The Oaken World

Material List:

– (4) Boxes of Bruce Solid Oak Hardwood flooring

– (1) box of nails for air assisted nailer

– (1) roll of foam underlayment

– (1) roll masking tape

– (1) box 1 1/2” finish nails

Tool List:

– air compressor

– hardwood floor nailer

– circular saw, jig saw,

-miter box

-table saw

-tape measure, pencil, tri square, small hammer


After prepping the floor, sweeping and removing any debris its time to lay the underlayment. I rolled out the underlayment, scored it with the utility knife and fastened it to the floor with masking tape. This insulation provides a vapor barrier for the hardwood and minimizes the effect of a squeaky floor.

I purchased four boxes of Bruce Natural hardwood flooring. The pieces are 3/4” thick and come in a complete variety of sizes. I set up the air compressor and nailer, opened the boxes and peered in at the delight that would soon come. Sawhorses were set up, with the miter box on top and circular saw beside it. Tool belt on, filled with 9 Oz hammer (for the finish nails), tape measure, pencil, and tri-square.

Now it is time to begin the most fun part of the renovation. I began just at the corner of the rear cabinet and the bathroom partition wall. Since the layout was designed by the cabinetry, there was no need to mark lines for the hardwood. I just followed the pattern and scattered the hardwood in any which way I chose. One thing to keep in mind. These are varied pieces, do not align joints together going across the floor. It will make the floor weaker and you will lose the flowing effect. Make sure the seams are at least 6” apart from the stagger beside it.

The rest now is just the continuation of the puzzle. Grab a piece, lock it in, set the nailer on the floor and give one good wallop to set the nail. When setting the nails on each piece, place one about every 4”-6” inches. For smaller pieces, set at least two nails. Do not set the nails too closely to the end of the hardwood piece, for it may splinter or turn, making the next piece harder to set.

Most all the cutting for the floor was straight cuts, just measured, marked and then cut on the miter box. For more difficult cuts, say, around the bathroom wall I locked the piece I wished to use in and butted it up against the corner of the wall. With the tri-square I can get a true, straight line and marked it with the pencil. Then, pulling the piece out, I butted it up against the wall again to mark the other side. Now, I have the cut layout on the hardwood piece. I put a fine wood blade on the jig saw and cut away.

Remember also that the tongue and groove is 3/4” thick as well and will be butting against the hardwood floor. Wood expands and contracts with changing weather patterns. Make sure that the hardwood pieces have about an 1/4” gap around the walls and bathroom partition. There will be plenty of room for gap coverage with  installation of the tongue and groove walls, and the trim work.

After I set all the pieces that I could with the nailer, from here I had to pre drill the hardwood pieces under the cabinets and next to the walls and fasten them with finish nails. Finish nails are very thin and are meant to be hidden. If the holes are not predrilled, the nails will turn over and won’t be a pretty sight. For the pieces just next to the walls and under the base of the cabinets I put construction adhesive on the backs. I trust that the finish nails will hold down the pieces, but with this being a house bus, I figured that the stronger the bond, the better.

Previously, when the rubber floor was still in the bus, the front section was angled off in a 45 degree, separating the staircase from the seating area. I followed the same line and cut each hardwood piece on the same 45 degree angle. Here is the result of oak hardwood floors and hickory cabinets!

Crafting A Bed

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