28 votes
Accepted

Low-cost hardwood flooring... what's the catch?

There are a lot of factors when it comes to pricing flooring as it has become a highly competitive, mass produced commodity. What you have here is the cheapest specs you can get in wood flooring: ...
  • 47.1k
26 votes
Accepted

How do I fix popped nails in hardwood floors?

Use lost-head screws. These have heads small enough that they will pull down into the surface so you can cover them with a dab of filler. There are many types, for different purposes, but all have ...
  • 7,094
21 votes

Does hardwood floor REALLY need an expansion gap?

When an irresistible force meets an immovable object, in this case you get floor buckling. It's been observed in practice countless times. Feel free to repeat the mistakes of others, or learn from ...
  • 166k
11 votes

Why don't I see more progress when sanding my stair treads?

A vibrating or oscillating sander isn't going to be aggressive enough for that job. It's really only suitable for light finish sanding. You need something that spins, or at least something with a ...
  • 115k
9 votes

Hardwood flooring installation

If the floor is flat with no dips or ridges then yes. The new flooring will raise the floor height up a bit ~3/4 inch, but if you are happy with the new height, no problem. Most flooring made with ...
  • 16.8k
8 votes

Is hardwood flooring safe from termites?

If you have a traditional wood framed house, termites in the flooring would be the least of your problems. Structural issues due to termites in load bearing walls would be much worse. Are you on a ...
  • 15.6k
7 votes

Distributed expansion gaps in solid hardwood flooring

Do NOT install expansion spaces between each board. You want a very tight fit between each board and then leave an expansion space around the perimeter of each room. First you’ll need to acclimate ...
  • 22.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Wood Species to replace small bed frame piece

For strength, hardwood is far preferable to softwood. Most big box stores have pieces of oak, often in the stair parts section. If nothing else is available, poplar would be preferable to softwood ...
  • 33.4k
6 votes

How do I fix popped nails in hardwood floors?

I'd pull them out and see if the floor squeaks or flexes. Maybe you don't need them and can fill or ignore the holes. Otherwise, replace them with ring shank or spiral shank type nails...as suggested ...
6 votes

How do I fix popped nails in hardwood floors?

"Two nails in my hardwood flooring keep popping up: I have knocked them back in, but because of a bit of flex in the floor, they work their way back up. What should I do about them?" Civil ...
  • 169
6 votes

Does hardwood floor REALLY need an expansion gap?

Humidity is a much bigger factor than temperature in wood expansion. And most of the humidity-related expansion is across the grain, not along the grain. The floor and subfloor are subject to the same ...
5 votes

Low-cost hardwood flooring... what's the catch?

If it's truly 3/8", then the glue-down hardwood is half the thickness of a traditional hardwood flooring material (example - 3/4" thick oak). This uses less volume of wood per square foot of floor, ...
  • 8,077
5 votes

Proper Orientation for Plywood Subfloor under 3/4" Hardwood

Your current plywood is suitable for hardwood installation. I do not ever like to use 1/4 subfloor as it is brittle and when screwed sometimes doesn't lay flat. If I added to your subfloor I would ...
  • 47.1k
5 votes
Accepted

How much sanding do I need to do to refinish a wood floor?

You'll probably want to rent a proper floor sander. A small random-orbit will take ages and you'll probably burn through most of its useful life. The sander should come with a variety of paper grits....
  • 115k
5 votes
Accepted

Are my hardwood sleepers shrinking?

What you are showing is bare wood apparently without any treatment or coating. In that case the wood will shrink and swell due to humidity and, since this appears to be outside, rain, snow, etc. Wood ...
  • 22.7k
4 votes
Accepted

Halo effect sanding floors

When re-finishing wood floors with drum and edge sanders one of the last steps is to blend the two areas with a floor machine sander. The floor machine is set-up for 100 and 120 grit sanding disks. ...
  • 10.8k
4 votes

Repairing hollowed out hole in hardwood floor

You should buy a colored wood filler that most closely matches the color of your floor and pack it in there to fill. Carefully sand the filled area, hit it with additional stain if necessary, then ...
  • 33.8k
4 votes
Accepted

What's the best way to repair this hardwood floor damage?

Remove the old, rotten wood and replace it with new stuff. This is a very common repair. I've never seen anybody use a jigsaw to remove hardwood strip flooring before but I'm sure it's been done. ...
4 votes
Accepted

What is this subfloor, and do I need a wood underlayment for hardwood

Yes, that's OSB. It's the only product that's made with large wood "strands". I wouldn't have guessed that it was 3/4" though due to the apparent lack of tongue and groove along the longitudinal edge, ...
  • 115k
4 votes

Distributed expansion gaps in solid hardwood flooring

Wood gives, and takes.... In my opinion, wood will compress when needed. Picture a hammer striking a board and leaving a mark, it compresses. This is quite the exaggeration, but for a point. The wood ...
  • 32.5k
4 votes

My apartment still smells like polyurethane after over a month! I have a toddler with respiratory issues, please help

From what you've told us, it sounds like you are trying a number of good ideas to help mitigate the smell and lingering off-gassing but maybe not optimally. I actually would advise against using ...
  • 1,997
4 votes

How to make 1x2 lumber longer?

I'm not sure quite what kind of pets you're keeping in a 99x72" enclosure, but a 1x2 won't have a lot of strength. It's only 3/4" thick on the best days, and if the critters are jumping ...
  • 37k
4 votes

How to make 1x2 lumber longer?

How do you get bigger lumber? Buy bigger lumber. In the world of DIY and carpentry in general, smaller boards are made from larger boards as a matter of course. A 1x4-10 ripped down the middle nicely ...
  • 115k
3 votes

Proper Orientation for Plywood Subfloor under 3/4" Hardwood

In agreement with the above and further suggest: 1) Walk the existing floor in silence, use 1-1/4" screws to eliminate real or perceived squeaks. 2) Pay attention to the butt joints, if they are ...
  • 31
3 votes

How can I remove blackened water stains from a hardwood floor?

The active agent in bleach is sodium hypochlorite. Normally, it will remove old stain color from wood but not ink stains or black water marks. For black water stains, use a saturated solution of ...
  • 31
3 votes

If polyurethane is not food safe, why is it used on dining tables?

This article says it is food safe only after it is fully cured. According to finishing expert Bob Flexner, all finishes are food-safe once they have cured. Polyurethane varnish does not present any ...
  • 131
3 votes
Accepted

Repairing hollowed out hole in hardwood floor

i would start by digging out the area a little bit to see how bad the hole is. if its not to deep or just a sign of a bigger problem, i would fix it like so: 1) using lacquer sticks and an alcohol ...
3 votes
Accepted

What are these light marks on my new (unfinished) oak counter tops?

Quarter sawn oak has those rays. They aren't a defect nor will they go away. This figure was prized by early Craftsman builders.
  • 886
3 votes

Carbolineum safety and removal from wood

This seems to be something that penetrates into the wood and will be very difficult to remove. I would find the manufacturer from the empty cans and phone their customer support number for advice. I'm ...
3 votes
Accepted

Hardwood floor refinishing with polyurethane. Do I need to use any sort of base coat? What are the advantages?

I would always suggest you avoid sanding sealers unless you have a specific reason to use one. Sanding sealers place a clear base coat between the wood and finish. But because the sealer is formulated ...

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