My sister is in town and she is letting me use her computer. Because apparently I’m 17 and completely irresponsible with mine, wherever it is/ may it rest in peace.
I am about to explain in full detail as per request the process we took to lay our own wood flooring planks. Let me preface it first… If you are a perfectionist, these floors are not for you. Real wood floors shrink and swell over time and with the weather. Yes, there are small gaps between the planks in some parts that smashed up gold fish get into and I have to vacuum out. We did our best to avoid the gaps when we were laying them, which I will explain later, but it’s still a clean freaks worst nightmare. And the pine is soft so if you’re not going for that farmhouse distressed to hell look, move on to a laminate. For what I wanted though, these floors are perfect. And it’s all about me. Me Me Me. Just kidding. Kinda.
So, on to the good stuff. Because we layed them over concrete, we had to rip out the old flooring which was mostly tile and prep the concrete to glue down a 3/4″ plywood sub floor. That was our favorite part, as evidenced by this photo I took for IG.
Moving on, when all the sub floors are in, You can start cutting and laying the wood planks. I ordered 8″ wide by 16′ long 1″ thick planks (Ends up being about 3/4″ thick). I ordered mine from a local company called alliance lumber. Word to the wise, make sure the wood you order is kiln dried. If it has too high of a moisture content, it will move too much. I had the option of ordering tongue in groove unfinished pine planks but I wanted a really rustic look so I went with the plain planks. Here’s a picture of the closet floors with just plywood.
Here’s what we learned after already laying like 800 feet. You need to push the planks together before you staple them to the floor so it’s way easier to dry fit all the boards and use the walls and pry bars to smash all the planks together, then staple. We tried to push them by hand, row after row like a bunch of tools. Now we just cut all the boards for the room, squish them together and staple all the boards at once.
You can see in this next photo, the plywood floors and wood planking. We used the tub as leverage to push the planks together in my bathroom and then stapled them to the plywood. We used 1 1/5″ 18 gauge staples which ended up being the perfect length.
Then you can apply the polyurethane. I bought mine at home depot and it’s fast drying (8 hours) and specifically made for floors. We only did one coat of poly on the floors because I didn’t want them shiny at all. I’ll do two in my bathroom just for extra protection. One coat protects but doesn’t make them look too new. You have to apply the poly and stain with the direction of the wood or you can see the marks. Once the poly is dried, you can install baseboards and you’re all finished! We also had to trim the doors about 3/4″ and put them back up.
I love these floors because my kids can be really rough on them and it just makes them look older. I can sand down and stain them again unlike an engineered or laminate wood. I weighed the pros and cons of each and figured that this was the best solution for me in my area. A flooring expert will probably tell you to never do this flooring but Arizona is so super dry, it seemed to have worked just like I thought it would. And the best part, it cost me about $2 a square foot for everything. Wood, sub floors, stain, staples, poly and materials. I realize that this rustic of a look isn’t for everyone but whoever buys my house can rip them out easily and already has a sub floor in place if they want something else. Here’s a few before and after pictures just for fun.