If you need me, I’ll be in the house, petting our new wood floors.
That’s normal, right?
If this is wrong, I just don’t want to be right.
Once the walls were painted and the fireplace was concreted and stoned (those are totally verbs at the Woodwards), it was time to lay the floors. As a quick reminder, we chose wide plank yellow pine from Lumber Liquidators. (Make sure to read all about our flooring choices and inspiration.)
One major note about unfinished wood flooring – the planks need to acclimate in the space. We stacked the floors inside the kitchen for more than 2 weeks to prevent shrinkage and expansion.
Ryan and his friend Mark got started in the small dining room bump out. (Our living/dining/kitchen areas are all open, so the flooring flows through the entire space.) They started by rolling out rosin paper down over the clean floors. The rosin paper prepares a smoother surface for the flooring and provides a barrier between the wood and the subfloor.
The planks were *almost* 9 inches wide, so they cut down the first board to be flush when the bump out met the main living space.
As for tools, here’s the cast of characters:
- A flooring air nailer (which was borrowed from a friend at work)
- Hammers (used to hammer the air nailer into the tongue of the boards)
- Wedges, drill and screws (Ryan created these wedges for this project – he screwed one into the subfloor and then slid the other between the wedge and the edge of the flooring. When he hammered them against the boards, it created a nice tight fit.)
- Crow bar (to adjust and remove planks from against the wall)
- A square (to keep everything nice and square)
Once the first few rows were (including cutting out around the air vents), it went relatively quickly. The first night ended with this progress.
On day two, Ryan was on his own (unless you count Henry, which we do). He was able to knock out almost all of the dining area as well as most of the living room and half of the kitchen. The pattern wasn’t anything scientific, he just eyeballed the boards to make it appear random.
The wood floors fit together beautifully with the tongue and groove.
There are a variety of sizes when you order the unfinished wood – including smaller ends on some of the boards. We had some leftover, but also were able to use them to start and end rows throughout the space.
Part of the nature of yellow pine are knots. On this particular width, there was a lot of beautiful graining along with some really awesome knots. I think the character and difference of every board is my favorite part of the floors.
I think my favorite part of this flooring is seeing it stretch across the entire main living space – it really brings the space together. And having this cohesive feel was really the goal of having such a wide open layout.
We have had wood flooring in our last two kitchens and I’d never go back. There’s just a wonderful warmth to wood in a kitchen.
Next up is the finishing process – which includes sanding the boards in place with an orbital sander. Because the boards are brand new, it won’t take much sanding.
Then, we’ll finish the boards. We just ordered the finishing supplies, and we’ve decided to avoid poly in favor of oil this time around. We are not planning to stain the floors, opting for a natural, light finish. (While we’ve chosen poly three times for floors, we decided on an oiled finish this time – giving us the opportunity to touch up any wear and tear over time.)
The pine floors are relatively soft, so we know there will be wear over time. But with the light color and oil finish, we think it will only add to the character – to make it really feel like an old farmhouse.
We’ll be back soon – I am pretty excited to see this flooring completed.
Thanks to Lumber Liquidators for providing flooring for our main living space in our new home. Check out Lumber Liquidators on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more flooring inspiration. And thank you for supporting sponsors who make projects like this possible.