|This casual setting works well with a Douglas |
fir rustic rough-sawn reclaimed wood floor.
Television shows can make DIY look simple, or make you feel guilty for not doing it yourself, but a professional installer will make sure the job is done right the first time. Following are some high-level tips for you and your installer.
Start with the right expectations. Your reclaimed flooring will have open knots, star-checked knots, checking as well as nail and bolt holes. These marks, holes and knots help give your reclaimed wood floor its character and beauty. But there are decisions that need to be made when selecting which boards to install:
• Size — This floor is a random-width floor and should be installed in a non-repeating pattern.
• Character — Place boards with varying degrees of character and color. Spread out the naily boards and character boards so they are not all grouped together in one area.
• Ratio — You may choose to cut out or keep in knots and character marks based on your personal preference. If you decide you want fewer character marks, your installer will need to calculate for more waste.
The back of the boards need to be set with a construction adhesive, and every knot on all boards over 5-inches wide should be dotted. We suggest using PL-400 adhesive.
With a square-edge installation, the layout should end on a joist. Manomin recommends a 32-inch nail pattern with alternating rows so it doesn't look like a deck with visible repeated nailing pattern. Rack (lay out) three rows at a time and randomly stagger boards by shade, while staggering the board ends by 16 inches between adjacent rows (to ensure the board ends on a joist, which is typically 16 inches on center). Wedge boards with triangular scrap pieces that have been screwed to the subfloor. After you have completed installation, set all the nails just slightly below the surface so they do not become shiny when sanding the antique floor.
We strongly recommend that the ends of the boards be predrilled prior to nailing.
Tongue-and-groove flooring may be installed like a traditional T&G floor, but must be glued to the subfloor (any boards over 5-inches wide). PL-400 is a good construction adhesive.
Fill open knots, star-check knots, nail and bolt holes as desired with wood filler. You may want to use epoxy on areas that have a dip or a chunk of wood missing. Another option for filling knots is fiberglass resin, which can be found at most hardware stores. But mix it up in small batches, because it hardens quickly. Add color (knot-brown powder putty works great) so the resin is brown and not greenish. Then pour the mixture into open areas. It dries quickly, does not shrink and will sand like wood.
Speaking of Sanding
Over wood can be hand planed. In fact, you can add to the effect of the antique flooring by leaving some planer marks on the wood.
Smooth planed floors are generally drum sanded. For a more distressed look, sand with a buffer instead of a drum sander, and use 60-, 80- and then 100-grit sand paper.
For original weathered-face floors, apply more sanding for a lighter-looking floor and less sanding for a darker floor. Again, buff using 60-, 80- and then 100-grit sand paper.
Waterlox — Two coats of sealer and two coats of matte topcoat.
Rubio Monocoat (not recommended for rough floors) — Follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
Oil-based sanding sealer and poly in a satin finish — On planed smooth reclaimed wood floors, use one coat of sealer or stain and a minimum of two coats of poly. Original-face floors will require a minimum of three to four coats of poly. You may also need to epoxy or resin any rough or open spots between coats of poly.
Manomin Resawn Timbers has a variety of antique flooring to choose from: Douglas-fir, yellow pine, white pine, hickory, end-grain tile, salty fir, black walnut, oak and elm — but the customization doesn't end there. For an extra special statement, you can ask your installer to incorporate borders and patterns to offset the floor. From herringbone to diamond or any pattern you can imagine, it can be custom designed. Custom stains and finishes will add an additional dimension to your custom floor. Manomin also offers beautiful railings and stair treads, risers, skirt boards and antique timbers to complement your reclaimed wood floors.