March 22, 2013

Laundry Room Floors

It’s happening. You know, that part of a remodel where you finally get a glimpse of the light. The construction phase is almost in the past and the fun, pretty stuff begins! The flooring is officially installed in the laundry room, and I’m doing the happy dance all over them.

Installing Hardwood Flooring Over Existing Tile | Cape27Blog.com

With a little back and forth over which exact option to go with, we ultimately choose to carry on the same flooring from the rest of the house. They’re an engineered hardwood in Texas Brown, more on how we choose them here and previously installing them here. Basically, seeing the same flooring flowing throughout an entire house is our idea of a good time. We also considered doing a tile, maybe a slate, something to better stand up to heavy traffic. But the floors have held up fairly well near the entry of our home now, so we figure they’ll do just fine. I will note though, if you’re considering these floors for your own home, they are soft and will NOT remain perfect. We’ve learned to embrace the character.. well, Ricky is still learning.

Installing Hardwood Flooring Over Existing Tile | Cape27Blog.com

The installation was slightly different then throughout the main areas of the house, where we had sheets of plywood laid beneath to provide as a sub floor. This time, we decided to go directly over the previous owners tile floors. We wouldn’t always recommend this, but the floors were level and smooth enough, with small grout lines to consider it. And ripping out the tile was something we wanted to avoid, at all costs. That being said, going over tile meant that we wouldn’t be able to nail the floors, like we’d done in the past. Instead, we went the gluing route. You’ll definitely want to make sure that your specific flooring allows for this, but it turns out that there were several ways to install ours. I won’t go into too much detail here, but a few new things we learned along the way with gluing vs. nailing:

– Let your first few rows completely set up before moving forward. Unlike nails, the glue will take time to dry and really lock into place. We noticed that it was really important to allow the first two rows to stabilize, to allow the others something to “back up” to and keep from sliding.

– Have heavy items at hand. Preferably, something like a human. Ricky laid the flooring, and I literally just stood there…. On top of them. Even after allowing the flooring to sit at room temperature for months in the house, the boards were still a bit warped. Warped wood and glue do not mix. That’s where the human comes in. Note – make sure you have something to entertain you BEFORE you get suckered into standing in place for hours in an empty room. Or you could just let the hubs talk sports. Your call.

– Focus on keeping things straight. This may seem obvious, but when you’re nailing hardwood the pressure of the nail gun can close all those tiny gaps, no problem. With glue, it’s easy to overlook them and things can get wonky fast.

– We used a Power Grab Adhesive for the first few rows of flooring, for faster drying time, and regular subfloor adhesive for the remainder of the rows.

The room has already dramatically changed, and darkened up quite a bit. No worries though, we’re already well on way to adding plenty of white storage solutions, which will really brighten the space back up!

Installing Hardwood Flooring Over Existing Tile | Cape27Blog.com

Despite having the same floors in the rest of the house, we’ve mostly only seen them next to gray walls. I’m really digging the dark mocha with the navy/teal walls!

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