Do you hear the angels singing? Well, maybe not angels, but my voice is singing praises that we have arrived at this point today and I’m not sure it’s angelic. ahem. With that in mind, as promised, I’m sharing our family room remodel complete with DIY floating floor. While some of you may be wondering why the big to-do, let’s take a little trip down memory lane, shall we? Below, you can see the ultimate before – as in, when we bought it.
You see real pine paneling, a sandstone fireplace, and carpet (my nemesis as I loathe the stuff). Also, you can’t see the drop ceiling on the other side of that header beam. About 9 years ago, I decide I had enough of the dark walls and drop ceiling. First, I had to do 3 coats of stain-blocking primer and paint…all by lil’ ol’ self. Then, I tore out the ceiling and found more acoustic tiles. UGH!! So, I temporarily hung up textured tin-tile wallpaper. However, after we had a new metal roof put on about 3 years ago by a “professional” that did a horrible job, we had a leak. Mind you, we didn’t have a leak until we had the new roof put on. You can see the hanging paper in the photo below and my horribly stained carpet.
Before I continue, let me just say that I have many excuses as to why it’s taken me this long to put this together. For one, we had a neighbor from the pits of you-know-where give us trouble. Then, my phone went corrupt with my images and videos. Next, my computer went belly up which led to learning a new one with new software. And, I had a health journey that led me into bilateral vertigo and the possibility of having strokes (read about that HERE). Also, we listed our home and had a near miss. (details HERE) I could go on, but you get the idea. I’m not a quitter though!
Back to the remodel… Eventually, I am able to tear it all down and put up a coffered ceiling, again, all my myself. Talk about a job!! You can read all about it in this DIY tutorial post.
That may cause you to ask…what about the floor? Well…at the same time, I also pulled up the carpet. Oh, what a glorious day!! After kid vomit, dog poo, cat funk, this rag is dead and done. The whole family is ELATED to see it gone.
WHAT TO DO
Now for the ultimate negative. sigh… This room used to be a garage off of a screened in porch. With that comes a concrete floor. After we purchase the home, there are two ginormous oak trees squeezing in on either side of the room. Of course, trees have roots and large trees have super roots. So, our floor is buckled and isn’t an issue for the basic structure. However, on a hard freeze they can raise a bit.
With those details in mind it makes it a conundrum to be able to put flooring over it. Two obvious options: (1) put new carpet down (2) pour new concrete. Two obvious negatives in conjunction with that (1) not happening EVER – germs, bluck, kids, firewood, etc (2) the cost is expensive and it will buckle again. Then, my unwillingness to give into this floor led me on a stubborn research project for a floating floor.
First, I looked into building the floor into the walls as support. There were negatives to that and cost an issue. Upon researching floating floor, I came upon floors built for performing art studios and gyms for sound proof purposes. This made sense to me. The design allows the floor to flex, is economical, and is also a green alternative. Enter in these cradles.
Next, after more hours of researching I settle my focus on InstaFloor InstaCradle. Mind you, this was 3 years ago and this was the only product like it on the market. It is produced in the UK as I’d rather support a local company, but I needed to solve this problem pronto. Just so you know, this isn’t a sponsored post, and even it was I only work with products and companies I truly believe in. Of course, I have to convince JC we can do this. Hey, I did the walls, the fireplace (also seen HERE with an update, and the insert HERE), the pallet shutters, the barn wood and bed skirt valance, and not to mention that awesome ceiling. ahem. Now it’s his turn.
This system is meant to provide an interlocking system that allows you to build a subfloor right on the frame. On top of that, you can add your own flooring. InstaCradle has video tutorials on their site and also other products for outdoor applications. Our goal for our DIY floating floor is to finally get the hardwoods I dream of. However, before we get started, we need to have a little fun. Why not spice it up for the next owner to find a taste of our family humor.
I have a video demo for you below, but am also outlining the steps for you here as well. Let’s take a quick peek at what we’re up against and get started!
Our original bookshelves did the job, but they have a Mid Century vibe, and also I want to add a reading nook. Shelves go buh-bye along with the carpet.
Here’s the crazy part…from one corner of the room to the other we have a difference of about 6″. Yikes!! This new system also allows us to level up.
