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Leveling subfloor for hardwood

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curtis73

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Subfloor complete. For now, the maple flooring part is on pause. Part of this project is the fireplace installation, so I have some framing and stone veneer work to do. Thanks to you all, I am calling this project complete. I asked for help on prepping a floor and you walked me through a complete subfloor and joist replacement AND JACKING UP MY HOUSE TO REPLACE A FOUNDATION. You all rock.
 

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bud16415

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Looks good and looking forward to seeing some of the fireplace and then floor install if you feel like sharing. Helping on here is easy all we do is drink coffee. :coffee:
 

mabloodhound

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Great job. Now, for the fireplace, if you're going to have a floor level hearth, make sure the top of the hearth is level with the finished floor. Otherwise you end up with a 'tripping' obstacle.
 

curtis73

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Here's the plan for that. The flooring is 1/2". The floor level hearth will be 1/4" slate on 1/4" hardie backer. I figure with the mud under the slate and the underlayment under the wood, they should land within 1/16" of each other. I could fine tune it with a second layer of paper under the wood near the hearth if my mud is too thick.

Basically, the whole fireplace enclosure framing will be on 1/4" backer so the whole floor of the cavity is fire resistant. That backer will continue out under the hearth.

The plan is to get the backer down, the fireplace in, then go ahead and set the slate so I know my target.

While I'm here, I've narrowed my options of underlayment down to three: 15# felt, 30# felt, and aquabar. I don't need cushion, but I definitely need top notch vapor barrier and some sound deadening would be nice... so I'm leaning toward the 30# felt. Thoughts?
 

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curtis73

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Permit for fireplace approved. Moving forward. I decided to line the cavity with 1/4" Hardie Backer. Totally not necessary, but anyone who has burned wood from a demo on an old house knows how it burns like it's soaked in gasoline. Any heat I can keep away from it is good.

Truck went in for some repairs, so I'm stalled a couple days until I can get more materials. I also took the time while the floor was out to run speaker wire under the floor and got some keystone plates to run two HDMI and speaker wire up through the framing so I don't have a bunch of ugly wires for my home theater.

fireplace4.jpg
keystone2.jpgkeystone1.jpg
 

curtis73

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Had to pause on the fireplace. Chimney parts are on backorder and no one has any in stock. That's cool. I moved on to paint and flooring for now. I splurged and got the HT chimney in stainless. Just one less thing to worry about.

The living room is a color that Behr calls Gold Ink, but I call it Avocado Diarrhea. I love it. Accent wall in the hallway is Rogue Blue which I would describe as blue slate. I nicknamed it Midnight Bruise.

Pics soon.
 

curtis73

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A wee bit of floor leveling in the hallway. Tomorrow I'll be putting down 30# felt, then buzzing over to mom and dad's for the flooring. (storing it at their place). Then I'll bring it in to acclimate it and sort into bigger stuff for the field and less-lovely stuff for perimeters, ends, and other hidden areas.

foundation11.jpg

Avocado Diarrhea in the living room, Midnight Bruise in the hallway.

paint2.jpgpaint3.jpg
 

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curtis73

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I also played around with a little CAD to test my vision for the chase and mantel. The stone in the CAD is NOT an accurate representation.
fireplace design 9.jpgfireplace design 8.jpg

The cabinets on the side won't have solid doors. Less than a block away from me is an artisan who does leaded/stained glass, so I'll build the frames and take them to him for a custom glass insert. Corbels shown are a bit bigger than what I want, but it's all I could find in the software.

Then a buddy took my ideas and put his own twist on it. He's a far better CAD user than I, and he went a little crazy with cabinetry which I don't think I'll use. What I will use from his idea is the wall treatment; copper sheet. I had entertained the idea of using copper cladding around the fireplace itself, but preferred stone. He came up with the idea of copper on the walls.

fireplace design 7.jpg
And lastly, here is an image of a fireplace that uses the stone I have chosen. It's a PA blue fieldstone. I found a company about an hour away that uses actual stone and cuts it into veneer.

pa fieldstone.jpeg
 

curtis73

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I have also decided to do something that I think might be awesome if I can execute it successfully. I was going to do those keystone wall plates for behind the TV, but I decided to widen the chase for a more "masonry" look which left no real estate for big ugly wall plates.

Instead, I just ordered one of these panel-mount keystone bays. I'm going to call on my materials talents to use some epoxy/filler to make this into a stone, then I have a genius painter who can paint it to match the other stone around it. I will have a stone that accepts keystones, so it will blend in far better than a big plastic plate.

