Author Topic: Replacing some floor boards  (Read 388 times)

beekayworld

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Replacing some floor boards
« on: November 18, 2018, 03:31:10 PM »
There are about a dozen floorboards in each of two different rooms that have old damage from water and termites.  I have no carpentry skills but I'm precise (mathematical/logical) and patient so think I could do this. Here's what I'm thinking:

*Pull up the damaged ones

*Go to Home Depot or Lumbar Liquidators and match color.  On the HD website I see items to order delivered to the store. I'd feel better seeing them in person. Do they have samples?

*Have the store cut each plank to the desired length, measuring it against each piece I bring in. I don't have a fancy saw, just a small reciprocal and in the past HD has cut a few things of wood for free. Maybe 2 dozen is too many?

*Hand nail these? I looked online and saw that I should get a nail gun to install flooring, but I don't have one and feel like a couple dozen I could do slowly at my own pace without having to rent a nail gun.

Any hints? How do I pry the boards up? Do I need to remove old glue and put in fresh glue?

nereo

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Re: Replacing some floor boards
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 07:56:47 AM »
What matters here is the condition of your subfloor, and that's something that you are unlikely to know without pulling up many of the boards.

While you can replace individual boards, I'd recommend just replacing the whole damn floor (one room at a time if you have to).  It's going to take you a lot of time and effort to try to seamlessly replace individual boards - and it's never going to match.  For only a bit more time and a couple hundred dollars more you can have a brand new floor and be sure that all the damage is gone.

Plus, it gives you a chance to examine the subfloor and see if there are underlying (pun intended) problems there that need addressing. Water damage has a way of traveling laterally - if a few boards are warped there's a decent change it extends in several feet in all directions.

You sound like someone who would have no problems replacing an existing floor.  At ~$2/sqft you can redo most bedrooms for about $300 and with a weekend of work.

just my 2

J Boogie

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Re: Replacing some floor boards
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2018, 09:32:39 AM »
Whoa whoa whoa nereo what if he's got some beautiful old growth floorboards on the ground there?

I agree that replacing the floor and examining subfloor might be the best option. But if this is old water damage from a problem that is determined to have been remedied, then splicing in new flooring could be the best way to go.

This Old House has some good videos on this topic.

Yes, you can nail by hand with the help of a nail punch to help you sink them all the way in so that the next floorboard can snug up in there.

What you'll end up doing is probably face nailing the last board after you rip the tongue off it.

Then you can use a buffing type sander (a full on hummel sanding is what the pros would do for a perfectly flat floor, but for a DIY project you can feather it in just fine with a buffing type sander depending on your ability to seamlessly match the existing finish).

If it's an old house, look for salvaged materials at a lumber yard or a salvage store. Old homes had skinnier floorboards than the 2 1/2 board commonly sold today, and the wood has aged and become darker so newly milled boards probably won't match well.

If all that sounds like too much, maybe Nereo's right. Except about the cost, unless he's talking fake wood laminate. Solid hardwood + sanding & finishing will be more. Prefinished is kind of ugly with it's bevels but at least it's better than fake wood.


nereo

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Re: Replacing some floor boards
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2018, 09:50:57 AM »
Whoa whoa whoa nereo what if he's got some beautiful old growth floorboards on the ground there?


Ok, i'll give you that.  I would do whatever I could to salvage old-growth floorboards too.  Since the OP was talking about 'matching' these to what is in-stock at a local big-box store I assumed what was there wasn't anything particular special to begin with.  If that's the case I might salvage the boards from one region of the house to replace the warped boards from another.  Saw a home that ran a decorative boarder in one room in order to lift about 20sqft of the original boards to use elsewhere.

cost - meh, maybe you are right.  My local HD frequently has discounts on real hardwood that are in the $2.xx/sqft range. Coupled with a 10% coupon and one can do a 12' x 12' room for under $300 in materials if the subfloor is ok. But you certainly can spend quite a bit more - right now mine is offering lots between $2.99 and $4/sqft depending on the wood. Seems there's always some clearance on something though...

I kinda like the beveling in prefinished, but that's just me.  It comes out the first time you resurface.  To each their own.

beekayworld

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Re: Replacing some floor boards
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2018, 09:21:03 AM »
Thank you!

It's a 1980's house and floor.

I'm buying the house so it's something on this list of things I've wanted to improve but, as a renter, wouldn't.

After the house inspection, I see there will be some other things I need to get to first, but eventually I'll do these floors.

Papa bear

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Re: Replacing some floor boards
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2018, 09:32:04 AM »
Ok. We’re all assuming this.  Is it actually a wood floor?  The OP didn’t necessarily say that, though we are all assuming it. 

You aren’t in possession yet, it is wood or looks like wood? That will make a big difference.


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