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

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!

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!