Monday House, week 19 , floors, plugs, tile

At the end of last week, all the old pine floors had been removed from the main level. The upstairs already had a new subfloor, and now it was the turn for the main floor. Bill has a stand up electric screwdriver to quickly insert flooring screws:


The clean, light coloured plywood subfloor made a huge visual transformation to the house:


(the rectangular holes in the pic above will be HVAC (heat ducts) coming up under the future island)

The prefinished tongue and groove solid hardwood maple flooring arrived. Here’s the first 20 boxes of what seemed like hundreds:


The boards are thick, allowing for future sanding and refinishing. These floors should last the next century easily.


The flooring is a mixture of clear grained pieces …


and character pieces …


The longest boards are about 6 or 7′; most are shorter, including some very short bits. And the sawing and fitting of the longer boards will create lots of additional shorties.

First step towards a good installation, carpenter Chris installed a perfectly straight starter board running the longest and most visible spot in the house, from the front door right to the back wall of the improved old addition. He used a laser beam and continually checked for measured straightness, then confirmed it all with the remarkably accurate human eyeball. In an old house like this, sometimes a measured-straight line doesn’t look right, and needs to be adjusted to match the declines and angles of the old home. But in this case, the measured line was perfect:


The first course of boards starts at the starter block and works to the right into the living, dining, kitchen, and back rooms.


Boards are nailed into the subfloor, using this device which holds the nail at the perfect angle:


The carpenter uses a hammer to hit the black trigger on the right and the compressor drives the nail into the tongue or groove as required:


Over time, the wood will age and mellow and the contrast between the different boards will even out somewhat.



The contractor brought in carpet runners to protect the floor finish. Visitors must now remove their shoes at the door.


When the plywood subfloor was laid, and before the maple floor was installed, the electricians were called back to install the plugs, switches, and recessed light fixtures:


The switches and plates are decora. The recessed pot lights are all LED for energy efficiency and reduced heat spillage:


It is an amazing improvement to change all those little holes cut in walls and ceilings into the final bits for modern life:


The workers on site also appreciate having bright lighting available in most rooms. It makes work on dull days easier.

And upstairs, the subway-style wall tiles were installed in the shower area. Here they are gluing in place with little plastic spacers between the tiles:



And here with the first grouting:


This week, the crew will install the upstairs maple flooring and finish the bathroom tilework.

Prior arrangements to move the furniture into the house means that the contractor now has to juggle the furniture arriving next week with the work yet to be done in various rooms. Obviously baseboard trim and door trim and doors themselves are best installed in empty rooms. The kitchen cabinetry has to be assembled and closets made ready. Not everything can be finished before the moving in date. Some elements have to be ready to get an “occupancy permit” and some work will have to be fitted in after.

4 thoughts on “Monday House, week 19 , floors, plugs, tile

  1. Call me weird, but I really appreciate that the electrician lined up all the slots in the cover plate screws. I always do that, too.

    1. Heather – a person after my own heart ! Although I always line up the screw slots vertically, not horizontally. And for those screw -adverse fetishists, head off to Preston Hardware and you can buy cover plates for your decora switches and plugs that have NO SCREWS at all. I converted my ground floor to those clean lined plates, and will do the upstairs sometime too.

      1. After our house was painted, I did this exact same thing – lining the screw slots vertically. I thought I may be the only person who would pay attention to something like that but it seems like this practice might be more common than I thought! Good to know about those plates with no screws from Preston Hardware.

    2. That’s the mark of a thoughtful worker. I use to do the same with hinge screws. No one ever noticed of course, but it felt right and took no time at all.

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