The covering up is what concerns me. Whatever you cover with, you must let the floor breath. other than that, it really should not be a problem. Keep the humidity during the entire process at 35 to 55.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 7:53PM
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Is it a contractor scheduling issue?

Drywall can be kind of a messy process, especially if you're doing any kind of textured ceiling. It makes quite a mess on the subfloor. What are you planning to cover the floor with? I'm skeptical any kind of heavy paper covering would stand up to a drywall crew carrying big sheets of drywall and walking around on stilts during the installation.

I'd think, at the very least, it will create some extra work for your floor finisher.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:40PM
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"A few dents are fine because it is rustic." I don't understand. Do you mean that the unfinished flooring is to be finished rustic?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 7:44AM
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Don't do it ... waste of time and money.

Trying to protect the floor will add time and expense to the drywalling. And it will be unsuccessful.

Dealing with the inevitable drywall mess will add time and expense to the floor finishing. Yes, floor refinishing is messy, but they don't want to start with a film of gymsum dust all over the place.

Just let the drywall contractor know that they have to leave room at the bottom edge for the flooring to slip under.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:59AM
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The drywall dust will end up in the floor no matter what you do.

Wait to instal the floors.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 12:32PM
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Hi, thanks for input. Yes, it is a scheduling issue. Can't drywall until siding up. Framing/Siding contractor 3 months behind schedule and my flooring is sitting around begging to be installed. My drywaller thinks we can keep the dust issues under control. The flooring is Oak, no. 3 grade so it has a bunch of knots, saw cuts, etc., in it already - I am the one installing and finishing it, a bit of extra work isn't too scary. I'm primarily worried about buckling.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 10:42AM
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If the siding isn't up, is it weatherproof? I don't know what part of the country you're in. Where I'm at, we can get some sideways rain in the spring time. Three months sounds like a long time to worry if it isn't weatherproof.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:09PM
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I would never install floors until drywall was hung, finished, and painted. But that's just me being picky. I can just imagine an accident involving a spilled gallon of paint, etc.

No 3 can be finished out very nicely - just don't let drywallers destroy it.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 12:54PM
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There is nothing good that can come from putting your wood in before the drywall and painting is done. Denting is not nearly the issue that picking up moisture in your nice dry wood is.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2012 at 10:35PM
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The house is weathertight (tyvek), and I'm in Northern California. It is as acclimated as it gets because we don't really use heat or A/C much throughout the year and we are in our rainy season now. The drywall moisture seems to be the main concern. I'll try to delay, but we'll have to see. Cheryl

ps - I'm fuming it with ferrous sulfate (similar to the Rubio "fuming" process). It will be fabulous.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 11:00AM
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You cannot keep the drywall dust from getting on and then into the floor.

NOTHING works that well.

And once the dust is in the floor you will NEVER get it all out again.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 11:40AM
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Be very careful working with ferrous sulfate. it is a poisonous and highly toxic material. The same thing with any two-part wood bleach.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 2:20PM
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You can safely install drywall as long as the housewrap is on and the windows are sealed. The siding can be done anytime. Definitely do not install the flooring before the drywall. Drywallers are notoriously messy and will not appreciate having to tiptoe around while working. Huge amounts of mositure are generated while drywalling and painting. You don't even want the flooring in the house until the drywall is done and painted. No reason to leave a gap at the bottom of the drywall either unless you are not installing baseboards; just butt the flooring to the drywall with a maximum 1/2' gap but closer if possible.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 2:39PM
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Cjcali - how did your floors turn out? I'd love to see them :)

    Bookmark   October 24, 2014 at 7:49PM
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