Custom Hardwood Flooring

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Project by James Dunn posted 01-17-2009 09:54 AM 1664 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

27250 posts in 3785 days

#1 posted 01-17-2009 02:01 PM

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 3481 days

#2 posted 01-17-2009 03:49 PM

Great work, a true craftsman…

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

View reluctant's profile


21 posts in 3718 days

#3 posted 01-17-2009 03:54 PM

Very nice!

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3651 days

#4 posted 01-17-2009 04:48 PM

Wonderful floors and superb craftsmanship : ) Congratulations .

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View woodworm's profile


14462 posts in 3554 days

#5 posted 01-17-2009 05:40 PM

So beautiful….great work James!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View WOODLAND's profile


60 posts in 3380 days

#6 posted 01-17-2009 07:02 PM

Super workmanship.


View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 3838 days

#7 posted 01-19-2009 09:19 AM

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


757 posts in 3683 days

#8 posted 02-11-2009 09:02 PM

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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