My front Galveston Island beach house is a survivor of Hurricane Ike. With water reaching four feet high on a home that is four feet above ground level that equals eight feet of ocean flooding. This flooding lasted for days and by stripping the 100 year old home down to bare bones, repairs were made over time.
Since the home is double sided six inch shiplap (tongue and groove) the walls dried over time as sturdy as ever. The floors didn’t fair as well and needed to be replaced. The owners before me decided to cover up the rotting floor with carpet. I tore out all the old carpeting and got down to the subfloor. The subfloor was really bad in the living-room requiring multiple fixes.
I used Home Depot 7/8″ plywood sheets and had the sheet cut into 6″ planks. The last plank is always less than 6″ because of the saw eating up real estate on each cut. Count on 7 planks per sheet. The last 5.5″ plank should be saved from each sheet of plywood for sides that require less width.
My Home Depot began to cut my plywood for free, then charged me $2.50 per cut after the first two free cuts. This was an extra $12.50 added to my expenses halfway through my project. I would check out the local charges in your area before you commit to an entire house renovation like I did. The 4 X 8 foot sheets cost $23.00 plus cutting fees for 8 planks. You roughly get 32 square feet a sheet, so I paid about a dollar per square foot or less depending on the cutting fees. Not bad for a real hardwood floor.
The tools I used were a jigsaw, measuring tape, 1.5 inch nails specifically designed to stay in wood and not work themselves out. You can use screws and I did on parts of the floor that needed extra firm tightness. I used a medium weight hammer and a drill to put in the screws.
By far, this was the easiest floor I’ve ever put down. Measure, cut the plank, nail the plank down. Next. The entire house was done in a week. Most of my time was spent lugging planks back and forth from the Home Depot in my teeny, tiny, Toyota Rav4. I live in Texas, I think it’s time for a damn truck, right?
So let’s talk about the staining process and sealant. I love driftwood and wanted my beach house to reflect a medium gray and white driftwood effect. I chose a stain in medium gray and dry-brushed white semigloss acrylic paint after the stain dried. I used a cloth and rubbed the white paint into the stain so none of the brush strokes looked too “placed”.
Some boards are lighter than others naturally and have blotches, knots and grooves. Perfect for the rough-beachy floor look I wanted. When I placed the sealant (I used polyurethane) on the floor, the wood glowed as if it were polished. I couldn’t be more pleased at the results. More pics to come with sealant completed, better lighting and furniture.