rough sawn lumber for hardwood floors - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-09-2010, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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rough sawn lumber for hardwood floors

my wife and i are doing a major remodel to our home and our next step (after we finish our kitchen this month) is to install new flooring, we really love the look of the older antique hardwood, its just looks and feels more cozy. A friend of mine told us we could get that look by buying rough sawn lumber from a local saw mill and staining it ourselves, is this possbile and if so can you please tell me the best way to go about it the stainging and finishing process? and what type of wood is best used for flooring?

any information would help,

thanks in advance
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-10-2010, 07:14 AM
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You are gonna want to clean it up. Rough lumber isn't gonna make a good floor unless you like splinters in your feet.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-10-2010, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by david1031 View Post
and what type of wood is best used for flooring?
You are going to get your questions answered in bits and pieces probably, here is my bit. What type is personal preference (and budget) There are many types used for flooring, oak-ash-maple-cherry-birch-hickory-pine...any many more. They all have thier own look (and price) and of course properties. While pine is used for flooring and has been forever it is softer and depending on your lifestyle may not wear as well for you as a hardwood. This old house I live in has oak downstairs and when the attic was converted to living space 60 years ago (60 years after it was originally built) they went with hard maple. I like them both equally well. I have always told myself if I build a house I would install honeylocust flooring. I just love the look of the wood and think it would make beautiful flooring.

There are more knowledgeable members here than I when it comes to flooring installation so I will leave the specific "how to" questions to them. There will be some extra work involved in using rough sawn from the mill. The first thing I can think is getting the lumber straight edged so it will butt up on the floor tightly. But some mills offer that service for a few pennies more.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-10-2010, 08:57 AM
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I can't advise you on the finish. I have seen others use rough lumber in the past but I don't know what they did in the way of surface prep or finish.

Generally speaking, the harder the wood the better the floor holds up. Soft woods get dented up and worn down quicker. For best results, look into the harder local species.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-10-2010, 09:04 AM
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Daren posted while I was posting.

I'll add that you'll want the wood in the 6-7% moisture range. The drying process is a discussion in its own right. Under the right conditions this can be accomplished using air drying methods exclusively. But kiln drying can be used to suppliment the air drying, or exclusively, and ensures that the bugs are killed.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-10-2010, 09:40 AM
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I think you need to get another friend.
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-10-2010, 09:45 AM
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You could buy rough sawn lumber from a local band saw mill operator, but you will want to sand it after installation, as you will get some splinters, as mentioned above, and the flooring will be hard to keep clean if not smoothed. As Daren has mentioned, the harder the wood the better it will stand up. If you really like the "distressed" look softer woods will take the look by abusing it with chains, hammers, etc to dent it up. Staining can be done kind of splotchy to give the wood an antique and worn look. I suggest that you get some sample boards of various woods, and try to achieve the look you want. Once you have established the look to your satisfaction you can make your decisons as to how much material you will need. Allow about 20% for scrap and waste. As mentioned above the wood will have to be dried down to 6% or so before it is secure, or you will encounter large gaps as the wood dries out.

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post #8 of 13 Old 12-18-2017, 04:22 PM
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I have rough cut kiln dried pine floors with saw marks, lightly sanded and yes it's not smooth but I like it. It has been stained and two coats
of poly. I normally wet mop my floors but with the new steamers wondered if I could go that way to clean as it dries in two minutes verses half an hour.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-18-2017, 07:00 PM
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an acquaintance put wide pegged floors in his 1700's house. He bought the wood from a saw mill, had it kiln dried, then had the wood planed and milled into tongue and groove planks 8 inches wide. He figured fully half of the wood he purchased was lost in the process. He has beautiful 4/4 thick floors that started as rough sawn 5/4 x 10 planks. The planks are pegged with a contrasting color wood and the floors are extremely nice Can't remember what he said it cost, something like $20 a sq ft.
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-19-2017, 09:56 AM
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You will not be happy with rough sawn wood. Every little crack will hold dust and dirt and it will be rough on your feet and a impossible to keep clean.
The rough look is available in scrapped flooring. The scrapped look has a rough uneven look but is still smooth on top. This allows for a comfortable floor that is still easy to clean.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #11 of 13 Old 12-19-2017, 12:13 PM
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I saw a Youtube video on making flooring out of plywood. Cut into boards and install.

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #12 of 13 Old 12-19-2017, 05:39 PM
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I've been looking at houses lately that are 150-200 years old with pine (often heart pine) floors. To my eye, the thing that makes the floors look old is the difference in wear between the summer wood and winter wood. If you were willing to put the effort into it, I think this look could be simulated by gently pressure washing the surface of the boards before installing. Obviously, test a sample piece first. Whether you do this, or use rough sawn, the edges where the boards meet won't be even. You can only get that by sanding after installation which would defeat what you want to have.

Installing rough sawn wood and lightly sanding it might work, but I think you'd have to remove most of the saw marks before it would not be a splinter risk or dust catcher.
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post #13 of 13 Old 12-19-2017, 10:38 PM
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I hate to say it, but the OP was a one and done from 2010, so maybe his floors are done by now.
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