How to Install Your Own Hard Wood Floors


  1. Remove old carpet. Easier to cut carpet down the middle to make it lighter to carry.

  2. Remove carpet padding

  3. Remove tack strips with pry bar

  4. Remove staples with pliers

  5. Nail down all nail heads to create flat subfloor

  6. Lay down moisture barrier and staple it (used staple gun with air compressor)

  7. Most difficult part was removing old wood at door frame. Since it was put in tooth its very difficult to pry it out. Ended up using dremel to cut it out.

  8. Buy wood (I got rustic hickory in 3 1/4” and 5” planks unfinished from original company who put floors in house).

  9. Start first row and use finish nailer to lay first couple rows. Bought plastic spacers on amazon to keep 1/2” gap from baseboard. 10. Use rubber mallet to get rid of spaces

  10. First row needed thinner cut so used table saw

  11. Used circular saw to cut off last plank to fit

  12. Repeat and put down more moisture barrier with staples with overlap.

  13. For custom to fit places around doors used jig saw. Can always use wood putty layer if not perfect.

  14. I had tile-wood interface for bathroom that needed custom piece. Heights were different so had to cut at angle to fit 1” wide strip.

  15. Cut to fit last row and use pull bar to seal gaps with rubber mallet.

  16. Fill in imperfections/holes with wood putty

  17. Rented drum sander and got 36/60/80 grit paper for it. Did two passes with ease grit.

  18. Used corner finish sander for outside. In between sands vacuum up saw dust

  19. Final 120grit sand

  20. Vacuum and used mineral spirits with hand towel to wipe down boards to remove last bit dust.

  21. Let dry for day and applied painters tape around edge of room and doors

  22. Custom stained using two parts ebony-one part red mahogany. This was general directions. I didnt measure exactly. Put mixture into paint tray.

  23. Started far end with applicator and handle. Worked my way down.

  24. Waited awhile to dry and applied second coat stain

  25. Waited 48 hours to dry

  26. Switched to water based poly as we have pets and kid and couldnt leave house for 2-3 days

  27. Mixed poly per directions and applied with applicator. Poured poly lengthwise across room and brushed it on (per youtube videos)

  28. Wait 2 hrs in between coats

  29. Applied 3 coats

  30. Screen with 120/220grit paper and apply final topcoat poly

  31. Done

  32. Begin second bedroom

Made a time lapse video of me installing unfinished hardwood floors, sanding, staining, and finally poly top coat.

Overall pretty happy. Its not as silky smooth as original floors are but its not high traffic area. I may try sanding again with 120/220. I know second room will be a lot easier and better overall from just practice.

Lots of tools supplies needed but just follow youtube videos to figure out what to do. Most difficult DIY project Ive done so far. Very time consuming but worth it. Company wanted $5500 for two bedrooms and I have $1800 in materials but that can fluctuate based on what you have in tools already.


Bostitch Air Compressor Package (Finish nailer, brad nailer, staple gun) with compressor tank

Bostitch Flooring nailer

Minwax Red Mahogany

Duraseal Ebony

Varathane water based flooring poly – semigloss

Pry Bar

Pull Bar

Rustic Hickory Planks in 3 1/4″ + 5″ alternating

Moisture Barrier

Plastic spacers from amazon

Stain Applicator

Extension Poll

Painters tape

Measuring Tape

Ryobi Circular Saw

Ryobi Jig Saw

Ryobi table saw

Eye protection

Knee pads

Ear Protection (costco kit with wireless bluetooth speakers)

Aspirator Mask

Plastic painters wrap

Rigid Shop Vac

Wood Putty with spade

Rented drum sander – 36/60/80/120 grit paper

Black and Decker finish corner sander

Mineral Spirits

Used fan from my son’s blowup bounch house to dry it out

How to Add TV Backlight

Make your home theater look more professional!


I purchased this Antec TV Backlight  on Amazon and applied it to the rear of the TV. It automatically powers on when plugged into the TV’s USB port. It gives a nice glow behind the tv and also supposively makes it easier on your eyes when watching tv at night.

Moved to small studio in NYC and wanted media center to be clean with no wires and extra storage. Designed it on ikea’s website and built for around $700.

