I feel like I’ve read every article and seen every video on installing hardwood flooring. The most common advice I see if that the finished floor is only as good as the subfloor.
So I was pretty stressed that we have this giant hump in the middle of the room. Valleys seem pretty easy to fix; you shim up the floor parts under the new subfloor, and you’re good to go. But humps? I’m not going to shim 90% of the floor to raise everything to the hump height.
The only advice I found about dealing with high points was to sand ‘er down. So we did. Begrudgingly.
We borrowed two belt sanders from our local tool library (this is seriously the best thing that could have happened to us!). It’s in our neighbourhood and has a tonne of tools that we can now borrow instead of buy!! Plus, they have crazy things that you don’t want to buy, like a cement mixer (more on that later)! I’m a big fan.
We started sanding on Saturday with an 50 grit sandpaper. The hump was high and the sanding wasn’t doing much. We were frustrated.
Also: wear earplugs. These buggers are small but LOUD!
This also required quite a bit of force, so Alex won for being the most effective sander.
Despite not really reducing the hump, it looked nice and clean!
After feeling pretty defeated, we walked over to our local tool rental place (not the library) to try to rent a large drum sander (the type you use for finishing hardwood), expecting that we just needed more oomph than what we were getting out of these belt sanders.
The sander had been rented and wasn’t available. I should have called ahead…
After wasting a bit of time on that, we came home and kept sanding until we couldn’t sand anymore.
We woke up the next day and decided to buy grittier sandpaper. We bought 32 grit and tried it out. It was MUCH better and was really tearing into the floor. We were making some serious progress. This should not be taken to mean that it was easy. It was just less awful.
Alex went at the floor for a couple of hours and I walked around marking the high spots using my trusty level.
At some point we decided that the variance wasn’t too bad and we would give up. So we did.
Hopefully we sanded down enough to reduce the chance of buckling. Only time will tell!
At around 9pm, hungry and tired, I decided to make some dinner. We had pushed through and were really looking forward to relaxing for the rest of the evening. I threw some chicken on the BBQ and went back into the house to clean up. When I returned to check on the chicken, I could see that the BBQ was on fire.
I didn’t even run outside. I walked. Slowly. I didn’t have the energy to care that the backyard fence was about to catch fire or that the propane tank could explode. Between Alex and I, we managed to turn off the gas and wait for the flames to subside.
Even the chicken pieces were on fire.