Den Flooring Makeover Going From Carpet to Wood

12 Materials
2 Weeks

Recently purchased a home with a den area that was in desperate need of new flooring. I decided to use some weathered hardwood flooring that was left by the previous owner!

Here is the weathered hardwood flooring that was left by the previous owner. I laid the flooring out all over my basement in order to find the best pieces of flooring.

Here you can see the condition of the carpet with one strip removed.

I started by using a utility knife to cut the carpet into strips to make it easier to roll up and remove from the room.

** since doing this project I have learned I should have put down plywood before installing the hardwood flooring**

Using my lawn buddy to roll around the space, much easier on the knees  I removed the carpet and pad. The strip is the leftover pad that was attached to the floor by staples. I used a straight blade screw driver, long nose pliers, and a hammer to remove the staples.

I laid down underlayment. Starting in the corner and working my way across the room I laid the boards down. For the first couple of rows I used trim nails to hold them in place. It took some time to piece the floor together, at times I had to cut bad spots out of the weathered flooring to make things line up correctly.

For the remaining of the flooring I used a wood floor flooring cleat nailer and mallet.

Once all the flooring was down I used a palm sander to sand the floors.

I sanded the floor three times starting with 60 grit and ending with 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded till the wood was smooth to the touch.

Floor has been sanded, wiped down with a damp cloth, and is ready for the Polyurethane!

Next I sealed the floors using:

Rubber gloves

Steel paint tray

Heavy duty pad painter

Small paint brush

Varathane Crystal Clear Semi-gloss Water-Based Floor Finish

Floor drying after the final coat of polyurethane!

I did three coats of polyurethane, lightly sanding with 220 grit sand paper in between each coat. I was sure to let each coat dry as direct on the cans instructions.

The den is all done and the floors turned out beautiful!

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Frequently asked questions

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3 of 6 questions
  • Lori Fitzgibbon Lori Fitzgibbon on Mar 09, 2019

    Beautiful floor! I have the same wood and have wanted to sand and refinish for for years but wasn't sure how to do it without the big machine.

    When you used the sander did it make a big mess in the rest of your hour house?

  • Miriam Ivy Miriam Ivy on Mar 09, 2019

    Did you use "tongue and groove" flooring? If not, how did you achieve the look of "Tongue and Groove"? Did you nail the flooring down with nails, and/or did you use filler putty? I am confused.  (EDITED): In the Fourth picture, I can see that you did in fact use "Tongue and Groove." But I think you should have mentioned the type of wood?style of wood in your comments under your photos.

  • Kathy Kelly Kathy Kelly on Mar 15, 2019

    Dawn, I’m curious why you didn’t use any stain at all? Was the floor already stained—was it from a previous floor somewhere else?!


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4 of 122 comments
  • Patty Patty on Mar 16, 2019

    Beautiful floor!

  • Tami Tami on Mar 18, 2019

    Turned out gorgeous. It would make me want to do the rest of the house though. I wouldn't be able to stop. Looks so much better than the carpeting. Beautiful floor, great job!!!

    • Dawn Shupick Dawn Shupick on Mar 18, 2019

      Thank you! I would love to do my livingroom. Unfortunately there wasn't enough to do the livingroom and my husband isn't a real fan of hardwoods.