Project Log - Hardwood Floors !
After months of thinking (on and off) about it, we are ready to go. Have just decided on the material to use:
Upstairs (family room and 2nd floor hall way), BR111 5/16" solid Brazilian Cherry.
Downstairs (living room, foyer, dining room), BR111 3/8" thick 'Triangulo' Engineered Brazilian Cherry.
If anyone has used these and can provide any feedback, that will be appreciated.
Will have these shipped to my house. Meanwhile I am starting the prep work (getting tools) and rip out the old carpets.
Installation methods intended: upstairs staple down, based on the recommendations from this forum. downstairs floating.
I will probably start on the upstairs, so all the mess can just drop to the first floor old carpets that I will discard anyway.
There are some initial challenges that I foresee, I will post some pictures of the tricky spots and ask for suggestions here.
wish me luck :)
I put down Award Brazilian cherry flooring at my last house, loved it so much, as soon as we moved in our new house, I pulled up the builders carpet in one of the rooms and put down some more Brazilian cherry. As you probably know, it is one of the hardest woods and it has a deep rich color. Though like other cherry woods, it will darken with exposure to light. So be careful about leaving something on the floor for an extended period of time in direct sunlight (ie small circular rug) since when it's moved it will leave a lighter colored area. Have fun, it'll look great.
thanks for the feedback.
here come the questions:
1. the 2nd floor hall way is 3.4 ft X 22.5 ft. The hall itself is carpet on plywood now. At both ends of the hall are two bedrooms, which are already hardwood. I will install the 5/16" thickness solid in the hall. The question is: at the both ends when the hall joins the bedrooms, should I: a. make the floor connect directly (flush) with the hardwood that are already in the bedrooms? or b. use a wood spline should there be any gap? or c. use a T-mold and allow some gap between the hall and the bedrooms?
2. the family room is 22.6 ft long and 15.2 ft wide.... I will install the 5/16" thick solid in the same direction of the longer wall. On one end is the support for railing, which is a piece of hardwood that I intend to keep. I suppose can let the new floor touch this piece?
On the other end is a brick fireplace. Can I let the new wood floor touch the fireplace, or should I use a threshold along the brick?
Thanks in advance,
btw, I just did 1 final measurement, it's gonna be 400+ sq ft of the solids, and 700+ sq ft of the engineered..... will put the order in over the weekend.
This is actually happening ! :)
1) add the correct expansion space and use a t-mold. your floor will move individually instead of working against each other.
2) I have trouble visualizing your difficulty. sorry....
3) you can use an end cap or baby threshold on the fireplace, but the brick may not be flush all around. that would leave gaps that would need to be filled with silicone to match the wood or mortar to match the existing mortar.
you could also undercut the fireplace and slide under. Although use a great mason blade or you could loosen and even break out chunks of brick.
did the shopping yesterday.
The 5/16" thick solids, Lowes is running 20% off on special orders, so ~470 sqft comes to ~2k... it's gonna take 10 days for the floors to come in and they will call me.
The 3/8" thick engineered, I was gonna get the BR-111 3 1/4" wide.... but Home Depot had a deal that we couldn't pass... with 1/8" wear layer, 6" wide, glueless 'uniclick', 'Traffic Master', which is HD's store brand. it was selling for $2.99/sqft !!! They have the stock right there and 60 cases was exactly 1 pallet.... but had to haul the thing back with our minivan and car. The floors are all in the dinning room now ready for install.
Of course, more questions:
1) What kind of saw do I need to get? the installation instruction just said electrical saw... I went to sears and the table saw definitely looks good.... $200 a piece though..... then there is the cheapo circular saw, but I wonder if it could do the job right..... if I use a circular saw, what do I need to hold the piece steady if I need to cut a piece short, or in some cases, rip the pieces?
2) The 'uniclick' boards are pretty neat.... you hold 1 piece to another at 30 degree angle and work the tongue into the groove, press down and they are locked..... the tongue and groove are on the ends and on the sides.... so the question is: when I install the 2nd row into the 1st row, how do I exactly do it? seems it's impossible to hold the 30 degree angle on the end and along the side at the same time.... the only options are: a. lock the end and use tapping block to punch into the side groove, or b. lock the ends for the ENTIRE 2nd row first, and work the whole row at 30 degree angle and work into the side groove of the 1st row...... the installation instruction didn't say clearly how it's supposed to work.
over the weekend the 5/16" thick solids were picked up from Lowes. they look really good.
Downstairs, it took a little more time to strip off the baseboards. a little surprised to see there were some termite damage to one of the baseboards, and will have to contact some control shops and find the right treatment.
Meanwhile installation went OK. the 'Uniclic' boards work quite well, but NOT according to the printed instructions came in the box. When installing the 2nd row, if you law the board flat, it's almost impossible to knock it into the groove of the 1st row. I had to engage the end tongue/groove first. To engage the side groove/tongue, I had to step on the 2 boards, while lefting up the free side, so the board is slightly twisted to give me close to 30 degree angle..... with such an angle, use the tapping block to knock it in and it was quite easy.
In the foyer, I cleaned/leveled the subfloor, and will remove the rest of the moldings tonight.
been really busy working on this thing past a couple of weekends, and finally finished the majority of the areas.
some after thoughts:
1. I decided to go with BR111 5/16" Induspaquet on the upstars, and floating engineered on the downstairs. The result is not bad at all. another option would be to go with the floating through out the house, but then had to spend more time and effort on transitioning around doorways, stairs.
2. The floating engineered I end up getting was the HomeDepot TrafficMaster with Uniclic. Incredible deal to get Brazillian Cherry at $2.99/sf !!! The planks are 7" wide and 42 inches long. in wide open areas, they go down so fast !! and since they lock together, there is never any alignment issue.... although in certain tight corners getting the pieces locked took some time.
3. the Induspaquet I got was also Brazillian Cherry, it's 3" wide, random length.. and is incredibly beautiful also... alignment can be a minor issue though.. I chose to go with staple down
more to follow.
4. the staple down method went OK. this must be the easiest way, comparing to nails or glue.... last night I had to put down the last 2 rows which the staple gun could not reach, the acrylic adhesive is sticky and hard to handle. what a nightmare..... fortunately I didn't go with the glue-down method... what a mess that could have been !
5. although both the traffic master planks and the BR111 Induspaquet are brazillian cherry, the BR111s look a lot richer, many pieces have such exotic wood grain.. they are absolutely beautiful.. the traffic master is made in Spain, so the trees may come from a different region and may be younger, as the colors are in general not as deep.
6... seeing the nice new floors, wife is now half-jokingly talking about ripping up the builder wood floors in the bedrooms (cheapo oak, 30 year old), and put in Brazillian cherry also :)
7.. if I had a chance to do it all over, I'd probably rip up the master BR, take some effort in the transitioning in the family room, and install the traffic master in the entire house.... for uniformity, and ease of installation.
the Staple down was OK, but since the BR111 is only half as wide, and random length from 12 - 48 inches, the installation takes 3 times longer than the uniclic.
Although I don't have any regrets, as the BR111 does look richer, and does provide some uniformity as the 2nd floor hall way and the family room use the same material.
I just came across your thread and wanted to know how those trafficmaster floors are holding up. Would you still recommend them. I just saw them at HD yesterday and I am about ready to buy.
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