Making and laying your own wood flooring


  #1  
Old 11-13-02, 11:34 PM
CMGoode
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Question Making and laying your own wood flooring

My husband and I are remodeling a house he just inheireted. He wants wood flooring on the mid floor and upstairs. Now the problem is this, he doesn't like what he has seen as far as width, price, and/or quality of the flooring we've looked at. And unfortunatley for me, remodeling and wood working are two of my biggest hobbies.
Now, he wants the boards at least 6" wide if not 8", and a min of 10 foot long. What kind of bowing might I be faced with in the future? And another problem is deciding what type of wood to go with that will be resonable price wise and still stand up to the kids, dogs, humidity in the Ozarks, and not to mention time. I was thinking along the lines of oak.? I also plan on plaining the boards down to 1/2 inch. So has anyone out there tried this?? We have seen it so many times, in older homes, so I know its possible, but do I have the world's largest headache awaiting me?? Any info or directions to sites on this would be greatly appreciated!!
Chris
 
  #2  
Old 11-14-02, 03:04 PM
A
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Probably most of what you have seen is Southern Yellow Pine. It is one of the harder softwoods and has a better moisture stability than oak or maple.

Fixed/length width in hardwoods is definitely a special order and the cost would probably be very high.

On wide planks you can reduce the effects of moisture and thus cupping etc. by finishing the bottom side with a cheap polyurethane before installation.
 
  #3  
Old 11-14-02, 03:51 PM
Locy's Hardwood
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what???

I beg to differ with alex on this one. Oak is one of the most structurally sound hardwoods out there that is why you see it used so much.
Southern yellow pine can be dented with your fingernail if children or pets are involved i do not recomend it at all.
As far as milling your own flooring it can be done but make sure the wood that you are buying is kiln dried and floor grade. I realize wider widths are more appealing to the eye and alot easier to install but the effects of moisture are greater with wider widths and longer lengths and are lessoned by shorter lengths.

more detailed info can be found at the nofma web site about species and moisture effects

Philly
 
  #4  
Old 11-14-02, 04:09 PM
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I was just going by the following (second chart) however I realize that real life experience is often quite different than a laboratory test.

www.walkonwood.com/technical_information.htm

It does seem counter intuitive that a harder wood would be less stable than a softwood but it appears to be the case.
 
  #5  
Old 11-14-02, 05:01 PM
RealWoodFloors
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Making your own flooring is a big step with alot of things to keep track of. I wouldn't buy anything over 8% moisture content. Kiln dried. (air dried won't cut it) You want to keep the boards about 3/4" thick because you need about a 1/4" thick tongue with that wide a solid wood board. Usually T&G solid wood has a 1/4" high tongue with 5/16" above on face side and 3/16" below on bottom. Too little of an amount of wood on the bottom may split off if the board wants to twist. The more wood above means the more times it can be refinished. You will want relief cuts in the bottom of the flooring to reduce cupping. The boards will have to be really straight because to much of a bow in a wide board won't pull tight when toe nailed with flooring nailer. A shaper with a power feed would be the minimum on the machinery scale I would use. Grizzly Industrial sells the T&G cutters at a reasonable price. T&K Lumber in Arkansas sells quality hardwood straight lined on one side with excellent milling on the top and bottom faces. It will be an adventure with great satisfaction.
Good Luck, AL
 
  #6  
Old 11-14-02, 06:41 PM
Locy's Hardwood
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Alex,

walk on wood is one of my main sources for materials i am in there at least 10 to 12 times a month. The easiest way i can explain it is from practical experience. i did two installs both in the same month product came from same source one red oak one southern yellow pine. 2 1/4 solid oak still looks the same as the day i put it in over a year ago. 8 in wide southern yellow pine kiln dried alcimated moisture tested the whole nine yards after a year you can put a nickel in the joints where it used to be tight. i don't care what any chart says there is no way it is more stable than oak!!!
philly
 
  #7  
Old 11-14-02, 09:14 PM
RealWoodFloors
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Philntoni,
Wood shrinks by percentage. A 1/32" gap in a 2.25" board Is larger than the width of a nickel in an 8" board. When you install a 2.25" board you are compressing the boards every 2.25". This means you are getting more than 3 times the compression in a 2.25" floor as you are in an 8" floor. It's the physics and not the stability that is the difference in the two floors.
AL
 
  #8  
Old 11-14-02, 09:20 PM
RealWoodFloors
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PS.

I'd rather have an 8" oak floor than an 8" pine floor. It's much harder and I like it more. Personal preference.

AL
 
  #9  
Old 11-14-02, 09:37 PM
Locy's Hardwood
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Al check out the wide plank pine floor at my site www.locyshardwoodfloors.com under installations this thing was a bute and we have had no shrinkage at all Knock On Wood been almost two years.
I agree oak would be much nicer and i like the rustic look of the #2 without the wormholes but can you imagine the price of an 8in wide 3/4 oak plank floor!!! you would have to take a 2nd mortgage out !!!!

Philly
 
  #10  
Old 11-15-02, 04:43 PM
RealWoodFloors
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Chris,

The least expensive rout to making the T&G is to buy a 1/4" slotting blade with a bearing that makes a 1/4" deep slot for a router. Make a groove 5/16" below top face all the way around the board and make a 1/2"X1/4" tongue out of maple and glue and nail it to front side and right end of your boards as you install them. Lots of labor involved.