1600388235046.png
 

MrMiz

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I have also decided to do something that I think might be awesome if I can execute it successfully. I was going to do those keystone wall plates for behind the TV, but I decided to widen the chase for a more "masonry" look which left no real estate for big ugly wall plates.

Instead, I just ordered one of these panel-mount keystone bays. I'm going to call on my materials talents to use some epoxy/filler to make this into a stone, then I have a genius painter who can paint it to match the other stone around it. I will have a stone that accepts keystones, so it will blend in far better than a big plastic plate.

View attachment 24415
Now that... I would like to see when it's done! ;-)
 

curtis73

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Phase 643... maple hardwood floors done. This is the whole reason I started this thread.

I went back and forth for days on oil vs water poly. Oil has that soak-in ability which really makes the figure of the wood look 3D, but it also ambers wood, and the oils will get darker as the years go by. Water poly doesn't darken the wood, but also lacks the ability to really give contrast to the grain.

I had pretty much decided on Zar "self leveling poly." It seemed to have the least ambering of the oil base polys, and rated as the hardest poly after it cures. Unfortunately, the self-leveling part comes from additional solvents and high VOC which means I can only get quarts in PA. I wasn't keen on spending $400 (or driving 4 hours to WV) for a finish that meant moving out of the house for a week to avoid brain damage.

I went to a paint store that had reviews mentioning that the owner was super knowledgeable. We probably spent an hour talking about finishes. He always keeps one pint or quart of everything he stocks as store use. I had taken a scrap with me and we tried 6 or 7 finishes. One came through hands down winner. Zar OMU. Oil modified urethane. It is oil/alkyd urethane esters emulsified in a water base. Just enough of the alkyd esters to make the grain pop without darkening. Cures both by film drying and O2 crosslinking and supposedly very hard when cured.

Viscosity I would put right around melted butter or maple syrup. On the thinner side of a typical oil poly and on the thicker side of a water poly

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The first coat I put on with a typical synthetic sponge (water wiz) on a stick and found it difficult to work with, so instead I went and bought one of these pictured below and jabbed a stick in the handle. This was the bees knees. No edging or snowplowing, just start at one end and go to the other. Drop-ins, starts/stops, no worries. I just made sure the mop was moving before contact. That is probably also due to the OMU's ability to self level.

This is what I used and may never use a normal floor pad ever again. It is a microfiber cover on a T-bar that is marketed for professional window washers. You dip it in soapy water to scrub a window. This thing ROCKED my floor. $12 at Home Depot. I was able to lay impossibly thin coats
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Like I said, pictures don't do it justice, but here is the floor being installed, and then some after 4 coats of poly.

floor finish2.jpgfloor finish3.jpgfloor finish5.jpgfloor finish6.jpgfloor finish7.jpgfloor finish9.jpgflooring2.jpgfloor finish1.jpgfloor finish2.jpgfloor finish3.jpgfloor finish5.jpgfloor finish6.jpgfloor finish7.jpgfloor finish9.jpgflooring2.jpg
 
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oldognewtrick

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Nicely done!

Looks like you're making excellent progress. I always go to real paint stores when buying paint, they are so much more knowledgeable and helpful than the big box stores. The quality of paint at the big box stores is less than name brand stores.
 

zannej

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I'm just now seeing this thread for the first time and I love it. I absolutely love that you salvaged a tree & had it made into flooring. You have done amazing work!
I was too late to the party to mention I've heard that you can use asphalt shingles as shims. They don't rot & they don't compress. I'm very glad you pulled the floor & saw the condition of the joists so you were able to replace them. That looked like a LOT of work but you did a great job- especially with back problems.

There is also a sister forum to this: flooringforums.com that you might like. I bet the guys over there would love to see your progress. I'm very impressed with how this has turned out and I love your plans for the fireplace.

It already looks amazing so I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. It's making me want to be more productive.
 

curtis73

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I'm just now seeing this thread for the first time and I love it. I absolutely love that you salvaged a tree & had it made into flooring. You have done amazing work!
I was too late to the party to mention I've heard that you can use asphalt shingles as shims. They don't rot & they don't compress.
Thank you. A labor of love. I never knew how long I would stay here, but my job is awesome so roots in this area are fine with me. I did give pause when COVID hit and housing prices skyrocketed here. For a while there I could have sold this house for 40% more than I paid 3 years ago, but I guess I really want to stay. For about 1 hour I thought "I could put this maple in my next house..." but nah.

I did scavenge some shingles from the neighbor's garage roofing job in case I needed them, but I only would have needed a piece of one. Instead I had some leftover floor leveling compound so I just used it in that one corner by the bathroom.
 

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