Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Houston, we finally have a new subfloor.
This is where you can picture me doing a little happy dance and singing "Boo-ya, booya.  Boo-ya, booya". 

 I know you guys have been loosing sleep over our floorless situation since we ripped out our carpet in April.

JEGs was able to secure the help of his friend Mike for the job. I was shooed out of the house one Saturday to attend girly things like wedding showers so the men could get to work without me and the little monster in harms way.

The very first thing they did was to install a 4x4.......alkjasdfnelnwn....

Hey everyone.  This is JEGs.  I wrestled the computer away from LB because its much easier if I just type it out.  Ill try not to go into too much boring detail.  This was a huge job, but not really all that difficult.  I would have never attempted it without Mike though. He was the mastermind behind the entire project.

First things first.  In previous pictures of our house, you might have noticed there was tile in front of the front door.  Laid out 3'x4', and was the same tile as we have in our kitchen.  Unfortunately, it had to be busted up.  I didn't want to work around it, and wanted to replace as much old floor as I could.  Also...LB secretly wanted different tile, so it worked out.  Stay tune to a future post showing the new tile and carpet!

The next major step...  Our landing at the bottom of our steps was not supported in the basement.  There SHOULD have been a post there due to the method they used to build the structure of the floor.  You could watch from the basement as someone jumped upstairs and see things moving.  So we installed a 4x4 post at just the right spot to support it all.  We weren't looking to raise the floor, just to support it and keep any future settling to a minimum.  Simple enough job, just cut the 4x4 to length, and jam it in.  We used a nail gun and shot a handful of nails top and bottom for good measure.

INSTANT payoff from this.  The entire upstairs felt quieter and more sturdy.  Couldn't believe the difference that it made.

In the same general area, there were some joists that were installed using an old method, that really isn't that great.  This was part of the reason for the post.  The joists were, from years of settling and walking on them, starting to pull away from their original anchor points.  And back in the early 20's when the house was built, I'm SURE the carpenter said "Eh...two nails ought to be plenty.".  No...they weren't.  So to keep things from getting worse, we installed some 90 degree angle brackets on both sides of the joist. We used about 10 nails per bracket.  They wont be moving any time soon.  We would have used joist hangers, but there wasn't enough room for them unfortunately.

Once we were satisfied that things were reinforced, it was time to start cutting into the floor and ripping it up.  Point of no return here folks... 

This is Mike (FYI).   Right now, we're just snapping some chalk lines as a guide to make our first cuts across the floor.  We didn't take every single piece of the old flooring up as you will see.  We left a perimeter of old flooring, only because we couldn't get under the walls or into the kitchen. 

Using a circular saw, and the appropriate safety gear as always :), the first cut is made across the boards.  The saw blade is set just deep enough to cut through the floor boards but NOT into the joists below.  Replacing the joists was not something we were interested in doing. 

Here's Mike hitting a couple of nails.  This old school hardwood.  So its got crazy amounts of nails in the tongue and groove.  Hitting them is inevitable. 

We made three cuts across the floor.  One shown above, one in the center of the room, and one at the opposite side by the front door.  Once the cuts were made, it was time.  It all starts with one board.  Once you have a starting point, you just go crazy.  It doesn't come up easy, and being nice to it only takes longer.  It helps to be riding a caffeine buzz!!

Before long, you are left with a gaping hole, and 100s of nails to pull out.  Mike is demonstrating his spider monkey skills here. 

The next two pictures show the blocking we installed.  The subfloor that we put down is tongue and groove 3/4" OSB.  OSB isn't plywood.  Instead of neat layers of thin wood bonded together, its pieces and slices of wood randomly bonded together.  It is good stuff.  It comes in 4'x8' sheets.  So the blocking is there to give us something to nail the wood down at the seams.  Anywhere there was a seam or edge to the sub floor we needed blocking.  We made a LOT of pieces for various sections of the floor.  Having a nail gun here REALLY saves a ton of time and energy.  1000x easier than doing it by hand.

Here's our trash pile after 2/3 of the floor was torn up.  Gross fact...LB might have mentioned that the previous owners' dog was using the living room as its bathroom.  When we were busting up the floor...we could smell dog pee.  Yeah.. Ripping this up was the right move. 

Here we are measuring and cutting the flooring for install. 

And the first piece in place...  Nothing really fancy here. 

Once we got a couple of pieces cut and laid in place, we secured them to the joists using Liquid Nails subfloor adhesive,  subfloor nails and the nail gun.  Again...MUCH easier job with the nail gun.  We could have screwed them down.  However that is more work, more expensive, and overkill. The adhesive sets up really fast, and bonds the subfloor to the joists.

LB came home from her wedding showers and was there to supervise when we started to slow down...

We worked our way across the floor, and finished busting up what was left of the old wood that we were using to stand on.  You can kind of see in this picture how support under the landing was necessary.  The post is right where the double joist meets up with the framing for the staircase. 

And finally, the main portion of the floor was finished. 

All that was left was a small section right at the kitchen entrance.  We had to be careful here, because we couldn't go under the kitchen floor.  SO we had to get as close as we could, leaving enough old floor to nail into the blocks so everything would remain sturdy.  You can see the frame we built to support the remaining old flooring, as well as giving us something to nail the new piece of sub floor to. 

That's pretty much it from the subfloor install.  It totally transformed the room.  Squeaks were gone, bounce was gone, SMELL WAS GONE. 

That's it from me for now!  I know this was congrats to anyone that stuck it out!  Here's LB...

Ok, Lizzie again.  Anyone who finished this totally gets a cookie-- and not just some crappy dollar store cookie, I'm talking Milano's baby. 

We figured out the cost of all supplies for this project:
Items we got for free courtesy of Waterbury Construction (where Mike works)
 Sub-floor adhesive, nail gun nails, and the use of a nail gun.
Items we bought specifically to do the subfloor job:
OSB Flooring - $72.00 (6 sheets @ $12 each)
4x4x8 post - $6.00
2x10x8 - $28.00 (4 @ $7 each)
2x4x8 - $12.00 (4 @ $3 each)
Joist brackets - $13 (14 @ $.93 each)
Simspon nails for the brackets - $5
A full box of nail coils for the nail gun - $45 (We only used one coil from this box, and there are a dozen coils. We'll use them for other projects to get our money out of them)
Renting the Home Depot truck (to get the flooring and other wood home) - $25
 Total Cost: $206
A fresh smelling room?  Now that is priceless.

Next up:  Tile and carpet! 

Always & Forever,
  JEGs-- with a side of ME :)


*claire* said...

ha! i'm glad you let him explain it :)

that looks insanely complicated, but what a great result! i'm sure you're happy!!

kp said...

Bless your sweet hubs! That is an involved project! Glad the smell is gone, and you have a fresh new place to build your living room from the bottom up!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Wow! Big job! It's going to be great! I love the picture of you "supervising," too. How cute are you?