Monday, January 31, 2011

Not as hard as I thought

I decided to hand nail the long side of the floor. I blind-nailed it (nailing into the tongue of each board, at an angle, then setting the nail to lie flush with the tongue) and it looks really quite nice. I don't usually say this - I usually cheer everybody on to try stuff - but you can't do this if you don't nail well. If you bend a lot of nails or hit your thumb or miss a lot, this is not the technique for you. But if you can nail decently, it's not bad!

I face-nailed (nails on top of the boards, where you can see them) the first row of boards, then started blind-nailing. The last row is face-nailed too. I predrilled a hole for every single nail, which makes all the difference in the world with oak. The first row I blind nailed I fucked up a lot, but once I got the hang of it I rarely wrecked a nail or banged the wood. I used 6f's (6 penny finishing nails), because they're what I could get locally - the Internet says you should use cut nails, kind of like delicate small concrete nails, but local stores don't carry them. I know that finishing nails could pull up at some point in the future, so I angled the nails in slightly different directions, for better hold.

I spent about six hours working on the floor, and got the long side of the hall and the coat closet done.

I keep thinking maybe I should've used 8's instead of 6's (8s are 2 1/2" long, 6's are 2" long), but it's such a disaster if a nail bends while you're driving it. Really hard to pull it without denting the board. And 8's bend so much easier than 6's... I think it'll be ok.

I have some pictures and video, but I'm too tired to care about uploading them tonight :) I love the way the floor looks and feels. It's very tight, no bounce or squeak, just that slight softness you get from walking on real wood.


  1. I hadn't put much thought into flooring in our addition... it's pretty low on the priority list for now... but you've got me pondering hardwood now. It sure does look awesome.

    Near where I live, there are huge stacks of hardwood flooring drying. It's pretty awesome to see. They cover city blocks. The shear amount of wood is staggering.


  2. do you know how to install a cat door? we seriously need to get one cuz keeping the window cracked open in this weather is ridiculous.

    do you know how to get a cat trained to use a cat door? help!: )


  3. Funder, that's awesome about the floor! I can't wait to see your pics and video. I bet it's going to look soooo good when it's all done!