Quick Home-Improvement question!

Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/18/12 03:51 PM

Hey guys-
I'm at the point where I can be sanding and polyurethaning the kitchen floor soon. Joyce just offered to take the dog away for the weekend to enable me to get multiple coats on there without it interfering with the family life (The smell gives her wicked headaches). If that's the case, I want to see if I can rent a floor sander Friday, to start putting down coats of poly on Friday night & Saturday.

So, here's the problem and the quick question. In the main part of the kitchen, the floor is in good enough shape for a straight finishing job. In the small pantry area shown here, the existing maple floor doesn't reach the toe kicks on the new cabinets... and is also in bad shape in a few spots.







(sorry about the large photos, I'm rushing this post)

I'm thinking that what I would like to do is to maybe make a cut perpendicular to the board ends, removing the last inch and a half or so, and then put new boards in around the perimeter:



The problem is that I then need to make that cut on the existing boards. I can't get a circular saw in there... no room around the cabinets. I could use a Sawzall, but I don't think the cut would be straight enough. Complicating things is that there are likely nails in the cutting area....knocking out the possibility of, say, a router with a spiral bit.

I know I've seen what in essence are very small circular saws...maybe a 3" blade or so... that could get under the cabinets and maybe go through the nails if I had the right blade.

Any thoughts? If I need to buy something, I can get it overnight very cheaply from Amazon as I'm a Prime Member, allowing me to do this stuff tomorrow before sanding Friday.

Of course, I can just rip all this out and put in tile..... !

Edit: Something like this Rotozip is what I was thinking of....
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/18/12 04:14 PM

Cut back the existing floor from the point where you CAN get a circ saw in there. Then there will be more boards in the final "trim-around" and it will look intentional. Lots of old houses have parallel floor boards only in the middle of a room. The perimeter goes both ways with the corners of the "perimeter" pcs. mitered.

Or, don't miter them and color the new maple boards black, or anything that makes them look suffuciently different from the clear maple.

At any rate, the final result (of anything)
shouldn't look like it was a solution to a problem. Rather, it should look intentional and part of the planned design outcome.

Nailing off retrofit flooring pcs. under cab toe-kicks is never easy, but you can do it!
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/18/12 04:27 PM

Or you could cut it back and put some subfloor and a tile that would fit flush with the wood. Just a thought.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/18/12 04:31 PM

I agree with Bob's suggestion, Mark. If that doesn't work for you maybe you can find a small trim saw with a 3-4" blade to do the job. One rather radical method you might consider is tilting your circular saw at a 45 bevel and see if you can then reach what you want to do. The mating strips would then need the same angle of course. Heck, maybe you need to buy a trim saw AND tilt IT at 45 bevel!
Posted by: BrenR

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/18/12 05:04 PM

I'm with Bob as well.

If you do want to undercut, you could get one of these:

http://toolmonger.com/2007/09/05/dealmonger-harbor-freights-40-toe-kick-saw/

Of course, use it against a straight edge, no free handing it.

Bren R.
Posted by: Joe_in_SC

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/18/12 05:09 PM

How about something like this.

As other have noted, it's always an option to make a "feature" out of a problem. When I screw up on a woodworking project and have to come up with a work-around, I just call it 'design evolution'. Think outside the box and you can probably come up with something that looks like it belongs there.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/18/12 06:50 PM

+Bob.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/18/12 07:32 PM

Thanks everyone for the quick suggestions!!!

Bob, your idea is exactly what Joyce and I had talked about. I thought maybe a contrasting color (Mahogany?) might ADD a design element and get me past having to match the existing Maple exactly. There's a problem, though, that I failed to mention in my first post: It seems as though, when the floors were first installed, they started at the farthest point in the kitchen and then moved across and into the little pantry area.

From the foreground to the background, and into the pantry visible behind the doorway half-blocked by the fridge:



Problem was, by the time they got all the way across (about ~25'), they weren't square. In other words, the last Maple board in front of the sink base has a 1 1/2" offset between the left side and right side of the sink base.

Soooooo....... if we do a "contrasting wood" or "frame of tile" type thing, that floor that's not square with the cabinets will just become much more evident!

Joe, I have a multi-tool that I bought the other day and haven't even tried. I'm kind of committed to Ryobi tools since I have so much invested in them already, and Home Depot was running a special last week where, for $99, you got a drill, a circular saw, a charger, 2 batteries and you got to pick another tool.... so I picked a multi-tool figuring it might come in handy with all the finish trim work I have coming up. I needed a couple of new batteries, which are $70 by themselves, so I couldn't resist the deal. It's now my third Ryobi drill (anyone want one?) and my second circular saw.... but they make these bundles hardly more expensive than the batteries by themselves!

