Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Installing Home Legends Solid Wood Flooring in the Kitchen

Well our kitchen has long been overdue for some flooring upgrades. A few years ago we removed a horrible thick terra cotta style tile that was replaced with a café style black and white checker tile. That project was a rushed job and done with total carelessness; my bad. The tiles ended up looking decent in some places but bubbled and rose in other spots of the kitchen. That shoddy work was attributed to laziness (by not peeling away the entire subfloor in an even manner). We learned to live with it for a few years, but this past spring, we ended up finally doing the floor the right way. We decided on wood flooring from Home Depot.

The wood flooring of choice was the Home Legends series sold at Home Depot. The flooring ran about $5.48 per square foot. Overall I spent about $660 for my kitchen floor which factored in about 10% extra for waste or just wanting a little extra. My internet searches about waste factor resulted in most sites recommending anywhere between purchasing and additional 5% upwards to 12%. 

Our small sized kitchen allowed my budget to accommodate thicker wood flooring (three quarters inch) that was solid wood grain throughout. There were no engineered or pressed layers. We preferred the thick grain wood to ensure we could potentially sand and re-stain in the future at least a few times over, if needed. The color was a dark oak (known as Oak Verona). The width of the floor planks is four and three quarter inches.

Removal of Old Tile Kitchen Flooring

The first part of this flooring replacement was the painful process of removing the old floor. The battered checkerboard had to go. A good portion of these checkered tiles came up fairly easy once I was able to sneak a flat end screwdriver under the tile. Once I got about half the tile propped up, I was able to slowly pull the rest of the tile away from floor. That layer was covering a thin wood underlayment layer that covered another tile floor. After going down two tile floor layers, we came across a third tile floor layer. We stopped at that point since that final layer of tile was flat and in decent shape.  It was a funky seventies pattern that I probably should have taken a photo of. The heavy burden of this project was removing tiles under the refrigerator and dishwasher. I actually had to repair some subflooring under the dishwasher due to some water damage from long ago. This entire demo/removal process took me two Sundays to complete.

Installing the Home Depot Legend flooring

The fun part was finally installing the new flooring. The only prep required was relocating appliances and putting down some pink paper that the store associate recommended.  I am not 100% sure what kind of protection this paper serves as it is really a paper and I cannot imagine it would hold up to any serious moisture. My arsenal of tools included a miter saw, wooden floor stapler and hammer, jig saw, air compressor and staples. The wooden floor stapler or nailer was a fun tool that ran me just under $40 for twenty four hour rental from the Home Depot. These are pretty common tools that can be found at most rental equipment stores.  I enjoyed using this hammer as it was actually pretty fun striking the nailer with the Thor like hammer. Only staples were required, no glue required which meant no mess. The staples went into the tongue on a 45 degree angle. It doesn’t get much simpler.

The most time consuming part of the flooring installation is making tricky cuts around corners. The jig saw helped this process along. The other time consuming part was constant measuring. Take your time measuring. If there are any second guesses or doubts, measure numerous times to avoid miss cuts.

The flooring installation process was a team effort between my wife and I. We took about ten hours to complete this project as we were interrupted by a few mishaps (miss cuts, meal breaks and a trip to Lowes for a jigsaw replacement).  Without any breaks, we could have probably knocked this out in six to seven hours

For those reading this post that are hesitant to attempt this DIY project, please consider the fact that I am not a carpenter nor mechanically inclined yet was able to pull this off. For added re-assurance I would recommend watching several YouTube videos on wooden flooring installation.

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