Floor!

lazy_gardensAugust 17, 2013

Finally ... the flooring has arrived and I can get going. Less ugly!

To match the old flooring, I'm using classic 2 1/4 tongue and groove oak in "character grade" (it has knots, iron stains and other cosmetic flaws, just like the floor from the 1890s does). Because of time constraints, it's factory finished.

I had the stove removed (have new AC/Gas furnace) and the hearth demolished. It was plopped OVER the old carpet and screwed to the plywood subfloor and baseboards ... and so overbuilt you could have used for tap-dancing elephants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Previous post about yucky 1990s carpet

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lazy_gardens

The hearth being removed, with pristine 1992 peach plush carpeting under it.

We may replace the wood stove with one that burns pellet fuel and has a feeder - the romantic idea of heating off-grid with wood runs smack into the harsh reality that wood stoves need as much tending as a baby to keep the fire going.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 9:33AM
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Iowacommute

I wonder if the efficiency of the wood stove matters. We have one in the basement we use to offset propane costs and for when we lose power. It is around 77% efficient and will burn with a load of hedge on 'low' for 6 hours. If we want more heat we will have to add more wood at least once during a 6 or 8 hour period. Its also cut our propane use in half over the last three winters for our 1500 square foot home. We also do not have a blower. We placed it in the basement across from the door to upstairs and leave the door open.

We really only tend ours if we want.to play with fire.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 10:00AM
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lazy_gardens

We're in a town, and on the same chunk of the power grid as the fire station, so we're high on the list of places that get power restored in case of an outage.

The stove was supposedly really efficient (EPA rated, catalytic converter and all) but getting a proper draw and keeping it stoked, even with well-dried oak or mesquite was a PITA.

I'm going to enjoy the floor space it's no longer taking up.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 1:46PM
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calliope

We tend to be off the grid........a lot. We don't do wood anymore, but we have put in smaller ventless gas grates. The main gas we now have access to still runs in power outages, and we were careful not to get a grate needing power for a thermostat or any of its operation. One is a heavy cast iron, quite decorative one. It's small in size, does not need a lot of clearance, and will heat three of the large rooms downstairs. It's been a life saver. I just cringe when I see something like what you showed in the picture.......good grief over the carpet!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:16PM
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Iowacommute

I can't believe carpet was under there. As much clearance as wood stoves need and as warm as our basement floor it's which is concrete I'm happy there wasn't a fire.

If we go with a wood stove in our next house then we may go with a barrel looking one with soapstone sides. Many of the newer ones like that can be placed much closer to walls so you don't lose as much floor space. I think soapstone is supposed to hold heat but keep nearby surfaces safe. Some of the new ones can be placed within an inch or two from a wall but will still need a non combustible floor. I guess carpet is out. :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:25PM
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lazy_gardens

The hearth was actually properly constructed, followed the instrucitons in the installation manual completely ...

1 - Firebrick in the stove
2 - Ceramic tile
3 - cement board
4 - 2x4 platform edgewise under it all.

The carpet under it was not a fire hazard, but it was a really sloppy way to do things.

I have all the measurements done, the trial fitting around one tricky wall is done, and now I get to caulk the edges and start nailing!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 8:38PM
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weedyacres

How are you going to feather in the new, pre-finished wood to the old stuff? Won't the fact that it's pre-finished make it not match?

And, ok, I've gotta rib you about this one:
"...because of time restraints...."

You're an old house owner. No such thing as fast. You should have known that when you got into it. :-)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 12:51PM
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lazy_gardens

Weedy ... no "feathering" required, because the LR, DR and the MBR have no flooring to salvage. See the picture: it's 1992 plywood subflooring.

I bought "character grade" oak to co-exist with the existing 1890s wood. It's clear finished and will darken however it wants to in a couple of years.

The flooring changes will happen at the doorways, and if I carefully pick which pieces of new, should blend pretty well.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 8:47PM
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vjrnts

You're an old house owner. No such thing as fast. You should have known that when you got into it. :-)

Oh, there's fast. And cheap. And good, too. The catch is that you can only have two of those at any time.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 9:48AM
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lazy_gardens

VJRNTS ... right. this is inexpensive, and good, but it's not going quickly.

Laying tongue and groove hardwood is not difficult, just tedious, and nit-pickingly tedious when you are working with uneven walls and unsquare rooms.

I finally got a gleaming sweep of oak!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 10:59AM
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weedyacres

Hey, getting those first couple strips laid out right is half the battle. And it's fun starting rows on either side of a wall that have to meet perfectly after it. :-) You're on the home stretch!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 11:50AM
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eclecticcottage

*just a side note regarding wood stoves-each one has it's own set of clearances and hearth requirements. Ours only requires "spark protection" below (no R value requirement) and a mere 4 1/2" rear clearance when using double wall pipe. The efficiency can also vary greatly. We heat exclusively with ours, meaning it must "run" by iteself for up to 10 hours at night/during the day (Blaze King stoves are notorious for LONG burn times-a BK King can run on "low" for 24 or more hours per load!! We do not have a BK, we have a Lopi-BK are Catalytic and ours is a Secondary Burn stove. Fewer controls but less control in shoulder season.). Oak usually takes AT LEAST 3 years to properly season-and seasoning only begins once the wood has been cut and split and is stacked in a manner which allows wind and sun to do their work. Pellet stoves require different types of attention and also need electricity to run the feeder. IMO if you're looking for backup off grid heat, look at a DV gas stove. We heated our old house with two of them, and were perfectly toasty during a storm which took out the electricity for several days one time.

all of that said-nice floors! I love the lower grade oak, I think it has a more "lived in" look.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 12:50PM
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lazy_gardens

Weedy Hey, getting those first couple strips laid out right is half the battle. And it's fun starting rows on either side of a wall that have to meet perfectly after it.

I declared one wall to be "the baseline" and everything else will follow suit.

Working across the wall was actually fairly easy. I'll explain how in a later post.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 7:39PM
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