Hmmm... picking one favourite board?
This past Friday was sanding day. Well... part of Thursday too - but it was a tough day and we are trying to forget about it.
There was one issue with this room that we were a little concerned about - the floor was not perfectly flat or level. I debated on tearing out the sub-floor, leveling and re-installing a sub-floor... but that seemed like too much work - even for me. The uneven height and gentle curve to the floor did cause problems for us in both the installation as well as during sanding. We found that many of the nested board ends were not level with the adjacent boards. Part of this is likely the nature of a herringbone floor - any variation in board thickness will cause this, but everything was likely compounded by the curve of the sub-floor.
We used a random orbital floor sander with 4 discs. It was quite a bit slower than the belt style sander, but it was the right choice given all the crossing grain. After several hours we were ready for the first coat of finish.
After much deliberation, we opted for a light coat of oil followed by a few coats of satin Fabulon. At the end of the day, I am not really interested in removing all the furniture once a year to re-apply a coat of wax and polish to the floor. Add in two active kids, and a durable film finish seemed to be the right choice.
This floor is the first time I have ever worked with white oak. Over the last half year I have grown quite used to the light straw color of unfinished white oak, so when we poured the oil onto the floor - I was taken by surprise. There was texture, color and grain in there that I had not seen nor anticipated. The floor came alive. As we sloshed the oil around it became more and more impressive almost to the point where my head exploded. The beauty of this floor exceeded my wildest expectations.
We let the oil sit for a bit before wiping up the excess and buffing everything with clean cloths.
Here are a bunch of photos.
I suspect it will be nearly impossible to pick a single favourite board - but this section right in front of the pocket door is particularly stunning.