Custom Hardwood Flooring

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Project by James Dunn posted 1918 days ago 1217 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My customer wanted a “rustic” oak floor; however, everything that I took them to see in three states (GA, SC, and NC) did not suit them. If we got it rustic enough to have enough knots to suit them, then the pieces were all “shorts” – ranging in length from 12” to about 30”. They wanted LONG boards.

I finally offered to make their hardwood flooring for them. We set up three tablesaws in the doorways of their garage, sawed the rough #2 common oak boards into 2 1/2”, 3 1/2” and 4 1/2” widths. Then, we used the molding machine to put the back cut grooves on those boards. Finally, we ran them through the shaper to put the tongue and groove on the boards.

When we installed the flooring, we set up two router tables (one at each end of the room) and end matched each piece before we put it down. Also, the first board that we ran had a double tongue – not the normal tongue and groove configuration. Since we were making the flooring, we could do almost anything that we wanted, so we cut a piece wide enough to leave the same exposure when the tongue was cut on both sides of it. That allowed us to start anywhere in the room and run one direction to the wall, then run the other direction to the wall.

We used a “random pattern” (boy that’s an oxymoron) of a 2 1/2” piece, a 4 1/2” piece, a 3 1/2” piece, then another 4 1/2” piece and then repeated the pattern. Random widths definitely takes a lot of time.

The third picture I posted here is the dining room area. The ceiling of the dining room had a coffer, so we “mirrored” the coffer to the floor, by using the same rustic cherry for the cabinets and the fireplace to create the coffer. Then we filled the boxes with 3 1/2” rustic oak boards. Also, you’ll notice a diamond in the center box of the coffer. We did this without seeing the customer’s furniture, but it just so happened that their dining room buffet had a similar diamond on the front of the center door.

This floor was filled with lots of open knot holes. We used black spray paint to paint the kraft paper Aquabar underlayment, then filled the holes with the two part clear bar top epoxy. This made the holes look like solid black knotholes. Some of the knotholes developed characteristics that make them look even more three dimensional.

The stain is a custom mix of two different stains, but I can’t remember the exact mix.

8 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2323 days

#1 posted 1918 days ago

This is a nice job and I like the addition of the cherry coffer and diamond. This breaks up the flooring and adds a point of visual interest. It is also a plus that it matches the ceiling and furniture.

Great job.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View ericandcandi's profile


152 posts in 2019 days

#2 posted 1918 days ago

Great work, a true craftsman…

-- ericandcandi in Louisiana- Home of the "LSU Tigers"

View reluctant's profile


21 posts in 2257 days

#3 posted 1918 days ago

Very nice!

View Dusty56's profile


11605 posts in 2190 days

#4 posted 1918 days ago

Wonderful floors and superb craftsmanship : ) Congratulations .

-- When you arrive at my front door, please knock softly but firmly. I like soft , firm, knockers : )

View woodworm's profile


14124 posts in 2092 days

#5 posted 1918 days ago

So beautiful….great work James!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View WOODLAND's profile


26 posts in 1918 days

#6 posted 1918 days ago

Super workmanship.


View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 2376 days

#7 posted 1916 days ago

Your extra work was worth the effort. It looks beautiful. I hope your client was appreciative!

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View Richforever's profile


737 posts in 2222 days

#8 posted 1893 days ago

Great eye for detail. Thanks for posting. (My kitchen floor is creeping to the top of my list.)

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

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