While it would be wonderful to just throw down the floor and call it done, we can’t do that. When we remodeled our kitchen (see it over HERE) JC laboriously tiled the floor and these steps. Not only did the steps have a high drop, but the landing had a weird joint from the original add-on build. Talk about a tiling job with the angles and five vents.
You can imagine what cheeky words are running through JC’s mind at this point. ouch.
With the removal of the vents, we needed to set up a system that would finally allow us to direct the heat around the room. The source point is in the very corner under our cubby. #halfwithouse (my endearing term for this entire place) Also, you can see we have the best help ever. In this picture, JC is in the basement cutting and attaching new duct-work as my little man holds on.
Thankfully, we source these flat ducts with elbow to match.
Then, before we can attach the ducting, we need to prep our floor. Since concrete tends to hold moisture, we need to lay down a moisture barrier. There are specific thicknesses of this plastic for various purposes. Simply roll it out and tape down with tape meant for the same purpose.
Then, once the moisture barrier is in place, we measure and mark where we want the cradles. The placement for your purposes of your own DIY floating floor will depend on square footage and your design. The website/company will help you with this.
In addition, we need to pace our grid into our cradles. We used 2″ x 4″ lumber ripped in half and cut to meet ends inside the cradle. Notice we haven’t finished the ducting yet. But soon!
Additionally, you can’t see them in this pic, but in the pic below, JC also adds a small cross piece at various intervals to lock the grid together.
Next, we add rolled insulation in between the grid and then apply a thick bead of subfloor adhesive before laying down the tongue and groove panels cut to size.
After that, we use screws to secure it into place. And, it doesn’t hurt to have some cute helpers too.
Last, we are ready to add our hardwood flooring. Also, notice that just under that we use a layer of felt per manufacturer instructions. I’m definitely smitten with this wide ash we were able to find. eep! I wanted something to warm up the space and make it cozy and light. Bravo JC!
Finally, once we had the floor in, we just need to do a few other DIY things. First, we re-paint the walls. Best helpers ever!
While we didn’t see the need to get rid of all the trim, I did want to change the door trim for a bullseye effect to replicate the coffered ceiling. You can see it on our mudroom on the left and the old JC is removing.
Likewise, my windows need some oompf. That’s easily upgraded with a bit of additional trim to beef them up.
In addition, I found an antique bed set out for me to find #trashure and I totally wanted it as a built-in bench with drawers. Thanks to working with JC, we got ‘er done. You can see my other builds in my project gallery HERE.
Add to that some custom bookshelves and we’re nearly done. woot!
You guys…while I’ve waited so long to show you this space, my joy doesn’t lessen when I get to enjoy every inch of it with those I love. I hope you enjoy it too!
We finally feel we can enjoy this space to the full from top to bottom. It meets our needs and then some.
Not only is the floor much more pleasing to the eye, but so easy to take care of. My mama heart is happy.
Also, an added bonus is the reading nook. You’ll find one or more of us tucked in there with a read daily. The tufted French mattress I made makes it even better. woot! You can see my sewing desk tucked in here too. I love that steamer desk…works perfectly as a cutting table too! I’m sharing a list of all related projects seen in this room below.
Likewise, everything refreshed and new it makes my heart happy, but also we can call this space complete. That is a huge deal for this DIY-ing gal because we work so hard in all we do. Add to that I homeschool our kids, run my business and blog, and JC works full-time at his job, also teaches classes every week at a Christian academy and ships all my product – both furniture and smalls. whew!
My hope is that our work on our DIY floating floor in our remodel inspires you to make your house your home too. Don’t let budget or lack of ability scare you. You can save, learn, and do it yourself too.
If you’re interested in more of the projects that made this remodel come to fruition, check these out.
- Barn Wood & Bed Skirt Valance
- Pallet Shutters
- Floating Fireplace Mantel
- DIY Coffered Ceiling
- Industrial Leather Chair
- Mudroom Makeover
- Curbside Arched Window
- Restored Antique Pew
- Reclaimed Wood Houses
- Dried Hydrangea Wreath
In addition, inspire others and share our DIY floating floor and family room remodel. Your house is telling your story.
Up next, while I adore the idea of this upcycle I found at the thrift store, I have a different idea in mind. Check it out HERE.