besta tv media center plan
First I bought Besta Vassbo Doors with middle square indents. Looking back I could have saved $5 on each door and got the Vara, but I thought the guideline to cut out center would be helpful. I bought Jig Saw from ikea to cut out the inserts on 6 of the doors to give the cabinets room to breathe for my electronics and also for remotes to work through. I then bought speaker fabric from amazon (I bought 3 rolls and used 2). I had sand paper laying around to smooth edges.
 besta vassbo door
staple gun
Then cut approximate size of cloth to cover all edges. Take staples gun and start with corners and fill in rest. You can also use glue to keep the edges down in between staples. Just make sure its snug fit but don’t pull to stretch as it might tear.
besta vassbo door
Finished look from the front
besta vassbo door
What it looks like on the besta unit. I also chose to leave out the back thin inserts in the besta unit to give room to breathe on back side and also give plenty of room for cords.
Besta Hack - Door
I have a large media server that fit perfectly into the Besta shelf unit. I cut one large hole on side facing windows to give open space for access to rear panel and fans of server. I covered it partially with our Mohu Leaf OTA Antenna .
Photo 25
Photo 24
I needed airflow coming into the server so I bought 2x Cooler Guys USB 120mm fans with mounting brackets. I also wanted to keep dust out so instead of grill protector from kit I bought these cheap filters on ebay. I then aligned the fans to be exactly where the 2 large fans on server case are. Cut out the holes and mount the fans. Now I have excellent airflow through case.
Photo 23
Next issue was the subwoofer. I wanted to keep it hidden so I tried hiding with besta shelf. It wasn’t quite tall enough, but wife was okay with look as its mostly covered. I cut out large insert in back to allow subwoofer to fit through as it was also too long. This gave besta shelf no support and would bend out since its not on the ground. To fix I used one nail to fasten door to both sides and hid them under speaker fabric and it works fine now.
Photo 26
Finished product. I liked the look of white cabinets with the black doors. We went with high gloss black doors because I think it looks nicer but you could save money and get plain black/brown. For speakers I sold my surround setup and got lucky on ebay with finding Definitive Technology SSA-50 for $200. It does a decent job in small apartment, but not even close to quality of old 5.1 Polk setup. It looks nice and fits in the media center. Wife added Ikea Fillsta table lamp for extra lightning. For cable management I purchased cable tiessticky mounts for cable ties, and TV wire cover. Too mount the tv one could go with simple mount or one that moves and swivels. I have used both types in past. This time I went with swivel version to be able to slightly move tv towards our couch since they were offset. Its also MUCH MUCH easier to plug cords in.
Besta TV Hack
Ikea Shopping list – for those interested in parts I used

FRIHETEN sofabed/couch Hack – Add bass to your couch for ultimate movie experience!

FRIHETEN sofabed/couch Hack – Add bass to your couch for ultimate movie experience!

I live in a tiny studio apartment in NYC and brought a large subwoofer with me. I was able to hide it well with my previous ikea hack. However, its hard to get much use out of it due to the amount of bass it produces (aka neighbors don’t like it).

I recently went to a movie in NYC with AMC’s new Prime experience. They put a speaker/subwoofer under your seat so you “feel” the bass. I did some research and it seems people have already done this in their home theatres. There are several companies with different products depending on how much money you want to spend. I decided to go cheap since I don’t have a full blown home theater setup.

I first purchased 2 of these Dayton Puck Tactile Transducers on Amazon for $19 each and later ordered 2 more for my ikea FRIHETEN couch. This couch is perfect because there is already plywood on the back, which allowed me to drill a hole to fit the pucks in without having to purchase 2×4’s and making my own mounts.

To power the Dayton’s I purchased the recommended Lepai LP-2020A+ Amp on Amazon according to reviews. I went to hardware store and bought 24 wood screws (#6), 4 wood screws with washers (#8), electrical tape, and wire caps. At home I already has some zip ties and sticky squares that I got from amazon for cable management as well as some leftover speaker wire.

On Amazon I ordered a 15ft serial cable (subwoofer) cable and a serial splitter (you may need 2 of these depending on if your receiver has only 1 subwoofer out port).

The final touch, which is optional, was to add a 50hz FMOD low pass crossover which I got on Amazon through partsexpress.

The build

1. Use the premade cutouts that come with the Dayton pucks to draw onto the wood. I chose to evenly space 3 under the lateral part of sectional and one under the vertical (storage) part.

2. Use some type of powerdrill to drill out enough wood for the pucks to fit in nicely. (notice on this couch the rear wood is only about 1/2″ thick so I was very close to drilling all the way through)

3. Using 6 of the #6 screws, screw in the pucks into their holes that you made and make sure they don’t budge.

4. Use the speaker wire to wire the speakers however you wish (this is the most difficult step and will vary depending on how many pucks you use, what ohm the pucks you got, what ohm your amp will run on). I purchased 4 of the 8ohm pucks. I put each set of 2 in parallel and then connected to separate channels (L and R). This gave me 4ohms into each channel (if speakers are parallel you divide by 2, if series you add them together).

5. I chose to put Amp vertically under the storage section so it was closest to power outlet (power cord provided for amp is really short). This is also convenient because when you flip up the storage section of couch you can easily flip the power switch and also make adjustments to volume/bass/treble.

6. Drill hole in bottom of storage area for subwoofer cable and power cord to exit

7. Drill hole in side to allow speaker wires to connect to amp in storage space.

8. Connect splitter to subwoofer cable and L and R from splitter to Amp

9. Connect other end of subwoofer cable to FMOD crossover and crossover to subwoofer out on receiver. The crossover prevents unwanted bass sounds during movies so couch isn’t shaking throughout whole movie and only during scenes that are meant to produce bass.

10. Power on amp

11. Test it out by either plugging in serial cable to amp and other end into phone and play music with bass or play movie through receiver. (note when playing music with serial cable through phone you will get actual music + bass out of the pucks, but when connected to receiver you will only receive bass).

12. Don’t tell your wife what you did and play a movie to see her surprise 🙂

NOTE: There will be alot of adjusting settings on receiver and amp to get it perfect for movie watching. I leave it off for watching tv but turn it on for playing games or watching movies.

Test video so you can get an idea on the bass that the couch produces

Equipment Needed