Patching Our Hardwoods

There are two heating vents in the floor in the TV Room that need to be patched. Here's the room right before we moved in

You can see the first one directly across the room, and then the second one is on the far left in the corner (you can only see the corner of it).

Neither are in service and the one on the left is normally covered by our couch. But it is a bit higher than the hardwoods so the couch can sometimes rock or shift. Once we're done with painting the room the next step is refinishing the floors, so we had to get to patching.

First up, the grate was removed

Why hello under the house

In order to patch the floor we had to rip out a bit of the existing boards at varying lengths in order to make it look like all the floors were installed at the same time, instead of like this horrible patch some idiot did in our hallway at some point

So we made marks on the floor for where the hardwoods would be cut out to

And after Chris built some subfloor support and added in a new subfloor...

...he used the flat prybar to pull up the boards

In order to get a clean edge on the wood when he ripped it out he used his Fein MultiMaster to cut into the wood

While of course being very careful not to cut into the wood on the left and right

And with a clean cut edge, this made prying up the boards a lot easier and with less cracking and splitting

We made sure to save the hardwood to reuse when we did the patch (while also using our leftover white oak that we purchased to match the existing floors when we installed hardwoods in the kitchen)

Next, Chris used Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty to level out the subfloor patch he made with the existing subfloor and to fill in any cracks

Once it dried Chris laid down red rosin paper which provides a separation between the subfloor and hardwoods so they are able to expand and contract separately

After that, it was just a matter of measuring things out and nailing them in place

Chris worked on the border first so that when he laid the perpendicular line of wood it would have a uniform flat edge to butt up against

Once the border was done, he moved on to the rest of the wood

He made sure to mix up the old hardwoods and our new hardwoods a little bit and used as much of the old ones as possible. Once I was done with some other projects I helped Chris by measuring out the boards and going outside to cut them while he laid them in place and got them nailed down.

The whole project from soup to nuts took Chris about 6 hours by himself. I was able to come in the last 30 minutes or so, but I was away at a crew lunch for the A's (it's almost baseball season!) for some of it and then working on other stuff. It probably would have taken about 1/2 that time if we worked together, but I don't think it took too long with Chris working solo, and it turned out great!

I can't wait to see how things look when it all gets sanded down and stained so it looks a lot more uniform.


Laurie said...

Where did you get the "matching" hardwood? I have some patches to do in our home and I need to find some oak flooring that will match somewhat before refinishing --

meryl rose said...

If you're local, we went to Tulip in Berkeley. I wasn't super thrilled with them (you can look on our Local Company Reviews). MacBeath (locations in Berkeley, SF and San Jose) is a REALLY good resource and they help identify species so you can get the best match possible.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

Wow, we would've never done this project ourselves - you did a great job! I'm so impressed with the outcome, and once you sand you will never even know.

Reuben Collins said...

Wow, looks great. Great work on the patch.

Are most floor boards like this tongue & groove? If so, how do you pry one up without ripping up the one next to it?

meryl rose said...

We're really lucky that our boards are face nailed so it makes ripping them up and putting them back a lot easier.

If they're tongue & groove the process is pretty similar, but you'll have to use a skil saw or circular saw to cut down the middle of each individual board a few times so that you're able to split the individual board and then squeeze each side together so that you can then separate the board from the adjacent board's tongue and lift it out. And because the nails are diagonal there will be more prying and using a chisel to get a clean removal.

aptpupil said...

one other thing: patience

Laurie said...

thanks for the places to check - I am so impressed with how yours is looking, it gives me encouragement to do this to our floors, too!

meryl rose said...

Glad to help Laurie! And you should totally go for it, the idea of patching is much more intimidating than actually doing for it. You'll do great, go for it! :)

Sarah @ { rad: renovations are dirty } said...

Fantastic job! It looks amazing. It's wonderful seeing people do things properly and not cut corners. :)