Hardwood floor for dummy question, Any comments appreciated.

Hi, I live in Canada and have done virtually no home renovation work in my life so far.
Our family house has carpet across both floors and unfininshed basement.
While trying to sell the store, I noticed lot of people prefer hardwood floor so I decided to look at option of hardwood flooring just 1st floor which consists of below. Living room : 4.60 m x 3.66 m Dining room : 3.68 m x 3.66 m Kitchen : 6.25 m x 4.88 m Family room : 6.70 m x 5.18 m Library : 3.96 m x 3.35 m
Kitchen and hallway is tile so we will exclude that from discussion.
Question1: Do you guys think it's worth hardwood flooring just 1st floor (since 2nd floors are mainly bedrooms) or should it be all Hardwood or nothing?
Rest of it converted to feet and then calculated for total Sq. footage is 855 Sq. feet.
Question2: Some friend told me I should approximate total amount of materia I buy should be 20% more than Sq. footage due to corners, partly used materials, etc. Is 20% accurate approximation?
Question3: Wood I am considering is Oak, Maple, or Malaysian Chery. Is any of those 3 good choice or is there different characteristics I should consider aside from how it looks?
Question4: For both experience and accomplishment satisfaction purpose, I wanted to try it out myself instead of hiring certain flooring company at roughly $2.5 per sq foot. What's my risk? Will I possibly screw up subflooring if I do bad? Or is it gonna be relatively low risk even if I screw up? I was thinking of hiring some flooring company ONCE I screw up not from the get-go.
Question5: If I decide to do it myself, what specific tools do I need to rent? What submaterial (ones that need to be placed below hardwood floor -> I have no knowledge on this one) do I need to buy on top of hardwood?
Question6: Can moldings be reused after hardwood or should it be replaced?
Thanks so much.
Jae
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A lot of people prefer carpet in bedrooms (or will tolerate it more than in living room). I'd go for it.

That is far too high of a waste allowance for wood flooring. 5 percent would be plenty, or even less. Kind of depends on the quality of the flooring, too. If you get it on sale at Home Depot for example, you might find a lot of unusable pieces. I'd figure the square footage, find out how much is in one bundle of the flooring you are installing, and add maybe one bundle. It's going to depend on how particular you are. Even if you cut 6" off the end of a board, that 6" piece could theoretically be used to start the next run. So there is very little waste.

Don't know about Malaysian Cherry. Oak is softer than hard maple, but because of the grain, will hide imperfections and dirt more readily than maple.

Installing flooring is not difficult. Get some books on the subject. I can't see how you could screw up your subfloor. Probably the worse I have seen is a homeowner who did not get the gaps tight and it shrunk from there, so looked pretty bad. Even that looked pretty good in the end.

I like to put 30# felt under the floor. You could do the whole floor with a cheap skilsaw (or even a handsaw if you are a masochist) (cut ends are hidden under trim), though a chop saw is handier. Flooring nailer (rent or buy and sell), tape, chalkline, etc. A finish nailer is nice for the pieces next to walls, but even there you could drill and hand nail. Depending on the layout of your floor, you may want reversing splines. You also need to think about how to transition onto other types of flooring, and also whether any stair nosings are involved. Get a book or two.

Question6: Can moldings be reused after hardwood or should it be

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On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 15:45:18 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

DO the living areas. Skip the 2nd floor/bedrooms. Carpet is best there (much more comfortable). Won't add greatly to the value of the house, IMHO.

I use 10%, but I can return unused boxes of flooring to the supplier for refund/credit. I've very careful about waste, but you may not be as fortunate as I am in keeping the waste to a minimum.

Cost? Oak and Maple may be cheaper as they are more common.

You'll screw it up and waste a lot of money?

Probably not. It's ply.

Well, you can screw it up and not find out for a long time afterwards. Make sure your perimitor gaps are right, etc. Make 100% sure the sub-flooring is: clean, smooth and flat. And that it is nailed down well. Now is the tiem to fix any squeaks if you can. I use sheetrock screws to help hold down the sub floor as they are really strong and won't pull out. Get teh carpet up, clean the floor, and look for high spots. Fix these, either by screwing down to the joists, or whatever it takes. Then spend an hour walking around, listening for squeaks, groans, and other noises. Fix each one you find. Use a long straight edge (I use an 8ft box section aluminum extrusion) to do a final check for flatness and obstructions. Even a small thing will push up the flooring boards and be visible when the job is done.

That's is not a viable alternative. Trying that will cost you a lot more than just hiring them from the onset. Fixing problems you created will typically cost double what the base charge might be.

