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Interesting Flooring idea

During the building of my house, I have been doing the best I can to utilize every piece of wood, even with my best effort there will be quite a few scraps left over and it got me thinking about how I could use those pieces of wood.  Today I stumbled upon an interesting idea that one could use those scraps for.  It’s a floor made of left overs of 2×4 and other random lumber.   I think the concept show here can be improved upon by adding some sort of resin or filler for the cracks and then sand the bejesus out of it all.

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14 Comments
  1. Make a large sample and try sanding it before you do this full scale. You might be surprised at how hard it is to sand the ends and how much filler you need.

  2. No thanks. End grain soaks up everything that hits it. You might eventually be able get enough varnish on the grain to seal it. And the wood is not dimension ally stable when you talk about end grain. It would expand and contract, a lot, in both directions. Your bet efforts at filling the cracks and sanding, would not make a smooth surface, in less than a year, the cracks would open back up.

    Look at a butcher block table- typically made with end grain. But not 2×4’s, and not usually over 24 inches in one direction. And those are held together with threaded rod stock.

  3. Dan and ET have good points about end grain. I tried to think of a better way to seal it, like a poured acrylic resin, but that would crack too unless you made “tiles” out of them. Cool part of that would be, you could keep the differences in depth and texture.

    Maybe if you took all your bits and pieces, and ripped them with a chop saw to a fairly uniform width and laid them on their sides, then you could make yourself a recycled parquet with the side grain facing up.

  4. I don’t know, of course, but I wonder if it might be way heavier than would be ideal in a tiny mobile home?

  5. It has great aesthetic appeal but the likely amount of fuss involved in making it work causes my lazy streak to tingle a warning.

  6. Love this idea, Ryan. I’ve seen it done with old barn wood 2×4 slices, set as if floor tiles. Looks amazing. And very good repurposing idea.

  7. What about instead of flooring, it was used as wall covering in some form, 1/2 wall, part of a fireplace mantle, window facings, etc.? In more of a decorative, yet useful, fashion.

  8. Love the idea but does sound like a lot of work. Cedric’s advice is pour epoxy over it but that’s his solution to EVERYTHING when it comes to tiny house design.

  9. I’ve seen the edge set block as a loading cargo floor in an old Post Office. They were waxed not varnished. the floor was aver 80 years old and in good condition but when the space was unconditioned (no heat, high moisture) the floor popped up a foot in the air. They were easy to reset with a hammer.

  10. Looks like a lot of work, but if done professionally, may produce an amazing spectacle for a room!

  11. You need to be able to compress this kind of floor – I’ve done it a few times. Even in a bathroom.

    Here’s my way.
    While this is cheep and looks great – especially as it ages – you will need one side of the floor available as over time it will need to be compressed. You take a socket wrench and tighten your floor
    The scraps need to be about 4″ deep to start.
    You need a secure frame on 3 sides, say a 4×4 that is well anchored.
    You need rebar through the whole floor about ever 18 inches.
    You thread the rebar (yes you can thread rebar – with a washer and a bolt on each end. and you crank the crap out of it (DON’T BREAK THE REBAR)
    As you work on the rest of the house you add sand (lots)to round the corners when that all that sand finds a place then you add sawdust.
    this floor will never be flat, but it can have nice soft corners.
    After about 6 months you can oil the floor, but nothing else! If you just keep it compressed it will last 100 years. I doubt you will be alive to have to do this, but if a large chunk falls out, you find replacement and you hammer it in.

    Let it get stained, let it get wet, just keep it compressed!

  12. I have seen this kind of thing done with old wine corks, set like tiles. I have also seen something similar done with pennies.

  13. This reminds me of the flooring at the book check-in at the downtown Seattle Public Library designed by Ann Hamilton. It is made up of large wooden type blocks – the letters are raised and get walked on by 1000s of people every week. It looks amazing!! http://www.annhamiltonstudio.com/public/lew.html

  14. This type of floor was actually installed at a public institution in Buffalo, NY around 1941- a large instruction classroom that is still used to this very day. The building is currently being renovated, and the architect of this phase preserved it. It is very interesting and has held up nicely, despite ambulatory vehicles continuously rolled over it and general school traffic. The installer used symmetry of the same cuts side-by-side. I can post a picture if everyone wants to see.

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