Anyway...... so I have one, haven't used it yet, but didn't really expect that it would be good for cutting ~15' of hardwood.

After dinner, I picked up a RotoZip like I linked to above. It ends up that HD carries them, so I got it and figured if I came home and everyone said it was the wrong tool for the situation, I could return it it next time I'm at HD....which seems to be pretty much everyday at this point!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/18/12 08:01 PM

Oh, one more thing Bob:

I figure that nailing down and boards under the toe-kick was going to be too much of a PIA.... so I would either just use Liquid Nails or I would screw them underneath from the basement below. (or both)
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/18/12 09:32 PM

Just cut it square with the cabinet instead of along the board. I think that's the lesser of the two weevils.
Posted by: INANE

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/18/12 11:38 PM

I agree with Tom... and if you chose something really dark as a contrast I think it would look pretty decent.

Pictures look really great BTW!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 07:02 AM

Hmmmmm.... maybe if I pull out one more board in front of the sink and then cut tapers on two boards so it won't be quite as noticeable......
Posted by: Murph

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 08:48 AM

Easiest solution..... Hire Bob.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 09:07 AM

I thought of that, but his face is all droopy and I'm afraid he'll cut everything on an angle....meaning, in the end, that his affliction WILL have affected me.

Besides, every time he comes by, he falls a little more deeply in love with Buddy, and I'm afraid he's just setting himself up for a big hurt.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 10:09 AM

Maybe another stupid question, but I'm not finding anything by Googling:

Is there a difference between maple "flooring" and standard "1 by XX" available from a Home center?

I mean, I know maple is maple... but is "flooring" 7/8" or something? I'm measuring my existing flooring at just about 3/4" so I'm thinking I can just get maple lumber instead of maple flooring...(?)
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 10:19 AM

My .02 worth of unqualified information, but just thinking about this is, flooring would probably be properly treated and surfaced for a better non splintery surface. (maybe, perhaps, quizas?)
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 10:31 AM

It is usually 3/4".
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 10:33 AM

Brian, I'm sorry. I should have specified that it I were to get "flooring", it would be unfinished in any way, so I could sand it flush with the existing floor.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 10:42 AM

Mark, as mentioned by SB, the vast majority of hardwood flooring is 3/4" and is prefinished with usually 8-12 coats of aluminum oxide protectant. You could also get many types of hardwood without finishing on them too. From my own experience, I think you might find hardwood flooring actually cheaper than buying raw stock, ymmv....it might have to do with the way taxes are applied to the manufacture of the two products. You can also find hardwood in 3/8" as well, if that works better for you (build up with plywood underneath to meet the right height of your existing floor.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 10:43 AM

Old flooring (your maple is not original to the house---it's too narrow) can be a full 7/8." The new stuff is a full 3/4."

If you could make "mallet-space" to actually utilize the toungue and groove of some real flooring, you'll be far better off in the long run. If not, I'd still face nail (ring finish nail) as much of it as possible. Are you sure you have sufficient basement access to reach every inch of up-screwing that you'll need to do?

An no liquid nails! If you have a leak in there in future and the floor gets damaged, you will kill yourself for having done that. Or, if you prefer, when that DOES happen, I can come up and rip them out for you, then I can kill you and Joyce can still collect the insurance payouts.


Edit: If you do have to get real maple, home center maple is soft maple---always. You need Rock Maple, or Hard Rock (Yeah, baby!) Maple. You have to go to a harwood dealer, and those are soooo hard to find in your part of New England (insert "pfffffttt).

Then, natch, you have to resaw, rip, size, trim, blah, blah.
There HAS to be a flooring dealer near you than stocks hard maple.

And, please Gawd, no pre-finished in your cool old house, pleeeeeeease?!?
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 10:48 AM

You can always run a router up against a straight edge too. Use a patter bit. You'd have a cleaner cut as well.

If you have not bought your stain/finish, I highly suggest that you look at Street Shoe coatings. I used that on my hardwood and it is amazing stuff. No smell, super fast and easy install, hard as nails.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 10:48 AM

re: Bob-
And here I thought you and Joyce were in cahoots together.

Bob, if I nail from above, am I just using wood filler in the nail holes? What do you think of screws from above, with contrasting-color plugs as a design element?

If I screwed them in from below, would I really need more than 7-8 screws per board?
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 10:50 AM

Thanks, Mike. I was dismissing a router though because of hidden nails.

