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solid hardwood flooring for bar top

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Forum topic by middle2better posted 360 days ago 2405 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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middle2better

1 post in 361 days


360 days ago

hello

please move this if its not in the right forum

i am currently planning on redoing the bar top at the bar i work at , it has 2 sides both being 25 ft long , with an 8 long ft section at one end. currently there is a plywood top on one side that is beginning to deteriorate , and a 2 cm stone top on the other side ( they dont really match) bar top is 18 in wide and approx 26 in wide with bar rail and drink rail

they like the wood look and we are thinking about a bar top made from hardwood flooring (t&g), most likely prefinished as we will only have a cpl days that the bar will be closed. ( and we can add more finish layers later)

ive done some research online already and have gotten different answers, i am looking to nail down a good strategy so we can move forward

we will be using 2 layers of 3/4 in plywood as the substrate (this will get us to the 42 in height ) and will also be using a bar rail.

the main concerns i have is the wood moving from moisture, cupping, and moisture in the seams. they really dont want to use plywood again or the epoxy resin

now the questions:

should i glue or nail (or both ) the flooring to the plywood

should i cut and plane the boards (not use the t&g) saw some suggestions of this

should i nail/ screw through the underside ? through plywood into the flooring

does it matter if i use 3 in or 5 in flooring?

how about using handscraped flooring ? bad idea? we like the look alot

we dont want to use and epoxy resin as a finish , we are thinking more of polyurethane or spar varnish (obviously we will have to scuff top of prefinished flooring and then apply ) will also be at a later date

any other things i should be aware of or suggestions?

fyi bar top gets alot of use and has girls dancing on it from time to time (party bar)

thank you so much in advance for any help


4 replies so far

View Marcus's profile

Marcus

1040 posts in 614 days


#1 posted 360 days ago

Im not a flooring guy or a bar guy, so my advice really isnt advice, just observations from spending a lot of time in bars at one point in my life!

Most bars that I’ve seen have a coat of epoxy on top, just for the reasons you’ve stated. I would think that you could use use flooring, but would also think you would want to coat with epoxy. With the gap between floor boards, you will almost certainly get a good deal of moisture in there and ruin your bar.

As for install, I would just follow whatever the manufacturer instructions are. Make sure you have a good substrate (1.5” of plywood should be fine) and then attach the flooring per instructions. If it says toenail it in, then thats the way to go. If they want it glued down, glue it down.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1379 posts in 956 days


#2 posted 360 days ago

Any T&G flooring, nailed on to the ply, will work well. Pull the joints as tight as possible. Finish with Bona Mega waterborne floor finish.

-- Clint Searl.............We deserve what we tolerate

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1152 posts in 1454 days


#3 posted 360 days ago

If you use prefinished flooring you will have a real problem getting any other coating to adhere properly to the surface. Prefinished flooring uses very hard finishes that can create great difficulties in this type of project. A better solution would be to use unfinished solid wood flooring and to sand and finish the installed flooring once you’ve fully built the bar top.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View Hammerthumb's profile

Hammerthumb

1119 posts in 570 days


#4 posted 360 days ago

Herb is correct. The modern formulations of pre-finished hardwood flooring use aluminum oxide in the urethane which is very hard to sand and difficult to adhere to. I do not recommend using prefinished anyway as it will definatly cup. Moisture will get between the boards no matter how tight you nail it. I would recommend 3” unfinished wood flooring, as the narrower face width will have less tendency to cup. You will have to use epoxy bar top finish. Bona Mega will not keep the moisture out no matter how many coats you use. I have applied miles of flooring finish, and although they hold up well to foot traffic, they cannot protect the seams from moisture migration. Hardwood flooring should never be wet mopped. Even the Bona Kemi floor cleaning solutions are made of mostly alcohol. Any hardwood floor manufacturers maintenance instructions will advise that water is not to be used to clean them. I’m sure the bartop will have to be cleaned often and will get lots of moisture from that as well as condensation from drinks. You can get un-finished hand scraped solid wood flooring, or buy it and scrape it yourself (done that many times. Not fun). I would install it with screws from the bottom as well as staples or cleats on the tongue with a flooring nailer. Just make sure you use a bartop finish. Thats why they make them.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

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