Just When You Think You Own All the Saws

Bart:  I can’t find the safety goggles for the power saw.
Homer: If stuff starts flying, just turn your head!

One of the tasks we reserved on the loft project was the flooring. There is a hardwood floor up there (in fairly rough shape), but it only covers the area formerly bordered by the knee walls. Now that we are pushing the knee walls back about 18″, there’s a lot of subfloor showing. Plus, there’s a whole new area that never had any floor.

A plan would be useful, huh?

old plannew planThis is within the roof line, but much more bright and functional. The “reading room” will have a daybed and armchairs. The balcony area on the side of the stairs will have knee wall bookcases so we finally have a space for books.


Something like this, but strictly shelves (via).

We wanted a separate room for lounging other than the bedroom and living room. Putting in a bedroom wall also helps with houseguests. Our current bedroom will be Ben’s/main guest bedroom, and Ben’s current room will become the office (but can function as a bedroom). Extra guests can stay in the reading room. Plus, this will be a perfect nursery space for a future owner.

ANYWAY, the floor. The space between the original walls and the bumped-out walls is just subfloor.


We planned to remove the floor in the closet and bathroom and fill in the gap along the edge of the bedroom/reading room, and then add flooring in the bookcase area. After the old walls were removed, we realized that was a ton of patching. New thought: take it all up and refloor entirely, which would provide better wiring access in the meantime. I also had this fond idea that someone could re-use it.


Because more than anything, I want to be the Hardwood Flooring Fairy (via).

Then we priced flooring, and had another idea: remove the floor in the reading room and refloor. Leave the closet floor; remove it in the bathroom (to be tiled). THEN patch only in the closet and along one bedroom wall, and we’d still have some to give away.

Literally a floor plan

Literally a floor plan

Which leads me to the saw. To take up the floor, we need to cut out the hardwood and pry it out. This is a one-time deal, so I looked on Craigslist and found a used toe-kick saw.


It allows you to get right up against a wall (or against cabinets under a toekick) to cut through flooring. We started busily removing the flooring in the former closet and discovered:

  • This is the right tool for the job.
  • It has a serious kickback (hurrah for safety guards).

Turns out, this is Bruce maple flooring.


It’s a full 3/4″ deep, but in thinner strips (1.5″). It’s gotten very dry up in the hot attic, and was installed weirdly–same direction as the subfloor planks, top nailed regularly with LARGE nails. It hates to come up and splinters something fierce.


Some of it cooperated.

We used a pry bar to gradually lever up each piece along its length. Regardless of whether we started from the tongue (nailed) or the other side, many pieces just were not playing.

Ready for a vampire attack.

Vampire preparedness

So, new new plan: continue removing floorboards in the “new floor” area. See how much is reusable. Attempt adding to the closet floor (where it hardly matters) and see if that’s achievable. If so and if we have enough left, patch in along the bedroom wall. If not, refloor the bedroom.

Old closet with floor removed

One section done

That’s the plan for the next quarter-hour anyway.

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