3 Tips for Replacing an Old Wooden Floor

In most cases, you can refinish your current hardwood floors, even if you have to repair a few areas, too. However, some wooden floors are so damaged that refinishing and sanding aren’t possible, resulting in the need to replace the boards entirely. You can do it on your own, but don’t make it harder than necessary.

Use a Circular Saw to Cut the Old Boards


Image via Flickr by toolstop

Cutting the hardwood boards with a circular saw loosens each piece for removal. Because the wood pieces are tongue-in-groove and are flush against the walls, they’re stuck but good. Make parallel cuts along all the boards you want to replace—so, all of them. You can use this method for replacing damaged boards, as well, but there’s no need for neatness or care when you’re getting rid of the entire floor—unless, that is, you want to salvage the boards and use them for something else. In that case, try to cut along each piece.

Look for the natural separation seams and simply cut along the lines. It’s easy to control a circular saw and create perfectly straight lines. You need to measure the thickness of the wood that’s currently on the floor to see how far down to cut. Usually, one-half inch to one inch is sufficient, but aged, often-refinished boards are usually thinner than that. Measuring is critical to avoid cutting into the sub-floor.

Transport Your Boards With Ease

Image via Flickr by allispossible.org.uk

Hardwood is heavy, and replacing hardwood in a few rooms can be too much wood to handle. Seeing it on the floor, it doesn’t look like it weighs much, but several roomfuls all piled together take on serious heft. Rent a forklift to move the floorboards after they’re up and out of the house. Use it to transport the wood to a truck or disposal unit, or to a storage facility for later salvage. You can even move the boards to a place on your property, such as a garage, shed, or workroom.

Consider a Different Sub-Floor

Image via Flickr by amandabhslater

Sub-floors were once almost entirely composed of OSB board or plywood. However, the only thing required of a sub-floor is that it can’t move and has to stand up as critically sound. After pulling up the old floorboards, you might want to replace the flooring beneath it—the foundation. Concrete conserves heat in the winter and keeps cool in the summer, so think about putting that beneath your new hardwood. Just make sure you wait 30 days before installing the new floor. The concrete has to pass moisture tests, as well.

Specially made floorboards can go over radiant heat. You just have to make sure that the manufacturer recommends the flooring for that purpose. Do you currently have bamboo, stone, tile, or vinyl floors that you hate? You don’t have to remove those flooring materials. Install the new wood directly over them. Just check their integrity first.

DIY hardwood installation isn’t complicated or overly difficult. It requires extreme care and attention to detail, particularly with fitting tongues into grooves and never slicing off the tongues, but you can make yourself focus. Are you inspired to change up the flooring in your home now?



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