Thanks for the responses so far. I don't like the look of
prefinished flooring (prefer a smooth finish). Took a class
in a local hardwood flooring store. Mostly board&chalk
type of class with some hands-on with floor nailers etc.
The instructor advised using a table saw and a chop saw.
I was wondering if I could get by without a chop saw if I
don't make angle cuts.
I came out of the class feeling that it is a physically
demanding process, but does not require the skill of an
experienced woodworker to do an okay job. Currently I plan
to do the install myself and the finishing professionally
done. This gives me the flexibility to spend a bit more on
the flooring. If I get the whole thing done professionally,
my choices of flooring will be quite limited (my budget is
not as huge as the trade deficit ;-).
I appreciate the advice about starting with a small area.
That way I will very soon know whether I am upto it or not.
Back to the tool issue, looks like a miter saw is the way to
go. Any specific things that I should look for in such a saw?
- Joydeep -
As I noted in a recent other response, you can get by w/ a hand miter
saw for the end cuts altho it would be slow. I'd go for the chop saw
over the table saw as you have to move the whole piece over the blade
and that isn't the easiest thing to do and keep a square crosscut.
The only place you'll need a rip will be on the edges (again assuming
you're doing strip floring only) and that would be easier w/ a table
saw, but the cut edges will be hidden by the baseboard/shoe mould anyway
so a perfect edge isn't needed...
On 12 Jan 2005 11:54:33 -0800, Joydeep Buragohain wrote:
Just finished putting down 600 sf of 3/4" prefinished hardwood.
First I would recommend a compound mitre saw. If you're going to buy one
this is more versatile for any future jobs you may want to handle.
Second and most important to me is that if you're a novice and are living
in a home older than just a few years old you may want to let a
professional do it. I did my DR, KIT, Hallway and downstairs bath and had
to replace particle board in the hallway and DR. What a pain. what a
Last but not least is what do you mean when you say "prefer a smooth
finish"? I put down prefinished rustic maple and it's as smooth as you're
gonna get in my humble opinion.
Thanks for your advice. I do'nt like the beveled edges of
prefinished strips. Prefer a smooth finish from wall to wall.
I do understand that going the prefinished way is lot more
economical and less messy than the unfinished way.
I am a novice, but wish to learn some of the home improvement
skills along the way. I reasoned that if I do the install work
myself, I have the option of getting higher quality flooring
- Joydeep -
I agree, . . . . . .but . . . . . not all pre-finished has a big bevel.
Check out a few brands and you may find something that suits you.
OTOH, you can get some very nice wood flooring. You can do a lot with it if
you have the patience and skills as you can see here:
http://www.velvitoil.com/Floors.htm Dan did the designs and Barbara did the
milling and installation. When you see them in person, they are really
On 1/12/2005 2:54 PM US(ET), Joydeep Buragohain took fingers to keys,
and typed the following:
I suppose that this floor will be installed in a perfectly rectangular
room and the boards will fit between opposite walls completely without
any edge boards having to be ripped to fit. Also there are no heat pipes
coming up through the floor, or having no doorways or closets, or
outside corners, where a piece might have to be notched, or any sawing
in any direction other than straight across the board.
If so, all you need is a mitre saw. If not, you may also need a saber
saw and a saw capable of ripping boards. Once you start, you will find
that you may need other tools that you may, or may not, have at hand.
Drill with hole saw, plane, chisels, etc.
Better check with the finishers first on prices. My brother finished
building his own house 2 years ago. Unfotunately ;-), I live 350 miles
away and couldn't help him much.
But when he shopped around for a drywall finisher he got quotes like
"$3,500 if I hang the drywall, $5,500 if you want to hang the drywall
Many of the guys gave him the same type answer. The pros find it
easier and less time consuming to finish a job they did the prep work
They also might not give you any kind of warranty if you lay it.
On 12 Jan 2005 11:54:33 -0800, "Joydeep Buragohain"
You can handle this.
