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Homemade Laminate Flooring? IT CAN'T BE POSSIBLE!

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Forum topic by StumpyNubs posted 09-12-2011 05:58 PM 3910 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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StumpyNubs

6859 posts in 2268 days


09-12-2011 05:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question flooring laminate idea

Homemade hardwood flooring… sure. But what homemade LAMINATE flooring?

I’ve been throwing an idea around in my head about making laminate flooring for the house with a hardwood veneer. I got the idea from… you guessed it, commercialy made laminate flooring. They make that stuff out of a stable material with a photograph of wood printed on it. It’s usually not real wood at all.

My idea is to come up with a material for that base (which I need ideas for) and attach a thick hardwood veneer- perhaps 1/8” so it can be sanded and refinished a time or two. I want it to be floatable flooring, just like the commercial stuff, not nailed or glued to the floor.

So, what can be used for the base material? Hardboard? Luan? 1/8” plywood? 1/4” plywood?

It would have to be tough enough to make some sort of tongue and groove edge, or at least a half lap.

Any ideas? Will it even work?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/


19 replies so far

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saddletramp

1105 posts in 2106 days


#1 posted 09-12-2011 06:07 PM

For a floatable floor, wouldn’t the pieces have to lock together? I don’t think that a half-lap or even a standard tounge and groove would work.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

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crank49

3981 posts in 2438 days


#2 posted 09-12-2011 06:17 PM

I don’t think a floating floor could ever be sanded to be refinished. Your sanding machine would never be able to make consistent passes without showing grooves and ridges. The idea might work if the “boards” were stuck down with construction adhesive or something.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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StumpyNubs

6859 posts in 2268 days


#3 posted 09-12-2011 06:19 PM

Ok- What if it was glued down? If hardboard was used as the base material and only 1/8” thick hardwood veneer, it shouldn’t expand and contract much, should it?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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crank49

3981 posts in 2438 days


#4 posted 09-12-2011 06:20 PM

Maybe your floor could be good kiln dried poplar with a 1/8 walnut or cherry veneer on top. Poplar glues well and is strong.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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Bertha

13003 posts in 2160 days


#5 posted 09-12-2011 06:21 PM

If you tongue-grooved the whole thing, nailed it to a subfloor with sheeting and left enough veneer to sand it a few times, why not? I looked at laminate for my log house but it seemed sacrilige of sorts. I went for the solid figured maple but once I got the bill, I wished I had gone laminate.

I’m sure you know this but your substrate needs to be dead flat. I had to install a new sub ($).

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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StumpyNubs

6859 posts in 2268 days


#6 posted 09-12-2011 06:38 PM

I have LOTS of nice figured maple and walnut cutoffs, so they are short pieces. What if I make some tiles, maybe 24X24 or something, from hardboard with the 1/8” veneer glued on top. Then I tongue and groove the edges of the tiles instead of each individual piece? it could lend itself to interesting design ideas…

The problem is it is pretty hard to get a good tongue and groove on 1/4” hardboard edges.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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StumpyNubs

6859 posts in 2268 days


#7 posted 09-12-2011 07:35 PM

I couldn’t biscuit join them, it is far too thin. (3/8” total thickness)

Would there be an expanding and contracting problem if I just glued it down?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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StumpyNubs

6859 posts in 2268 days


#8 posted 09-13-2011 12:17 AM

I suppose the key issue is I want it to be thin, like laminate flooring. 1/4” harbboard and 1/8” hardwood. I really don’t want a parquet look, but I wouldn’t mind a creative and complicated design that can be produced as tiles of various shapes and sizes.

My main question is: If it is all glued down, will I still need tongue and groove edges. And will I have problems with expansion and contraction? (Hardboard is pretty stable, and the hardwood will be thin)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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higtron

207 posts in 2144 days


#9 posted 09-13-2011 01:01 AM

Back before the laminate flooring snap locked together pergo was t&g and you useed glue in the groove the floor foated but was glued intigrally together. It was like three layers glued together all three layers were the same size the middle layer was glued in stagered in from the side and from one end which created the tougue and the groove.

-- A friend will help you move, a good friend will help you move a body

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GaryL

1094 posts in 2298 days


#10 posted 09-13-2011 01:47 AM

It seems you are trying to reinvent engineered flooring. This is a style of wood floor that is designed to be more stable and can be used in below grade applications, i.e. basements, etc.
This is one example I found with a quick search.

http://www.lumberliquidators.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=7700

There are many more out there that also use a muti layered (plywood) base.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

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patcollins

1420 posts in 2332 days


#11 posted 09-13-2011 02:01 AM

Engineered woods floors can be beautiful but do have their drawbacks. Namely you cant sand them too much or your into the plywood.

If you have a dog you want laminate, that stuff is so tough its unreal.

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StumpyNubs

6859 posts in 2268 days


#12 posted 09-13-2011 02:11 AM

Gary- Reinvent the wheel? That’s EXACTLY what I want to do. I’m a woodworker- I try to make everything myself. What’s the fun in going out to buy flooring? Where’s the challange in that?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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TopamaxSurvivor

17677 posts in 3143 days


#13 posted 09-13-2011 08:22 AM

I have installed laminate. I would think it would be harder to make the pieces that are stable and durable than it would be with. Take the wood and install a floor or put down a substrate and veneer it to see how it works and forget the pieces.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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bilbaggins

99 posts in 1916 days


#14 posted 09-13-2011 08:28 AM

Hope I’m not repeating anyone here…

My thoughts are : lay any commercial T ‘n G structural flooring onto the existing floor, sand to level, then glue the dressed hardwood pieces to this. Oh yeah… the existing floor should be sanded level first… but you could rip it up if it’s wood so the overall level isn’t increased too greatly.

The structural flooring is stable so it shouldn’t cause any problems with expansion. I think the joints (TnG) allow for this. Flooring adhesives as used for parquetry etc would be the go for laying down your hardwood methinks.

As Laertes advises a sub-floor vapor barrier would be advisable in northern regions.

Personally I would be making the hardwood thickness three sixteenth to one quarter inch.

This method would give you a very rugged, professional and long lasting floor.

Yes I’ve used this approach and it gives a great result/job.

The “old” way of doing this was to lay masonite sheets (screwed to the existing flooring) in a staggered pattern, sand level then laminate your finishing floor material to this using a latex adhesive. This method was also used for laying carpet, linoleum and “vinyl” sheeting… probably still is … to ensure a dead flat base.

Hope this helps somehow

-- bilbaggins says: The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now. ~ Chinese proverb

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bubbyboy

137 posts in 2160 days


#15 posted 09-13-2011 08:29 AM

Lumber Liquidators, I like to make my own stuff to but this kinda sounds like I am going to get a tree and make my own studs to build my house. I would think buying the flooring would be as good or better than trying to make it, but who knows maybe not.

-- I just don't understand. I have cut it 3 times and it is still to short.

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