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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
I just finished putting hardwood flooring in our dining room and I used
a table saw. There were no angle cuts only cross cuts at 90 deg. and a
couple rip cuts lengthwise where the boards were wider than the space I
Unless you are in need of the miter and/or compound features of the
chop saw, my vote goes for the table saw. You can do many more
different cuts with a table saw than with a chop saw.
If you buy a inexpensive saw be sure to buy a good carbide tipped
blade for it, it will make all the difference in the world. If it's
one of the smaller, table top types of saw, get some cheap roller
stands and/or make some provision to support longer pieces.
I just found this web site and so this may be of no use to you. I used
to have a business installing and refinishing hardwood floors. Your
tool needs are of course based on a few criteria. First the type of
flooring you will be using. If you are installing the standard tounge
and groove strip flooring measuring 2. 1/2" wide by 3/4 inches thick in
random lengths then any chop saw will work. If you don't plan to use
the tool a lot after this project then I would go for an inexpensive
brand and spend the money for a good blade. Freud is a decent brand of
blade available at most home improvement stores. An 8 1/4 inch saw will
be adequate. Delta makes a good one for less than $100.00. This next
issue is where I disagree with most of the answers you seem to have
gotten.If the dimensions of your room will require cutting any boards
lengthwise (ripping) then you are only safe using a table saw. In
addition a table saw will include a miter attatchment which will work
just as well to cut any short ends to length or at an angle.If you are
installing a plank floor ( board widths greater that 3.5 " then you
will have to have a chop saw wth a 10 to 12" blade which is quite a bit
more expensive. Here again the table saw will do any width. If you plan
to install laminate flooring the table saw again is your best bet.
However with laminate flooring you will need to use a blade made for
this type of material. These blades have more teeth. Again with the
table saw spend less on the saw and more on the blade. A carbide blade
is best and a small 10' benchtop saw will do nicely. The saws are also
available on-line or from companies like Harbor Frieght Tools or the
Tool Crib. The short of it is the same advice I give to any novice
woodworker asking what the one most useful cutting tool is. The table
saw is the most widely useful tool in woodworking of any kind. If you
have any other questions on this matter feel free to e-mail me.
email@example.com. Also if you opt for my advice invest in a good
push block and safety glasses and follow the safety instructions
included with the tool. A power saw will not even slow down as your
fingers pass through the blade!
Or, a nonish table saw. Or, you don't really need a miter saw. For the few
boards you're going to rip, you could easily get them ripped by someone with
a table saw and the miter would perform most of the work you'll need to do.
On the other hand, my father laid the maple floors in the house I grew up in
using only a table saw. You can easily get very precise cross cuts on the
table saw and then you don't need the miter. You can spend more money on a
betterish table saw that way.
It really comes down to what you want to end up with after the job. If
you're going to be doing woodworking then either tool is a good tool to have
in your shop, but depending on what kind of projects you envision yourself
getting into, one might be a better first tool to have in the long run.
Of course, when faced with a project, there just is no better reason to go
out and buy tools. Lots of tools. Hell, buy both saws, but don't buy a
smallish table saw. Buy a biggerish table saw.
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