Just purchased a condo for the ex. It's a apartment building gone condo. The price was right so in she goes. It's located in Cranston RI.
I pulled up the carpeting and was expecting a wood subfloor. Nope. There's about 2 inches of gypcrete. It's my first time ever seeing that stuff. Googled it an I get it. Just don't like it. Makes my job harder.
She wanted a traditional hardwood floor. No engineered laminates. No vinyl with a wood look. Nothing with water absorbing properties as we have grandkids that spill stuff. HOA says no nailing of 3/4" inch wood to "concrete" floor. Well, no kidding. Like I would even try.
I did a lot of homework and decided to float 3/4" T&G OSB over the gypcrete. Will add some construction adhesive where necessary. Manufactures suggest a squirt down the grooves. Ok.
On top of the OSB I'll be installing 5/8" solid Bamboo T&G (on 4 sides) boards. Purchased from Lowes. Natural Floors by USFloors 3.7/8-in Natural smooth/traditional Bamboo hardwoord flooring. It's 38" long horizontal Bamboo. $2.09 a square foot.
Needed 750 SQ FT. 3 rooms. Living/Dining and 2 bedrooms. Living is 12 x 24 feet. Beds are 11 x 16 and 11 x 13. Both have walk in closets.
I have installed several thousand sq feet of Oak, Fir, SYP, even Jatoba. That Jatoba was a tough one, had to predrill and hand nail it. All in old 1920's homes where the original floors had been damaged or sanded beyond repair.
I install in my spare time as I work in an office. Always used, and I know you will laugh, my ol trusty Harbor Freight air nailer. Had it for 5 years now. Just picked up another one last night as I have a guy helping with this floor as time is short. Tried it with a shim under the foot with 1 1/2" cleats on a piece of OSB. work well. No major tongue splits.
The boxes of flooring have been acclimating for 3 weeks now while I did other work. Built a solid Cherry vanity, medicine and wall cabinet for her in my wood shop. Buying new kitchen cabs from Builder's Surplus as there brands are plywood with T&G drawers. No particle board. She better appreciate it.
Anyway, my questions.
1.Since it's only 38" long, and I don't want any repeat patterns, stairs or H's, how should I stagger it? Should I cut off random amounts from each starter board on a new row? Measured amounts? If measured amounts, what's the repeat? Like 6 inches, 12 inches, etc?
2.Ripped off the clamshell baseboard and wil replace with something nicer to cover the wall gaps.I'll be running the boards down the 24' length of the Living room. Should I butt the first board right up to the metal entrance door threshold? Seems to have some give to it.
3.Same question with the slider as the slider is 45 degrees from the entrance door. Can't butt the ends to the metal threshold as that will look hack. I was thinking a pattern of long boards in front of the slider getting shorter by the with of 2 boards as I move into the room. Maybe 8 to 10 rows?
4.I'll be hand drilling and nailing the first and last couple of rows. Should I use some glue on the frist and last row? Face nail using 1.5 inch finish nails?
Any advice would be appreciated as I really don't want to F this up. I'll never hear the end of it till they drop me in the ground. Thanks in advance.