Laying Barn Floors in 5 Steps
For a home that is adjacent to an old barn structure, laying new barn floors may be a good way to extend the usefulness of the structure. Laying a barn floor requires some labor and the use of a cleet nailer. A cleet nailer is a manual tool that sets nails into the grooves of the individual floor boards with the use of a mallet. You should be able to rent a cleet nailer from any equipment supply store or home improvement center.
Step 1: Remove the Old Floor Boards and Seal the Concrete
Use a hammer, or pry bar. to carefully remove the old floor boards in the barn. The wood may still be good and can be refinished and reused for another project. Inspect the boards for damage and stack them in an area for later use. If you plan to reuse the old floor boards, sand and stain them to the color of your choice and set them aside for installation. If not, purchase new boards for the project.
Step 2: Create a Moisture Barrier
Vacuum the floor area and remove all dirt and debris completely. Apply a concrete sealer to the concrete subfloor before laying the new floor. Once the sealer has been applied, place a plastic cover over the concrete, covering the seams with plastic tape. The sealer and plastic will act as a moisture barrier or the floor.
Step 3: Measure the Floor
Measure the floor to determine the amount of flooring necessary for the project. If you have enough useable old planks, replace the ones that are unusable. Match the old flooring as best you can with similar pieces. If this is not possible, consider purchasing entire new flooring.
Step 4: Install the Plywood
Take the 3/4-inch plywood on top of the plastic sheet that is acting as your moisture barrier. The plywood will act as subflooring onto which the wood planks will sit. You will need a nail gun to drive the concrete nails into the plywood in order for it to be nailed to the ground. You can rent a nailer from an equipment supply store.
Step 5: Install the Floor
With the subfloor in place, begin laying out the wood flooring, working from the center of the floor to the walls. This will reduce the chance of the flooring buckling as it settles and has a natural tendency to move. Lay a row of flooring as instructed by the manufacturer, nailing the grooves with the manual cleet hammer and cleet nails. The nails match the thickness of the plywood subfloor (3/4 inches) and will secure the flooring when nailed.
Clean the area with the shop vacuum when you have completed your installation and use wood oil or soap to polish the flooring.