It’s gross and rainy in Nashville today, the kind of day that would send spider crickets crawling up through the floors in my first house. Taking up the filthy carpeting was one of the first things I did after I bought this little guy. There had apparently been some termite damage in the original flooring, so the owners had just torn up all of the floors, thrown some sheets of plywood down and then carpeted over it. And once the carpet was pulled up, there was literally nothing between me and the crawl space, but 3/4″ of flimsy subflooring.
I woke up most mornings to bugs, insects, and living things crawling EVERYWHERE. I invited a nice gentleman over for dinner once and he screamed when he went into the kitchen to get the wine bottle off the counter and came face to face with a very healthy spider cricket. I had gotten pretty good at catching them and tossing them out the back door, but he wasn’t as impressed with my lithe finesse as I was. It was the last time he accepted an invitation over.
It took me months to save up enough money to do the first room and I decided because I didn’t really know what I was doing that I would start with the smallest room. I bought three sheets of the nicest looking 3/4″ plywood, some wood glue, tar paper, and a box of nails, I borrowed my mom’s circular saw, jig saw, and extension cord, and begged my brother Ben to come help me rip the plywood into 6″ boards.
I stapled the tar paper evenly over the entire floor, making sure to overlap rather than take even the tiniest chance that any of those basement dwelling fuckers would crawl into my bed ever again. I did some head scratching with laying out the boards because I wanted to waste as little as possible while making sure that the none of the joints were parallel to each other. Once there was a solid plan in place, I loaded the caulk gun with wood glue and went to town with a hammer and nail. It was immediately apparent that I would need a compressor and nail gun, because nailing every board was worse than going to a blind dentist. There were some stained pieces that got even darker once they were poly’d but they ended up under the bed. Can’t see it, no problem!
The living room was the easiest to do because (pro tip) if you go to Home Depot when they aren’t too busy and find someone really awesome and maybe have a few Dunkin Donuts gift cards in your pocket, they will rip the plywood sheets for you in much straighter lines that a high brother with a circ saw will.
Tar paper, find the pattern, wood glue, COMPRESSOR/NAIL GUN, and it only took one day to get the floors laid. If you’re ever on the fence about getting a compressor, jump off the fence as fast as you can. There shouldn’t even be a fence – they’re one of the most helpful inventions ever and I use it constantly.
It took another two days to poly and then one more to get the quarter round and caulking finished. It was wild how much warmer, cleaner, and better smelling the entire house was once all of the floors were finished and furniture was back in.
Oh, I miss this living room on rainy, gray Nashville days…