Sunday, 15 November 2009

The end of the floor installation

The border and thresholds are now installed - the next step is to sand and finish the floor. Thanks to everyone who has offered their opinions on the finish. Your advise has positively influenced us for sure - and we are going to go with a very simple finish. I made up a small test section of floor, sanded it to 120 grit and applied a single coat of double boiled linseed oil. Everything came alive and the ray flecks and curly hard maple look amazing.

Installing the mitered corners

Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of the “miter station”. I clamped a shooting board to our kitchen island and used my large mitre plane to shoot all the mitres. The plane performed wonderfully.

We had to do some face nailing on the outermost courses of the border - the stapler could not get in that tight.

Steve and I were pretty surprised at how slowly the border went. The installation took almost as long as the herringbone did. We also realized that there were 14 mitered corners in this room - as opposed to 4 in a square space. I do not regret all the corners though - they really make the space pretty amazing.

There were a few high spots in the floor but a small smoother made very quick work of it. This should greatly reduce the sanding time.

I used some curly quarter sawn white oak for the thresholds. These were a bit tricky to install - the new floor had the tongues facing towards the existing floor, and the existing floor had the tongues facing the new floor. I ended up cutting a dado in both edges of the threshold and pushed it in place with the adjacent white oak strip still loose. It worked very well and the joints are very tight. Oh, and to add yet another twist - the threshold had to be tapered a bit to square the two floors to one another.


Blogger mckenzie said...

Wow, that room looks amazing. Congrats on a job almost done.

18 November 2009 at 01:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That looks lovely, Konrad. It's been very interesting watching your floor take shape.

Cheers ;-)

Paul Chapman

18 November 2009 at 02:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Konrad,

I've been following your floor build and it turned out very nice indeed, looking forward to the finish as I suspect you are too. I remember doing the floor in my workshop with 6 coats of pure tung oil, it was quite the process but over time the floor has aged beautifully.
I was wondering whether you could give some detail on the border/banding and how you actually put it all together, I'd like to do something similar although I'm using different wood species.

Many thanks,

18 November 2009 at 10:08  
Anonymous JeffB said...

The floor really looks nice, but it will be even better when finish is applied. You can already tell the grain is just going to come to life.

Couples questions for you. Exactly how is the first border piece "connected" to the main pattern. When you cut the herringbone on the edges with your saw, did you route a groove to accept the first border piece? If not, how are you going to keep the border from raising if it is only nailed on one side? Or does the little banding strip hide a nail going through the tongue of the border piece?

For the finish, are you going to use DBLO followed by wax (as discussed in your previous post)? If so, you may want to check out Floors take a lot of abuse (especially with kids) and a BLO/Wax combo would seem to be a recipe for lots of upkeep down the road. Easy to repair though.

18 November 2009 at 11:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


As always, it is your mastery of the devilish details that distinguishes you as an extraordinary craftsman. I'm enjoying the show.

What is going in the square cut-outs against the walls? I can't wait to see what you do next.

I hope to see it all in person some day.


18 November 2009 at 16:43  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Teel & Gold and Paul.

18 November 2009 at 16:52  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Wayne,

No problem on more details of the border and banding - I just came in from taking a few close ups. I will post tonight.


18 November 2009 at 16:53  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Jeff,

The first piece of the border is not connected to the herringbone field. In hindsight - it might have been a good idea spline it or something... but that would be quite a bit more work. We did face nail the first pieces along the edges near the herringbone - and then staple just above the tongue at a 45 degree angle.

The banding strip is actually attached to the piece of white oak - essentially integrated in the individual boards. This way - I could treat the banded pieces as regular flooring. Hopefully it will be clear with the next entry.

We were thinking of using DBLO under a coat of Fabulon (sp?) which is a film based finish. We used it in our sunroom and are very happy with it. I agree that we are looking for something durable - we have two boys under 10 and this space will see a fair amount of traffic. I am not excited about removing all the furniture once a year to re-do the floor.


18 November 2009 at 17:00  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Dan. You are always welcome for a visit.

The cut-outs are for columns... cause doing a herringbone floor just wasn’t enough work:)


18 November 2009 at 17:01  
Anonymous JeffB said...

"We did face nail the first pieces along the edges near the herringbone - and then staple just above the tongue at a 45 degree angle."

Ah, I guess that will hold it down although now you have nail holes to fill (maybe your banding hides this to some degree). I am in perpetual hardwood flooring installation investigation mode because that is something I would like to do in my house. Information on the more complex border treatments and designs does seem hard to come by so I am always looking for new information.

I have no clue really but I think the typical way to incorporate that first border piece would be to route a groove in the perimeter of the herringbone field and then use a spline to connect it to the border. Still more research to do...

18 November 2009 at 21:58  
Blogger Konrad said...

Hi Jeff,

I agree - routing a groove and then spline the first row makes the most sense. We had talked about it here -but realized we did not take enough care with how close the stapes were to the edge. Hitting one of those with a router would be bad news!

Good luck with your own flooring adventure.


18 November 2009 at 23:01  
Blogger Adrian Baird Ba Than said...

It's looking gorgeous Konrad,you're adding mountains,prairies & rivers to the value of your home.When I say value I don't mean anything gaudy like dollar value I mean the inate worth that comes from something that is beautifully made.You're showing your boys that taking the extra effort IS worth it & that well made things not only look better but last longer so are therefore more cost effective!
The only problem I forsee is who gets the house when you & Jill transform into the force???
As we say in Scotland,
"Oan yersel!"

19 November 2009 at 14:56  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks Black. Thank-you for your comment and noticing that extra effort and that the effort is not because of a dollar value, but because of all the other valuable reasons for doing this. We are hoping our kids pick up on this and is of benefit to them as they grow up. Without being over the top about it - I think there is great value in showing the next generation that things of quality were produced by our generation and not just by our great, great grandparents at the turn of the century.

Transforming into the force... now that is funny! And I suspect at that point, we will not be too worried about the floor but more interested in looking back on all the things we did to arrive at a small hut on Dagobah.


19 November 2009 at 18:51  
Blogger Unknown said...

Please pass the Ibuprofen....

Awesome Konrad. Infill planes and carpentry...dogs and cats living together...!!

19 November 2009 at 21:57  

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