Hydronic Floors

The primary source of heat throughout the house is hydronic floors. This consists of flexible tubing, filled with heated water, embedded in a layer of gypcrete.

Flexible tubing for hydronic heat in the floor, laid among wooden spacers

First, a thick layer of plywood was used as the sub-floor on the main floor and upper floor.

Then the flexible tubing and stringers were laid down.

Where the flooring will be wood, stringers were set among the tubing so the floor boards can be attached. Where the flooring will be tile, there's no need for the stringers.

No stringers are needed where the flooring will be tile

Finally, a truck came with a gizmo for mixing the gypcrete, which was then piped up to the appropriate floor areas.

Gypcrete-mixing machine

The gypcrete was then allowed to cure for several weeks.

When we turned on the boiler and allowed warm water to flow through the floors, they really began to give off moisture. We opened the windows and ran fans in an effort to get the moisture out. After a couple of additional weeks, the gypcrete was finally dry.

Floors enveloped in gypcrete - 
October 2008

Tile Flooring

Installing the tile flooring was one thing we could do ourselves.

So, one day, we went to Lowes and purchased 44 boxes, each containing 10 tiles. We selected one color for the main floor and another for the upper floor.

This turned out to be a very rainy day. Unloading these boxes -- which, it turned out, each weighed 62 pounds! -- was a really wet job!

Unloading tiles during a downpour 
(No photo)

Wood Flooring

All of the usable wood from trees cut down on the site was milled into wood for flooring or other uses.

Much of this work was done and/or overseen by grandsons Spencer and Jeff.

The big-leaf maple, as well as some chestnut that we found at Second Use, was milled into floor boards at Eden Saw

Jeff (L) and Spence (R) of Westwood Working, Inc.

We have lots of alder, probably the result of past logging that cut out other tree species. Alder has a short life span, relative to other trees, and falls easily in windstorms, so we wanted to be sure that leaning alders near the house were removed. The alder logs were milled by Smythe Milling in our community of Indianola.

Next:  Roofing...

Getting Ready | Well | Milling Wood | Excavation | Concrete
Framing | More Framing | Plumbing | Electrical | Floors | Roofing

What's Happening Now:
Late Oct | Early Nov | Mid-Nov | Late Nov | Early Dec | Late Dec
Early Jan | Late Jan | Early Feb | Late Feb | Early March | Mid-April - Done!