AL
 
  #11  
Old 11-16-02, 05:19 AM
Locy's Hardwood
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Hey Al;

It just dawned on me that you could also do a half lap joint also. We have seen it quite abit in older homes with pine and oak. It looks to me like they dato the bottom on one side and the top on the other and then its nailed through the bottom tongue??? Ever seen it?
Phil
 
  #12  
Old 11-16-02, 09:17 AM
RealWoodFloors
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Phil

It's called ship lap siding. The board is rabbited half way down and about 1/2" in on 3/4" material and the other side is the reverse of that. The big problem with it is that you can't blind nail the boards, except the bottom rabbit, but you have to face nail the top rabbit to the bottom rabbit. One floor of my house is ship lap 1x8 pine for a subfloor over 1x12 roughsawn oak at a 45% angle. It could be done, but alot of nails to deal with when you finish the floor. I guess you could lower the lap joint so that you would have more chances to refinish. But you will have to deal with all those nails every time you refinish the floor. You will need to use galvanized nails or any water problem will leave rust stains in the wood from under the face of the boards.

AL
 
  #13  
Old 11-16-02, 11:24 AM
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How about screw and plug with the same species for the plugs?

A lot of work but I actually like the look of subtle plugs.
 
  #14  
Old 11-17-02, 10:36 AM
RealWoodFloors
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"That's a whole bunch of work". Wide boards like that need to be fastened about every 8" near the edge and some nails in center of board. Screwing and plugging through a 7/16"-3/8" rabbit might cause problems. Which reminds me that you can get some splits in wood where you fasten through both top and bottom rabbits from expansion and shrinking. Yet you want nails close enough so edge does not curl up. When used as ship lap siding on walls. The bottom rabbit is installed up and nailed to the studs and another nail is put in just above the rabbits at bottom of board. You are worried about water infilltration and not the edge turning up catching dirt, like on a floor.
Saving money on a DIY floor depends on how much free time you have, your ingenuity, and when your enthusiasm, flat gives out.
AL
 
  #15  
Old 11-17-02, 04:08 PM
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Installing Plank Floors

PLANK FLOORING

NOTE: With wide plank over 4" extra care is necessary for good performance since the units move more with changing conditions. Proper acclimation before and after installation is critical. After acclimation and before installation, sealing the back surface may help prevent some cupping normally associated with wider widths.
This flooring is normally made in 3" to 8" widths and may have countersunk holes for securing planks with wood screws. These holes are then filled with wood plugs.

Random width Plank is installed in the same manner as strip flooring, alternating courses by widths. Start with widest boards, then the next width, etc., and repeat the pattern. Manufacturers' instructions for fastening the flooring vary and should be followed.

The general practice is to blind nail through the tongue as with conventional strip flooring. Then countersink one or more flat head screws, No. 7 - No. 9 phillips head or dry wall screws at each end of each plank and at intervals along the plank to hold it securely. Cover the screws with wood plugs glued into the holes. Take care not to use too many screws which, with the plugs in place, will tend to give the flooring a "polka-dot" appearance.

Be sure the screws are the right length. Use 1" if the flooring is laid over 3/4" plywood on a slab. Use 1" to 1 1/4" in wood joist construction or over screeds. Some manufacturers recommend face nailing in addition to other fastenings.

Plank Flooring. The Wood Flooring Manufacturers Assoc. NOFMA. Retrieved 17 November 2002. http://www.nofma.org/installation4.htm
 
  #16  
Old 11-17-02, 08:16 PM
RealWoodFloors
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You can also use sheetrock screws with a finish heads made for a square head bit and not the phillips head type. Pre-drill hardwood with a 9/64" drill bit only. No larger or smaller drill bit. The hardened sheetrock screws may break if 1/8" hole is drilled and larger holes don't let the head of screw hold as well. The screws go through soft wood with very little problem, but pre-drill near the ends of all boards to prevent splitting. They leave a 3/32" hole that you can fill usually.
AL

PS. With all this information we have given you. You better not buy any of that premade stuff or we'll come get ya.
 
  #17  
Old 11-21-02, 04:27 PM
CMGoode
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Just letting everyone know I didn't post and run. I've been keeping up, and researching some of the options that have been mentioned. And btw, thanks for all the opinions and facts. I never expected this big a response.

Thanks again.... Chris.

PS: Ok AL, I promise I wont go with and pre-made stuff!! lol This is to big of an adventure/challenge to pass up.
 
  #18  
Old 11-23-02, 12:03 AM
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I don't know how much you are willing to invest into this flooring, but southern longleaf pine is a very good, hard, and stable wood. Not to mention beautiful. I mill reclaimed longleaf (heart-pine) that has been previously used in barns, warehouses, etc... from a century or more ago. In comparison with red oak, it reacts approximately 30% less to moisture. (less expansion and contraction, cupping, and twist) It also has so much character with the old stained nail holes, and beautiful colors created by the resin that has been hardening in the wood for 100 years. It also has a natural resistance to bugs, beit termites, beetles, etc...

It is expensive to buy the flooring already made, but you may be able to find an old building that you can salvage some from and make your own. Make sure it is longleaf pine though, not southern yellow, or loblolly, etc... Longleaf pine is no longer a standard building material. It takes much too long to grow as timber, so once the virgin forests were stripped of these trees, that was it. The use of this wood pretty much all but stopped by 1935-1940.

Just another suggestion
 
 

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