Is a Wood Floor in a Log Cabin a D.I.Y Project?

Wood FlooringWhile we were building our DIY log cabin, I was having problems deciding what to do for the wood flooring. Because it seemed like a monumental amount of back-breaking work, we opted to hire a flooring contractor to take care of it. We called three flooring contractors for bids. One never called us back. Another called back but didn’t show up twice for scheduled appointments to measure and give us a quote. One contractor even came by, measured everything, chatted about how the process would take place, and then never gave us a quote, nor answered his numerous voicemail messages we left for him.

Finally my wife bravely said, “How hard can it be? Let’s do it ourselves”. So we did. And along the way we discovered that putting in a rustic wood floor in a log cabin can be a D.I.Y. (do-it-yourself) project. We bought cheap grade pine tongue and groove (known as T&G) wood from a lumber yard. Here are some tips we learned along the way.

  • Clean the floor carefully. Take a vacuum or shop vac to everything so you aren’t covering debris on the floor.
  • You need a roll of rust-colored paper under the flooring. It gets nailed down over the entire floor before nailing the wood floor down.
  • One person (in our case, my wife) learns how to use a chop saw to cut the pieces. The other person (me) handles the nail gun to nail pieces snugly together.
  • You can get prefinished flooring or unfinished. Prefinished costs more but is much neater. We opted for unfinished. Lots of dust from sanding in between the layers of finish. If we had to do it again, the finished wood floor might be our first choice.
  • I used my finish nail gun to nail the wood in place. We could have rented a wood flooring nail gun but opted not to. A flooring nailer has the advantage of some extra force in butting the boards together but between my boots and my rubber mallet, it turned out ok.

That’s some tips to help you in deciding whether to DIY or hire it out. We don’t regret our decision and our backs held up in spite of the rigors of continuously bending over to nail boards. And there is always the pride factor of looking at the large expanse of gleaming floors and realize that we did that all by ourselves.

Share any comments or questions on your wood floor experience for others below.

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