I’m sharing a brand new project with you today! This is a big one. I redid ALL the floors on the main floor of my house by myself, with the help of some friends and family. Professionals were not needed. I am so in love with how it turned out! Stoneform flooring from Hewn is a fantastic product, and I’m excited to share it with you today.
I’m going to do my best to walk you through my process and how to do each step so that you can feel confident in doing your own floors!
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What the old floors looked like
When I say I’m doing all the floors, I mean all of them! Starting at the front door, I took up and replaced the floors in the front living room and the dining table area. This flows into the living room and then into the kitchen. The same flooring goes into the half-bath on the same level of the house. So you can see, it just made sense to rip them all out at once, like a Band-Aid!
The old flooring was damaged and installed poorly. For example, there was a transition piece in the middle of nowhere between the dining room and the living room. I think what happened is this flooring was not all replaced at the same time, and instead of replacing the boards to make everything flow properly when they did put the new flooring in the next room they took a shortcut and put a transition piece in. It was installed incorrectly too, I could move it with my foot and there were two pieces joined in the middle. It was so pointless and annoying, and I was very excited to get rid of it!
In the kitchen, you could see a lot of nicks and scratches where the finish on the old boards was damaged or peeling. There was also significant water damage around the dishwasher from a continuous leak or flood that occurred before I owned this house. At any rate, this floor was past the point of fixing!
Equipment and Materials Needed to Install Hewn Stoneform Flooring
- Utility knife
- Trim puller
- Shop Vac
- Putty knife
- Rubber mallet
- Pull bar
- Floor cutter (you could also use a miter saw or razor blade to cut these floors but this floor cutter makes the project much faster)
- Contour gauge
- Blade Set
If this tool list feels daunting, don’t worry! You can buy most of what you need here at my Amazon shop.
What is Hewn Stoneform Flooring?
I’m using a product called Stoneform by a company called Hewn. It is a really cool innovative product that is 70% limestone, but also warm on your feet and designed to look and feel like real wood. But without the price tag! It is waterproof, durable, pet-proof and scratch resistant, so you get all the benefits of wood without the down sides.
They have recently announced a really exciting collaboration with Angela Rose, and I got to choose from their six brand new plank colors! It was so hard to choose because they were all beautiful, but in the end, I picked Topanga. Because the old floors were really dark I wanted a change to something light and bright. Topanga was light enough but still had the warmth I was looking for. I have a lot of white walls on the main level and I didn’t want it to look too cold.
Besides the gorgeous color, this new line is exciting because it uses True Grain Technology in production to produce 24 unique planks that are six feet in length, an almost unheard of amount of variation! This means there are 24 different patterns before you get a repeating board, which really adds to the authentic real-wood look of the entire floor. The planks themselves also vary slightly in color, so you want to make sure you mix them up well when you’re laying the floor down. Between these color variations and the 24 different planks, your chances of getting repeats with the Stoneform Angela Rose Collection are very low.
Another exciting feature about these planks is that they come with a built-in underlay! So you don’t have to purchase that as a separate expense. And it also eliminates a step in laying your floors, which is great!
Your boards will need to acclimate to your house for 48 hours. So bring them inside a few days before you actually plan to start laying your floor.
You can definitely float this new flooring I’m using over your existing floors if you want to do it that way. However, because of the water damage and how uneven it had made everything, I decided to just rip the old floors out.
One room at a time! I started in the front room and then moved my way back. This way I didn’t have my entire house ripped up at once. I started by clearing everything out of the front living room and dining area.
The first thing I had to do was demolition! My lovely friend Leslie @design2mine came and helped with this, and I’m so grateful.
Removing the baseboards
We took off all the baseboards with a hammer and trim puller. I used a utility knife to cut the old caulking at the top of the baseboard so nothing would rip or tear. We did all this as carefully as possible so we could reuse it when the floors were done.
Then we just started taking up boards! No tools were necessary for this part. We were able to pick them up and put them in a pile for removal. This was so much easier and more fun with a friend! When the front living room and dining area boards were all gone, we pulled up the old moisture barrier too, leaving a bare concrete floor. We vacuumed it with my shop vac and gave it a good sweep. Then we realized we had found our first problem.
When we exposed the concrete we could see there were cracks and holes all the way around the perimeter of the exterior of the house. There were a lot of loose pieces of concrete too, which had to be chipped out and cleared away. These cracks and holes all needed to be filled with concrete patch. I got a pail of Quikrete Quick Setting Cement and got to work. I mixed it in a heavy-duty black trash bag with water and then used that to squeeze it into the cracks (yes, just like piping icing onto a cupcake!). To apply it, I used a putty knife to smooth it flat because that’s what I had! It worked great. If you end up having to do this too, just remember to work quickly to get it flat and smoothed out before it dries too much.
