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LAugs1 03-08-2011 09:07 PM

Hallway Carpet to Wood Conversion - Some Beginner Questions
 
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Hello!

Due to my cat's problem getting to her litter box I am in the process of ripping out my upstairs carpet for replacement with a 3/4 hardwood product. My house is a little unusual because the staircases are at a 45 degree angle, plus I have a railing base that is tapered and won't match up well with the flooring even though it is also 3/4" (see attach pictures).

Questions
1) Is there a tool that I can use to easily remove the tapered edge on the inside of the railing base without removing it (first picture)?

2) Is the consensus here that I should leave the railing in place and cover the gap with trim?

3) If I must remove the railings to remove the tapering on the base, should I just forget about the existing base and re-mount the newel posts directly to the new floor? If so, what is the best technique/hardware for a strong post?

4) I have a small section of railing between the top of the steps and the upstairs railing (second picture). If I remove the upstairs railing, I assume I should remove this, too, and also replace with landing tread, correct? If not, I will have to cut around it and hide my errors with the same molding as proposed in #2, or is there another alternative?

5) In any event, do I need to get the top of the stairs landing tread even with the railing base, whether it be something new or the existing base? Or, should I just cut the flooring to fit in the L-shape that I'll have if the landing at the top of the steps isn't even with the railing base or replacement?

6) I was going to start the flooring at the front of the house and move back toward the 45 degree point where the railing base is (see third picture). But, I am thinking instead of starting at the railing base and moving in both directions so I don't have to have a plank with a funny 45 degree notch. In other words, put a full plank at the point, parallel to the window. Is that the best approach?

Thanks for your help, and sorry for such a long post!!!
-Larry
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woodman58 03-09-2011 06:47 AM

This is not a job for a DIYer unless you are good at carpentry. You don;t need to take the rails and base up. You can under cut the hardwood to slide over the curve on the base. This is not a task for a DIYer. Table saws can be DANGEROUS. I will not explain how to do this. If you now how (carpenter/woodworker) to use a table saw you will already know.

NCpaint1 03-09-2011 07:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodman58 (Post 605815)
This is not a job for a DIYer unless you are good a carpentry. You don;t need to take the rails and base up. You can under cut the hardwood to slide over the curve on the base. This is not a task for a DIYer. Table saws can be DANGEROUS. I will not explain how to do this. If you now how (carpenter/woodworker) to use a table saw you will already know.

This would be the easiest route. :thumbsup:

Fantastic 03-09-2011 07:34 AM

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Why not just cut the curve out of the railing base using a circular saw?

It would depend on how much room there is between the spindles and the edge. Your looking at cutting off a 1/4" or so to get the edge flat. There might/will be areas where the circular saw will not be able to cut. For those areas you might need an oscillating tool... Like a Dremel.

I'm just thinking the other way of under cutting the hardwood planks would add A LOT of time to the job.

Here's a pic of what I'm thinking...

woodman58 03-09-2011 08:28 AM

If you can fine a saw that would cut close enough this will work. Or, you can take out the spindles. You will have to cut real straight to get it to look good. As for the dremel it will also work but, it will take saveral blades. They dull quickly.

Fantastic 03-09-2011 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by woodman58
As for the dremel it will also work but, it will take saveral blades. They dull quickly.

Especially if you're forcing the saw to cut! Let it do the work.

LAugs1 03-09-2011 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fantastic

Especially if you're forcing the saw to cut! Let it do the work.

Thanks, Fantastic. I will check to see if I can rig a guide that would give me a nice straight cut.

Woodman58 - if I weren't familiar with a table saw I doubt I would be considering any of this in the first place. Do you recommend a straight dado cut or just angling the saw blade? I will experiment with both tonight using some flooring samples, but I think an angled cut might make the edge against the railing base too fragile.

Fantastic 03-09-2011 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by corygrant
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I've seen stamped concrete for years, and wasn't much impressed by it. Only expensive commercial applications looked decent, and even that was a stretch. Recently, though, new texturizing and pigmenting trends allow homeowners to introduce stamped concrete to their exteriors.

WTH is this about?j???? I don't know, no where I guess!?!?

LAugs1 03-09-2011 07:33 PM

OK - angled undercut of 45 degrees seems to work well! It will be a little tougher to do on the notched pieces for the base corners, but totally do-able with patience!

I will probably use a belt sander to line tapered railing base end up with top of stairs railing base.

Any opinions on where to put the starter row (front of house where you can see window, or point of diagonal base railing opposite window)? I'm leaning toward starting against stairs/point of railing base.

Thank you, all, for your comments!

Fantastic 03-09-2011 07:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LAugs1
OK - angled undercut of 45 degrees seems to work well! It will be a little tougher to do on the notched pieces for the base corners, but totally do-able with patience!

I will probably use a belt sander to line tapered railing base end up with top of stairs railing base.

Any opinions on where to put the starter row (front of house where you can see window, or point of diagonal base railing opposite window)? I'm leaning toward starting against stairs/point of railing base.

Thank you, all, for your comments!

Going by pic 3... Is that the window you speak of? And on the opposite is that the stairs/point of railing base?

LAugs1 03-09-2011 07:50 PM

Exactly right. The stairwell is diagonal to the front of the house and the front window shown in pic 3. That's a 90 degree corner there that I have to go around. I was thinking of starting at the stairwell to avoid at least one notched floor board (3 1/4 oak). There are two other corners - one where the stairs come up (90), and one not shown at the back and to the right of the window in pic 3 (45)

handy andy 03-11-2011 04:49 PM

Start at top of stairs.
 
From what I see in the pictures, I would start the hardwood at the top of the stairs. I assume you will leave the stair carpeted. You will need a stair nosing and it makes sense to have your first hardwood tongue join this. This assures you start with a full board here.

It is difficult for me to visualise your whole floor from the photos and your description. I would certainly not want to have my floor boards meet the stair nose at 45 degrees.

Fantastic 03-11-2011 09:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by handy andy
From what I see in the pictures, I would start the hardwood at the top of the stairs. I assume you will leave the stair carpeted. You will need a stair nosing and it makes sense to have your first hardwood tongue join this. This assures you start with a full board here.

It is difficult for me to visualise your whole floor from the photos and your description. I would certainly not want to have my floor boards meet the stair nose at 45 degrees.

I second this plan!

The 45 degree cuts would add some time to the project (not a lot but enough) also if the angle isn't exact you'll have to figure out what the angle is and adjust for each board (That would add time too)

Good luck!! And don't forget to take pics of the transformation and post them!!

LAugs1 03-12-2011 05:49 AM

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Thanks! If I start at the stairs, I will be diagonal everywhere else, so I think I will have to hit the stair nose at a diagonal and make my own tongues with a router. I uploaded a floor plan to illustrate better.

Do you still think I should start at the stairs?

Yes, I will definitely upload the results, but not going to start until the cat is gone...

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Fantastic 03-12-2011 01:32 PM

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Now I'm thinking you should go this way(see pic) The lines work with the room better and I also think it will look better!


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