Depends on the type of flooring, but a flooring nailer is the main tool. I recommend the old-fashioned hammer ones over the air-powered versions. They seem to get teh boards down better, and as well, you've always got that rubber mallet in your hand when you need it.
Setup an area where you can cut that is well away from your working area. Sawdust between the subfloor and the hardwood isn't goign to help things. <g>

I generally reuse. You'll need to trim some to account for the higher floor. You'll need a jamb saw, which I found to be a hard tool to find.

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alt.building.construction:

Do just a part if you want. I see plenty of houses that are part hard flooring and part carpet. If you want to know about sellability, ask a real estate agent,

The person selling the wood is your best resource here. Different room shape/species/manufacturer/hardwood/engineered have different requirements. If you are REALLY careful, you can get away with 5-10% waste. But if you don't buy enough extra, you might not be able to match to color again.

Those are very different looks. Maple is very pale, uniform, and has little grain. Oak is medium dark, very variable, and has lots of grain. Malaysian cherry is very dark and red, and looks to have medium grain (I've never seen this one in person). You can also get them in different grades which have different amounts of grain and knots.
My personal favorite for light floors is medium-grade hickory. It has just enough grain, and it's hard as a rock. For dark floors, I like mesquite. It's REALLY hard and REALLY dark.

You have to prepare the subfloor first. It has to be flat and secure to the supports below. If not, your floor will squeak. You probably won't hurt the subfloor by nailing or glueing the finish floor on. You might hurt it by trying to level it.

floor nailer for solid floor (get an air-assisted one that uses a compressor -- your back will thank you) appropriate notched trowel for glue-down floor table saw to make boards narrower for around the edges miter saw to make boards shorter and cut off bad spots - also to cut quarter-round to cover up the edges saber saw to cut odd-shaped pieces to fit around corners jamb saw to cut off the bottoms of door jambs (a hand saw laid on a scrap piece of the flooring works, too) masonry jamb saw to undercut fireplaces or stone walls standard hammer drill and bits nail sets wood putty
What submaterial (ones that need to be placed below hardwood

Different products require different subfloors. Check the package instructions. I'd want at least 1" of plywood so there's no deflection when you bounce up and down.

It depends on how careful you are removing them. Another option is to leave the baseboard and add quarter-round or shoemold to cover the gap you'll have at the edges.
--
Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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> Question1: Do you guys think it's worth hardwood flooring just 1st

We built our own house. Went for stone in kitchen, living room and bathrooms, oak in dining room, hall and office, carpet in the bedrooms. I wouldn't put wood floors in rooms that might get wet or dirty (eg not bathrooms or utility rooms).

We went for 10% and that worked fine. Save a non critical room until last then if you need to order more it doesn't matter if it's not an exact match. The issue then is the delivery charge.

We went for engineered oak because we have UFH. This is 5 or 6mm of oak on 12mm of good plywood. Has the same wear life as T&G oak but is more stable. It's actually more expensive than solid wood (in may part of the world) but it allows you to have wider boards with less risk of cupping.
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You might also look at this website for some how to's
https://www.nofma.org/Publications/tabid/82/Default.aspx
Mike
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I should note also that is looks like you have to pay for them, but you don't if you just want to download the pdf file.
Mike
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wiangube had written this in response to http://thestuccocompany.com/construction/Hardwood-floor-for-dummy-question-Any-comments-appreciated-11571-.htm : Hi korjae,
I think that, in order to keep 'uniformity' in your house, you should install both hardwood flooring in all floors. I did that with these:
http://www.gatewoodfloors.com /
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We have a mixture of wood stone, tiles and carpet. Works well. We have wood in the dining room, hall way, stairs, landing and master bedroom. We have stone in the living room, kitchen and bathroom. Tiles in the utility room/washing room. Carpets in the remaining bedrooms.
Personally I would avoid using wood in any rooms where it might get wet regularly or where you might want to mop the floor (eg not kitchen or bathroom).
20% wastage is perhaps a bit excessive. My builder suggested 10%. Most suppliers make a big deal of this saying it's import to get all your order at once so it all matches - well that might be true if you are doing one room or an open plan house but if you are doing a whole house then most houses have at least one small room that is less critical than others. Any missmatch isn't a big problem there (Perhaps a store room or WC?). Just arrange to do that room last. If you have enough good boards left then fine. If not order some more or change to tiles. The main issue might be two delivery charges.
Not sure what prices are like in the USA but check out Engineered wood boards. We opted for 21mm thick Engineered oak. This is 5mm oak on 16mm plywood. It's very stable and less likely to move or cup. This means you can use wider boards with less risk - particularly recommended for use with Underfloor Heating. The 5mm layer is as deep as the tounge on a solid wood T&G plank so it can be sanded about the same number of times as a solid wood floor.
Colin
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