Making & finishing solid wide plank flooring

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Forum topic by ListWhisperer posted 12-05-2009 01:56 AM 2273 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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11 posts in 3110 days

12-05-2009 01:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: floor flooring finish finishing milling wide plank douglas fir reclaimed

I’ve replied to a couple of posts here that were related to this. But because I know that many people don’t look at replies to older posts or ones that already have a lot of replies, I’m going to start this as a new topic.

I am going to make flooring (from scratch, as opposed to using already made engineered flooring) from some old growth, straight grained Douglas Fir boards that were taken from a barn that I had dismantled and moved over here from a former property. I will probably plane the boards down to whatever thickness makes sense, make them tongue and groove, and then install them on top of DriCore or similar subfloor panels (the whole house is on a slab). I’d like to hear peoples’ opinions about how to do this, what thickness the flooring boards should be, etc.

Since I will be making the flooring before installing it, I will have the luxury of putting finish on it before it gets installed on the floor. So I won’t have to deal with orbital or drum sanders, etc. on a floor that’s already been laid down, nor worry about what nasty fumes would be in the house.

I’d love to hear from anyone who’s done this sort of thing before, especially from people who know about the best ways to go regarding extremely tough, wear-resistant finishes, particularly the ones used by flooring manufacturers.

I loved Thuan’s post about how you can rub a dime’s edge on a Pergo floor, and the dime’s edge ridges will wear off. That’s the kind of wear resistance I want my floor’s finish to have! Since I can rig up whatever special environment is needed to apply whatever finish will be best, I’m looking to put a finish like that onto the boards before they get installed on the floor. I’d like to know more about the UV-cured finishes that I’ve been hearing about.

2 replies so far

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13603 posts in 3339 days

#1 posted 12-05-2009 02:27 AM

pergo flooring is basicaly a formica top glued to a machined particulate substrate ,

real wood floors and the finishes for them are subject to wear and tear like anything else .
i can’t recommend the best finish , maybe someone will come along and help .

as far as milling your wood , if it has any cupping in it at all ,
it’s best to make it narrower , then you don’t lose so much in surfacing it flat ,
although every time you t&g it , you lose some in the width ,
i have done this before , and i set my cutters down some , so as to leave as much sanding for the future as possible .
you may want to radius the edges with a 1/16” round over bit , as the boards do wave up and down a bit ,
even in machine and union made planks .
that way you don’t have splintery edges sticking slightly up to catch unwary feet .

maybe a bowling alley finish ? with a uv additive ?

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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11 posts in 3110 days

#2 posted 12-05-2009 04:08 PM

Yes, I know that Pergo floors are not the same as real wood floors. I was just remarking on Thuan’s post, smiling about that kind of durability. I’ve read somewhere, that commercial manufacturers who sell hardwood floors put a finish on it that is much more durable than anything that can be applied to in-place floors, and that it is UV-cured. I’m hoping that I’ll cross paths with some people who know about how to do this. I’m willing to setup a paint room with UV-lights and/or whatever else is required. The wood I’ll be working with is pretty large. The smallest boards are old-school 1×12s to 1×16s that were under the metal roof and weren’t ever exposed to direct sunlight. Most of these are 12 feet long and over an inch thick. The rooms where this flooring will go are also very large. So keeping the flooring planks as wide as possible will be important. But I want the floors to be flat and smooth as a dinner table (the Carlisle wide plank floor ads come to mind). So any cupping, etc. will have to be planed out or the boards set aside for something else. There are also many large timbers that can be resawn. But I want to use some of the big pieces like that for other purposes.

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