How to Install End Grain Flooring - Part 3

Lead Image
  • 72-96 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 120-300
What You'll Need
Safety glasses
Face mask
Flooring Tiles
Appropriate color flexible wood filler
Sanding machines and sandpaper selections
Finish (polyurethane recommended)

After you have finished laying out the first row of end grain flooring tiles, it is now time to lay the rest of the tiles needed on the floor area. Because of the material in the floor tiles, it is natural for them to have varying wood grain patterns, shade, and other distinguishing marks. Rather than try to match the pieces, lay out the tiles in a random pattern to produce a more beautiful finish. If there is still dust present, you can vacuum the rest of the floor. In addition, check for any construction mortar that is jutting out or exposed nails on the subfloor.

Step 1 - Apply the Adhesive for the End Grain Flooring

Apply the adhesive on the area you will be working on with a notched trowel. The recommended size for this would be ¼x¼ inch. Remember to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer on the use of the adhesive. You should never use water-based adhesive with end grain flooring so it would do to always check on the kind of adhesive you are using.

Step 2 - Lay Out the Tiles

Stick each end grain flooring to the subfloor in the pattern that you want. Enough adhesive should be used so that the bottom part of each tile is completely covered. This will ensure that grout moisture will not enter the wood blocks from the bottom. You can choose the gap allowance for each tile but this will usually depend on the pattern you are making. Make sure that you leave a ¾ inch gap for expansion all around the floor area. If you are laying wood tiles on a larger room, you need to increase this gap to 1 inch.

Step 3 - Sand the End Grain Flooring

Once you are done laying all the tiles, the next task would be sanding. Usually, you have to wait from 24 to 48 hours before doing it so that the adhesive agent can fully set. The process will have to be done with a drum sander first using 60 grit sandpaper. You will use from 4 to 8 cuts depending on the finish that you desire. You can make your first cuts by going across the rows of wood blocks but the final cuts will have to be made in the same direction of the wood block rows. If needed, apply wood filler to the gaps.

Finish the sanding process by using a disc sander with a 100 grit sandpaper. The finer grit will allow the wood to show its good looks but be sure not to displace any of the wood fillers you applied.

WARNING: Wear a face masks and safety glasses while using the drum sander to keep any particles out of your eyes.

Step 4 - Finish the End Grain Flooring

After the sanding process is done, you should clean the floor surface and proceed with finishing. Apply stains if you wish to and then proceed with applying three to four coatings of finish. Sand lightly in between applications.

Step 5 - Seal Your End Grain Floor

Sealing may be done with a varnish or urethane type compound. This is done by spreading the material on the floor and allowing it to penetrate the wood. Excess sealer is removed with rags or by buffing it with a synthetic pad or steel wool. If you desire a softer finish that is more natural, you can use an oil sealer. This may be colored so you can use it as a stain too. To protect an oil seal, a wax finishing should be applied.