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  1. #1
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    Making Your Own Hardwood Floor

    I see a fair amount of information and books on finishing, repairing and the like for hardwood floors, but I did not find anything on doing your own milling etc, for hardwood floors. I have about a 200 sq ft area that I was thinking would be cost effective to do myself, from getting the maple, doing the board preparation and installing it myself.
    I have some basic questions coincerning thickness, length of the boards, width, straight edges or some kind of edge (tonge & groove or other). I don't want to bore everyone with the nitty-gritty's but only to find out if anyone remembers a source of this info, or has seen any sites that my google searches have not found successfully.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Woodinville, WA.
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    RE: Making Your Own Hardwood Floor

    With only 200 sq ft to do it would not be cost effective to make your own. If you already own the equipment then it might be a different story. Still you're looking at alot of work to make something that is readily available. I estimate your flooring cost to be $600-800 for 200 sq ft. The equipment is going to run you $500-700 with another $300-400 for the wood.

    Below is a link to an excellent supplier of hardwood flooring and hardwoods. Besides being a good supplier Jim and Jana are great people. I met them on a trip back into the midwest. Another forum member pointed me their direction. I'd drive an extra 500 miles for the opportunity to visit them again.

    Jim takes considerable pride in making sure the customer is happy. His selection of hardwoods and flooring is great. If you give him a call don't be afraid to tell him exactly what type of characteristics you want in the flooring. Some want a lot of contrast (heart wood and sap wood) others want a consistant color. Jim can put together a package that meets your request.

    http://www.hartzellwoodstock.bigstep.com

    Good Luck on your project
    Dan



  3. #3
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    RE: Making Your Own Hardwood Floor

    Bob,

    Don't know if I can answer the links part, but I can answer your questions pertaining to milling and installation...

    Oak strip flooring is milled from 3/4 stock to a 15/32nds actual thickness, face width of 1 1/2" to 2", tongue and grooved, sides and ends. Random lengths are used, typically not longer than 36" in length, blind nailed on 10" centers. The strips should have two squared relief grooves on the back about 1/2" in from each edge, 1/8th deep.

    Beech, Birch, and Maple strip flooring is most commonly milled from 4/4 stock down to 25/32nds actual, in face widths from 1 1/2" to 3 1/2", tongue and grooved, "V" relief grooves (2 or 3 depending on width), blind nailed 12" to 16" centers.

    Plank flooring, use the above thicknesses, what will change is the face width (usually from 4" to 6"), and number of relief grooves.

    Hardwood flooring should be laid on a sub floor over 15# felt and flooring nailers can be rented. When figuring flooring material, the wast factor is fairly high, close to 30%. FWIW.

    Dano

  4. #4
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    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
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    RE: Making Your Own Hardwood Floor

    Thanks for your responses.
    Danial; I have the necessary equipment for the job and I realize that it would be a lot of work, but I am also looking at the pride of having done it myself, too. I appreciate the website that you gave me, but I live in Ottawa in Canada, so the drive would be out of the question.

    Dano; Your response was great. Couple of follow up questions though. I take it that the 15# felt is a specific grade of industrial felt and should be readily available.
    I am not exactly sure of what you mean by the term 'blind nailing'. I can imagine it the nailing of the strip or plank in the groove into the subfloor prior to fitting the next strip and tongue into it. I am assuming that my concept is wrong, so what am I missing.

    Any specifics on sype of subfloor, and thickness?

    Much appreciated.

  5. #5
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    San Jose, CA.
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    RE: Making Your Own Hardwood Floor

    Bob,

    I will jump in on this one and try to answer you latest questions.

    15 LB felt is used for roofs mostly. It is the black tar paper you put down before the shingles.

    The nail or staple tools drive the blind nails down at the 15 degree angle through the toung of the T&G.

    The Task will be a lot of work. You need to have at least 3 shaper cutters, the T&G set and the cutter to cut the releave cuts on the bottom of the boards. You will need to have a large stock of wood all ripped to the same width. It doesn't matter much how wide it is but they all have to be the same after the T&G is shaped.

    It sounds like something I would do.

  6. #6
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    RE: Making Your Own Hardwood Floor

    Dear Bob,


    This past summer we installed hardwood floors in our home.We had our own source of wood, but we sent the wood out for milling, since we felt we didn't have enough experience on the Woodmaster to do the milling ourselves. Some of the woods we used are flat sawn cherry, quarter sawn white oak, and quarter sawn red oak. The strips are 3" wide, we were worried that any wider strips may warp or curl with these particular hardwoods, 15/32" (or around 3/4") thick, just as was previously described in an earlier post, and we used varied lengths from 18" - 48". The felt underlayment is not mandatory, however some say it cuts down on the floor sqeaking, I think it is a matter of personal opinion. You need to leave approximately 3/4 inch (edit: this is what we used)of space around the edge of the flooring to allow for the wood to breath without buckling.This space you can cover up with the baseboard trim. The subfloor we used is 3/4" T&G that we glued and nailed, to cut down on squeaks.

    The flat sawn cherry with a clear finish is beautiful and my personal favorite so far. The white oak was by far the heaviest and hardest of the three woods we used. I want to try some walnut, flat sawn, for the library (our house is a constant "works in progress") where it won't get too much traffic.

    All hardwood floors are beautiful, and especially so when you do the work yourself. Good luck with your project. :)

    Edit: When we laid our flooring this summer we used the advice from a website http://www.nofma.org/. It was a very helpful site.



  7. #7
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    RE: Making Your Own Hardwood Floor

    Thanks to all.

  8. #8
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    RE: Making Your Own Hardwood Floor

    Bob,

    Lou answered it pretty much as I would have. Sub flooring is usually 3/4" CDX ply or 3/4" OSB. I will add, though, that the 15lb. felt isn't put down just to help eliminate squeeking, it's main purpose is to allow the bottom of the flooring to "breath". I've long ago lost count of how many thousands of square feet of hardwood flooring I've put down, one thing I do know is that holding it back 3/4" of inch is way too much. Even a floating floor is only held back 1/4" at most. FWIW.

    Dano

  9. #9
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    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
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    RE: Making Your Own Hardwood Floor

    Dano: Thanks for answering that last little bit of info on the subfloor.

  10. #10
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    RE: Making Your Own Hardwood Floor

    You forgot to edit this part too: The felt underlayment is not mandatory...

    Dano

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