Flooring

We were actually able to get a lot done on the house this weekend, as we installed all the hardwood flooring on the main level!  We first had to lay plywood on top of the solid plastic subfloor as we were not sure how well the plastic would hold the staples used to secure the flooring.  I must say that it is not going anywhere, and if I ever sell the house, that the owner should never try to change the flooring.

We first both glued and screwed the plywood onto the plastic subfloor.  In securing the hardwood we again glued it down, then used staples roughly every 18″.  My dad’s friend, Chuck, let us borrow his flooring stapler he uses for work and it saved us tons of time.  Instead of needing to hand-nail everything in place and worry about the angle of the nail so that the groove of the next board would fit the tongue through which we nailed, we simply had to put the stapler over the tongue and hit it.  It delivered the staple at the top of the tongue on an angle through the flooring and into the subfloor to hold it securely.

We split the work up into 2 days because my dad was busy yesterday, so it took a good deal longer.  I was able to finish about half of the “open living” area of the house before calling it quits for the day.  Today we were able to finish what was left of the main floor because we were able to work in unison and quickly move down the line.

Here are some pictures of the work from this weekend:

One thing we did to make the work go quicker was to lay out the rows before securing it down, as opposed to doing one row with cutting the pieces, securing it, then doing the next one and so on.  It makes it less work because there is less walking to use different tools, and it allowed us to get into a rhythm while installing the flooring.

In the pictures you can also see a pile of the hardwood standing in the corner with a stack of it on the floor.  One of the biggest challenges with working in the tiny house is the lack of space for storing materials.  All of the hardwood seen in the pictures had been stacked under the loft, which is the long expanse I am seen standing under.  After getting the first portion of the work done I had to move all the flooring to where it is now so what we would be able to work in the area it had previously occupied.

Another thing about the flooring is that while it may look nice in the pictures, it is a long way from being done.  Because it was taken from a demolition sale, none of it matches up quite how it should.  If you walk on it or drag your foot across the seams you can feel that the pieces are not at the same level as the ones next to them in some cases.  This is because the wood was probably refinished before and they sanded it down.  We took the wood from 2 different rooms in the house, so their thicknesses may have varied between them.  This just means that we need to rent a floor sander and refinish the floors ourselves.

Now all that is left as far as flooring goes is the flooring in the loft and refinishing all of it.  The loft will be extremely tricky because there is very little room for one to work, much less 2 people.  Also the refinishing will be more difficult because we may not be able to use the floor sander.  After all the flooring is done we will be able to continue work on the electrical aspects of the house, then insulation and wall and ceiling coverings.  After that, plumbing and furnishings.  It is all beginning to come together!  I wish I had been able to get more accomplished so far, as I have been home for 3 weeks, but I unfortunately had surgery and had to recover for some time.  That is all done though, so I have to do as much work as I can to make this last week count.

A final consideration I am still giving thought to is the bathroom.  I really like tile, but I am afraid that the bumps of traveling with the house may crack whatever grout it used and could potentially ruin the tiling.  I am open to suggestions as to how I can finish it if anyone has any ideas.

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4 Responses to Flooring

  1. Kim Davison says:

    As to bathroom flooring, how about sheet linoleum?

  2. kmaibusch says:

    I haven’t given it a whole lot of thought because the linoleum I have in my house is all old and cheap looking, so I think I may have a bit of a bias against linoleum haha. I’ll do some research though, as I am sure it has been improved greatly since the 1970’s. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. kaiwatkins says:

    Hey, i’ve been reading your blog, very inspiring! I’ve been planning something similar to this, for similar reasons (young person, want a inexpensive portable place to live). How did your parents initially feel about the idea? I’ve been getting no support from mine, which is a bit disheartening.

    P.S. We have the same phonetic name!

    • kmaibusch says:

      Hey Kai,

      I’ve been really lucky in that my parents have actually been quite supportive about it all. I had been researching and talking about tiny houses for years before ever considering building one of my own, and my dad actually became interested in them as well because I would always send him links to stories I thought he would find interesting.

      I had been out of the country the two summers before I decided to build the house, but I was lucky enough to be home this past summer and it was either I build one then or probably never. My parents have helped me each step of the way, and my dad has been able to get us tools and materials I otherwise would not have access to.

      I have paid for everything myself, so that probably helps them support my decision because it is my money and I am putting it into something I believe in and it is something that could be a good investment to either sell upon completion for a profit, or live in it to reduce expenses and pay off my student loans.

      Right now the plan is to live in it, pay off my student loans, and then either continue living in it, sell it for a profit, or buy a plot of land on a lake and use it as a vacation home. My parents have seen all the possibilities a tiny house can lead to, and also believe that it is a good way to reduce living expenses, albeit unconventional.

      Best of luck getting your parents to come around!

      Kie

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