Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wood floor installation

Well, we are knee deep (no pun intended) into installing the cherry floors. The quality of the wood is impressive. Cherry tends to have a lot of sap wood, a light colored portion in the wood, which results in drastic variations in the color as it takes stains and finishes different from the heartwood. But we are about halfway through the installation and frankly there seems to be no evidence of sapwood anywhere. The color match I gave them is dead on and the finish is gorgeous. I am also glad we went with the wider planks (6") . It has a more classic feel.

Below you can see what the bundled floors looked like after we hauled them into the house. Also, there is a glimpse of the finished third floor...pardon our dust!

We had a couple of great carpenters, from our friends at K Group, help us out with the third floor as we had not installed floors ourselves before. We wanted to acquire the technique as well as some of the tricks when it comes to installing floors. The guys were very helpful and now we are on our own, making our way through the rest of the house.

Since ordering these floors I have since turned at least 4 other individuals onto the Collins Companies as a source for their projects. It turned out to be a great find.

Of course, except for one minor detail.

As I might have mentioned before, the mill at Collins is not set up to do end-matching (tongue and grove on the ends of the boards...just like the sides). Therefore, the ends of the floor boards would simply butt together when they meet. Well, with a 6" wide plank, this simply won't fly. You see, if you did lay them just as they were delivered, you would inevitably get 'cupping' at the ends of the boards...if not immediately, it would occur within the first few months. This would be disastrous.

So, the gluttons for punishment we are (or maybe just diligent), we decided the only way to resolve this was to double biscuit the ends of every board using a biscuit jointer. Essentially, this creates the T&G situation needed to keep the boards stable. We created a jig and are going through the stacks of floor boards in a production line like you can see below. Our good friend Justin, who is pretty much helping us full time now, can take all the credit for being so incredibly organized in stacking the biscuited boards.

I have been talking to the guys at Collins about this dilemma and they are being very receptive. I told them that no 'end matching' would inevitably be a reason why folks don't buy their product. They have since begun taking steps to get their mill set up for end matching (go figure, it's after we're done!) and hope to be set up soon.

We will have some more updates on the floors very soon as well as the tile, which is going in now. We also have some interesting adventures to relay regarding procurement of the reclaimed stone for the front steps and the rear yard. Stay tuned!

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