I helped my friend (a hardwood installer) lay my floor.
It's not rocket science. He used a cheap table saw.
The only other saw needed was one that cut the botton of the door
jambs so the flooring could go underneath.
Good move. Go for it.
This gives me the flexibility to spend a bit more on
actually, in terms of skills, i would personally lean towards the opinion
that finishing is easier than laying - nothing complicated, just
mind-numbing, backbreaking labor to sand and exposure to nasty chemicals to
finish... but not technically demanding!
I was going to read everything before responding but that advice is so
wrong! A good finish job is the most important part aand can cover up a
myriad of other goofs. It is the part that stands out and will be noticed
by everybody. Additionally it is a skill that requires sometimes years of
training and practice before its really learned. Joe blow homeowner cannot
even buy the good finsh.
Sanding and finish will cost about $2-3/ft. You will get what you pay for
That said, I have always felt(20 years in hardwood flooring) that if I
could have only one saw, it would be a jig saw. it will rip, albeit slowly,
it will make rough crosscuts (which is all he will probably need anyway,
most if not all cuts will be covered with base), and yes, it will make
clean crosscuts and angled cuts with a simple square. Cut around pipes? The
jig. Clean up the table saw circular undercut? The jig. No other power saw
is as versitile, nor safe. It needs to be a good jig saw tho, I use the
Bosch. It will do most everything those other two do, its small and costs
about $170. I wouldn't recommend any table saw to a rookie with no
If you really must, for speed, buy a cheap Ryobi chop saw at the home
Despot. Good enough. It does make your end cuts much faster than the jig
saw. Forget the table saw and go for the jig saw.
If somehow you decide you need something more, save it all up for one day
and rent it.
I think you would be well advised to start with something smaller,
simpler, and less permanent. Take a basic woodworking class, build a
birdhouse and a shelf. That way you will find out if you have, or can
develop, the skills you will need, without sinking a ton of money into
tools. If you start with a floor, and it doesn't go really well, you
are stuck with an eyesore for a long long time.
Also, add up all the costs you will incur for tools you may never use
again. They don't just nail floors down; you need specific tools to
force the boards into place and hold them while you fasten them. Unless
you are really good with a hammer, you will need a nailer to keep from
denting your floor. What about the subflooring? You will need the
skills and knowledge to evaluate that, and possibly replace at least
some of it. What about clearances for doors and moldings? What about
evaluating the lumber; not every supplier will give you quality goods.
Not to be hypercritical, but I think you have the skills involved mixed
up. It is much harder to install a floor than to finish one, so I would
defer this until you have evaluated and honed your skills; if it has to
be done right away, I would put your money into a skilled installer, and
do the finishing yourself. Even if you screw up the finishing, which is
hard to do with the finishes available today, it is a lot easier to sand
it off and refinish, than to salvage a poor installation.
Having said that, I hope you end up with a nice floor. I don't think
there is anything more attractive in a home than a nice hardwood floor,
and I can't understand why the whole country went through an insane fit
of putting wall-to-wall carpeting over good floors. If you decide to go
ahead, look into getting quarter-sawn lumber; it costs more but the
grain pattern is much more attractive.
joydeep email@example.com wrote:
SPAMBLOCK NOTICE! To reply to me, delete the h from apkh.net, if it is
While we're on the hardwood floor topic...
I live in a ranch house with a full basement so I have access to the
subfloor. You know whats coming, right?
I have squeaks everywhere! The subfloor is 6" TG pine and the floor is
oak 2" by 3' and 4'.
The house is about 50 years old and yes I still ocassionally find
remants of a staple from the carpets that were pulled up before we
Any remedies for squeaks besides pull & reinstall?
I suspect you'll find it does not take that many. Usually, once you kill
one you kill several. Your shims will be quite thin so don't be fooled if
it looks like the sub floor is tight. If it squeaks, it's not tight.
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