This was a full service project located in Gladstone MO.  The home had existing pre-finished hardwoods throughout the kitchen and dining.  The rest of the flooring was carpet and tile.  This project resulted in tearing out all the existing flooring and replace it with all new 3-1/4 inch oak.  We added a nice touch with two custom walnut borders and a 45 degree installation pattern.  Check it out for yourself!

Prepping Hardwood Flooring Area

Prepping the floors for new installation can be a grind!  Especially if there is tile.  Tile comes up in little chunks and makes your life miserable.  DIY customers always tell us that they should’ve hired that part.  It’s important to get the subfloor completely clean of nails, staples, and debris.  We always remove all interior doors.  This allows you to under-cut each door jam throughout the home.  This process enables the new flooring to fit underneath the doorways.

Now the floor was ready for moisture readings.  It’s good business practice to conduct moisture readings of the subfloor and the new product being installed.  Doing so, can save you a world of disaster.  Disasters that will need it’s own blog to explain!

Hardwood Floor Installation

We used tar paper for the underlayment on this project.  It’s a thick black roofing material that is a superior moisture barrier.  We always start by installing the first row.  This acts as the anchor for the entire project.  We top-nail and side-nail the first row.  It has to be perfectly straight and secured.  If this step is done properly then you wont have issues with boards butting up tightly.

Walnut Hardwood & Installation Pattern

Check out the formal dining room in the photos!  We installed a two tone border around the perimeter of this room.  We laced in one row of red oak in between two sides of walnut.  And, in the center of that room, we installed a 45 degree pattern with the oak.  We also installed a walnut border around the fireplace.  That did wonders!  It did a fantastic job of blending the two rooms together.  And, made for a nice touch.

Sand, Stain, Seal, & Finishing Hardwood Floors

We used 36 – 120 grit sand paper on this floor.  Wood filler was used a few times between 50 grit and 80 grit.  We used a special wood filler for the walnut hardwoods.  A product called Patch-Quick made by WOODWISE.  A dry wood patch for filling large voids.  We love it mostly because it doesn’t shrink, it’s stainable, and dries in 30 min.  This color was mineral-streak black.  They also make a variety of other colors.  Link provided below.

Our client selected a non-water popped provincial stain color.  The water popped version of this color was a tad too dark.  We always show our clients both versions of each stain color that they’re interested in.  Water popping the floor makes the color darker because it allows the floor to take in a deeper penetration of stain.  That’s another topic all on it’s own!

We sealed the color layer with a universal sanding sealer made by Zinsser.  It is hands-down the best sealer to use on medium to dark stained hardwood floors.  Not the best for natural, grey, or white tone hardwood floors.  Second coat, the build layer, we applied Poloplaz Primero.  This needed to dry for a few days.  We applied the exact same product for the final coat.  Our client selected satin for the final sheen.  Links provided below.


Always hire a professional to tear out tile.  Take off interior doors before starting a flooring project.  Undercut the door jams so that the new flooring can tuck underneath.  Don’t water pop if you want a lighter version of the stain color.  Consider adding hardwood borders and patterns to enhance the aesthetics of the home.  Make certain that your first hardwood row is secured, anchored, and precisely straight.  It is good business practice to conduct moisture readings of the subfloor and product before installation.

Project Overview

  • Tear out
  • Hardwood floor installation
  • Walnut border layout
  • 45 degree hardwood floor installation pattern
  • Sand and finish hardwoods
  • Hardwood stain color and wood sheen

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