I'll look up the stain, but I think it's something I have to get today, so availability might be an issue!
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 10:54 AM

Damn nails.

Basic Coatings is the manufacture. They make stain and the top coat.

Even if you could stain it today, then top coat later.....

Good luck.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 11:00 AM

Adrian:
I'm checking into pricing, though I really don't need very many board-feet and I'm thinking the U.S. market is probably less-taxed than Canada and New Hampshire is particularly low on taxes anyway (no sales tax, etc...)
Posted by: Murph

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 11:02 AM

"contrasting-color plugs"
Please go Here and choose "Laugh #1" for a replica of the noise I just made.

"Screwed in from below"
Please go Here and choose "Laugh #5" for a replica of the noise I just made.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 11:02 AM

How many think I should rip out that crooked 5' X 5.5' area and just start fresh (though I'd need to rent a floor nailer) or just put in tile?
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 11:26 AM

I plan on replacing my hardwood flooring in the main living area sometime. Concerning nailing them, instructions call for nailing them at an angle from the edge just above the tongue in grove area with a special nail gun made for that. That way, they're no holes to fill and no nails to work it's way back up.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 11:35 AM

And another thing! (Aren't you glad that I can go back to work on Monday?)

You already have maple flooring in there that you're trying to save, right? The new cabs are a sort of cherry finish, right? And the countertops are other colors, right? And then you're gonna paint in there, right?

I'd be reluctant to introduce yet another wood species/color. This is especially true, since the old maple floor, the new whatever, and the cherry are all crammed together in a 12" (appx.) space around the perimeter of the floor. I would use the maple and color it.

Or.... If you think you may paint the cabs the off-white you guys really want, then another species or wood color would look great at the juncture of the the paint and the maple. Otherwise, the only colors I'd use on the "surround" pieces are black (Dye, not stain-so the wood grain/figure still shows) or very dk. brown.
Posted by: BobKay

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 11:57 AM

I'm having troble keeping up with your questions.

Standard 2.25" flooring that has to be face nailed would usually have 2 nails at each floor joist.

I think countersinking and plugs would look great in your house, but remember, you'll still have to have sanding access under the toekick to sand 'em all flush. You can't do that if you pre-color them. The coloring (if you choose to do that) would have do be done after all the plugs were sanded flush. Even a good flush saw may scratch out the color.

Any time you have the will to square off a part of the room to make your retrofit easier to do and look better in the end, do it.

Don't make me come up there!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/19/12 11:58 AM

Hey Brian-
Yes, a floor nailer nails each board via it's edge so the nails are hidden. But you can't get them under the toe kick of the cabinets, where I'd be working.

I just got off the phone with Joyce and told her that everything I was planning on doing has somewhat been shot down with better advice from those that know much more than I.

She thinks that I should just let go of the pantry area for now, and just concentrate on sanding and putting poly on the main kitchens' floor. We can look at just replacing all that flooring with new hardwood or even tile sometime after.

I have to admit, it takes the pressure off having to get this figured out today... but if we put mew maple in there next week I'd wonder about color matching and if we do tile I'd wonder how that would look in terms of busyness of differing materials.

I hate the indecision. We're running into two other issues from the work our contractors did and I'm just finding myself getting overwhelmed and really pissed off about it all!
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/20/12 11:43 AM

Update:
We're still in a holding pattern with a contractor and the weather is not supposed to be great, so we're skipping the whole "Joyce and Buddy leave so Mark can sand and poly the floors this weekend" thing.

Plus, it'll just give us more time to decide what we want to do with that pantry floor.

Thank you for your help, everyone. Your suggestions weren't a waste; we'll take them all into account for next weekend!
Posted by: Murph

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/20/12 11:44 AM

If you are getting cranky then, Once again...
Step 1, Hire Bob.
Step 2, Make no decisions, give no instruction.
Step 3, You, Joyce and Buddy go on a little mini vacation.
Step 4, Return, pay Bob and enjoy.

That is what I would do at this point. I have learned that I love woodworking but I despise home renovation. They do not have to the same thing.
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/20/12 12:57 PM

It is better to take your time and do it the best you can. It is after all, your own home so there is no rush.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/20/12 01:48 PM

Is this why it takes me from 6 mo to 5 years to get any project done?
Posted by: SBrown

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/20/12 02:02 PM

Originally Posted By: CatBrat
Is this why it takes me from 6 mo to 5 years to get any project done?


That and a wee bit of a lack of motivation(wife,ect) laugh
Posted by: dakkon

Re: Quick Home-Improvement question! - 01/28/12 01:30 AM

miss read the question, NM....