Installing Stoneform Flooring by Hewn
Now it was finally time to start laying my new Stoneform Flooring by Hewn!
I started with laying a new moisture barrier. This is only necessary if you are laying your floors on top of bare concrete like I did. Concrete is very porous and water will leach up through it from the ground and ruin your floors if you don’t have a barrier in place. Make sure you overlap your moisture barrier seams by about an inch before you tape them together, to prevent any bare concrete from showing through.
Laying Your Hewn Stoneform Flooring
Then we were ready to start laying planks. The first three rows or so are always the hardest when you’re laying new floors. You need to make sure everything is straight and nothing moves! Once you get these first boards in, the rest go a lot faster.
I used floor spacers around the entire perimeter of the room so the boards would be a consistent ¼ inch from the wall. This will prevent buckling later on if your floor expands and contracts a little bit. The baseboards will cover the gap.
Cutting Your Boards
Let me take a moment here to tell you about my floor cutter! Hewn Stoneform Flooring cut so easily and cleanly with this tool, and I absolutely recommend it, especially for a large job like this one. It was good for cuts that went lengthwise as well as for cuts on the short sides. No mess, and super fast cuts! Just be careful with the long cuts if you need very skinny pieces. Don’t ask me how I know that you could break your board doing this.
These floors could also be cut with a saw or a utility knife if you prefer.
These Stoneform planks are very easy to install, they just click together! The easiest way to lay them is to lift your new board slightly and then drop it into place once you have it clicked in.
Make sure that after your board is in place and being held there by a flooring pull bar, you give it a good tap with a rubber mallet (with a cut-off piece of board in between so you don’t damage your good board!) so that it fits in as tightly as possible. See the photos below for examples.
To cut a board for the end of your row, you want to make sure you cut the correct side. The grooves on each side are different so which side you cut matters.
You will want to flip the board a complete 180 degrees so that the side that normally would go against the wall is now overlapping your last board. Place your spacer between the board and the wall to account for the 1/4″ gap, and that’s where you will mark your board to cut.
Mix up your boards
Remember that as you choose the next board to lay, you need to be aware of spreading out your colors and patterns. With the Stoneform Angela Rose Collection and its 24 unique boards, this isn’t too difficult! I recommend using boards from multiple boxes (at least 6) to make sure you get a good mix.
We just kept going until the dining room was done and then moved on to the living room. We moved furniture, pulled off trim, removed the old floors and moisture barrier, and did the same thing as the last room. Slow and steady, right?
Into the kitchen and Half Bath
Once we moved past the living room, it was time to pull up the floors in the kitchen and the half-bath.
I found another problem here! It seems that this part of the house had linoleum installed over the concrete. Theoretically, I could have left it, but it was so gross and discolored and stained (and burnt?) that I just could not put my beautiful new floor on top of it. It had to come out.
It went very easily until I got to the middle of the floor. That section of linoleum had to be chiselled up, and it was such a tedious job.
At this point, my entire house was a disaster. There was no furniture in every room, the bathroom was torn apart, and there was mess absolutely everywhere. This is the part of the renovation that always makes me want to give up or wonder why I even started. But when I looked at the finished sections of my Topanga-colored Stoneform, I knew it would be worth it!
Next up was the bathroom. This was a hard job. Once the toilet was out, I removed all the linoleum which also involved some chiselling. I also found some mold behind the toilet, which I took care of with bleach. I had to wait an extra day to let the concrete dry before I could lay the floor. Which was honestly kind of a nice forced break!
Tips for Laying Stone Flooring Around Corners and Angled Spaces
If you’re wondering how I’m going so quickly around corners and weird spaces, you need to get the contour gauge and jigsaw I’m using! They allow you to quickly and accurately mark and cut those weird angles. These tools were so helpful in the bathroom and cat closet (remember my cat closet, you guys?) where there were so many cuts and small boards, and I had to go around a door jamb in a small space. With so many small cuts and a small space to work in, it took so much longer than the wide open areas! I was happy to have the right tools to make it go as smoothly as possible.
Other than the VERY LAST PIECE taking me an hour and seven cuts to finally get right, I didn’t have any other issues and the rest of the Stoneform planks went in with no problem.
I am so happy with this product and with the final result it gave me! It is so beautiful and was so easy to work with (the problems were all mine, not the flooring!). I would absolutely recommend Stoneform from Hewn for your next flooring adventure, whether you do it yourself or have someone else install it for you!
Have you used Hewn Stoneform Flooring? Did you pick Topanga or one of the other Angela Rose color options? Tag me @designingparkside, I would love to see it!