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I Made an End Grain Wood Floor From Scratch and Saved Myself $4000!

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One day I had come across a flooring in an old church and became intrigued, I had never seen anything like it before. It was a wood floor, but as opposed to the side of the grain being exposed, it was the end of the grain. I decided that I needed to recreate this old world craftsmen appearance in my own home.
Full details of the entire project are here: http://goo.gl/pV51hA
Time: 20 Hours Cost: $468 Difficulty: Advanced
A few months ago I purchased a house that was carpeted from wall to wall with the most horrible carpeting. Before purchasing it I had done some snooping and after lifting several corners, realized that underneath the carpeting was hardwood flooring, throughout. So, I knew after purchasing the home it wouldn't be much of a task to rip up this eye sores, spend a few hours sanding and refinishing and I would be happy with the new look. below is what the dining room looked like on closing day.
After ripping up the carpeting, this is what I found in the dining room... MDF. Not what I wanted to see. I had hopes that their might be some hardwood under it so my adventure continued.
After ripping up the first MDF subfloor (and having started some painting), I stumbled across this, more of less of what I wanted to see, linoleum flooring.
I went out and found twelve, 8 foot long 4 x 6 timbers of reclaimed yellow heart pine that I proceeded to cut into 1,800 4 x 6 tiles. I set up my Dewalt DW705 chop saw with a 1/2" stop to make the cuts quickly and consistently.
This process took about 5 hours.
When I was done I was left with a completely filled 32 gallon trash can of sawdust that I saved for later. I had plans for that too.
Here are some of the piles and piles of tiles and more tiles
Along the way I decided to border the room to accent the edges.
After the tiles were set, I sealed them with a coat of polyurethane, lightly thinned with about 30% mineral spirits.
After the tiles and border were set and sealed. I made a mixture of sawdust from my cuttings with polyurethane with a ratio of about 2 parts sawdust to 1 part polyurethane
After letting the grout dry for 3 days, figuring that was enough for the 1/8" wide by 1/2" deep channels to fully dry, I went to work on sanding the floor smooth. I used an orbital sander which took 4 hours, I imagine it took much longer than a drum sander would have, but it saved me a step of needing to do the center of the floor and then follow up with an edger.
The finished product!
I am thrilled with the results and the warm feel or real wood is so much better than the cold feeling of an icy tile, or the disingenuous look of a laminate, which were my second and third, much simpler choices.
Here is a close up of the finished surface.

To see more: http://goo.gl/pV51hA

  • Hannah V
    Hannah V Brooklyn, NY
    on Feb 12, 2016

    This is amazing!! Those tiles are so unique. I love the whole look of this. You are crazy talented. Also, I live in Brooklyn and work in the city- hi neighbor! :)

  • Deltamom
    Deltamom Arlington, TX
    on Feb 12, 2016

    All I can say is "WOW" !!! With this post, I think you will create a new trend. Altho this wood tiles have been done before, I think you just launched it mainstream !!!

    • Brett Lipton
      Brett Lipton New York, NY
      on Feb 12, 2016

      @Deltamom GAH! Thank you! I will say it was much more of an endeavor than I had anticipated, but I am thrilled with the look and feel.

  • Stacy Buchanan
    Stacy Buchanan Redford, MI
    on Feb 12, 2016

    Love it!!

  • GrandmasHouseDIY
    GrandmasHouseDIY Alexandria, MN
    on Feb 12, 2016

    Wow now that is dedication! It looks amazing!!

    • Brett Lipton
      Brett Lipton New York, NY
      on Feb 12, 2016

      @GrandmasHouseDIY Thank you! If you look on the right side I allowed for it to flow into the kitchen, so when I am ready to start building cabinets I am going to continue it into that room as well.

  • Etoile Aloha
    Etoile Aloha Kamuela, HI
    on Feb 12, 2016

    Wow is right! How amazing, patient, and determined are you?! Fantastic job!

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