Sunday, March 6, 2016

Oak Floors

So, there's been an extended period of radio silence here.  Sorry about that.   We've been busy doing the upstairs floors.

The guest room floor is installed.  We used more of the salvaged maple that we used for the other bedrooms upstairs.

The common room is almost done.  We used salvaged oak - from the same house the maple came from.

On the back of the oak we found this stamp:

Henry Buchholz Hinsdale ILL

We did a bit of research and found that Hinsdale is up near Chicago.   Henry Buchholz was a builder and developer in the early 1900s.  He liked oak.   So do we.

The oak floor is going much faster than the maple.   We can't tell if that's just because we really know what we're doing or because it's drier this time of year and we're not fighting swollen wood or what.   At any rate, we're grateful.

This is what's left of the oak today.   Our boards ranged in length from 12 inches to 15 feet long.  One of the things we have to do to make the best use of the wood is to put it together like puzzle pieces so that we don't make cuts and can fit the existing pieces together.   So, we arrange the wood by length.   It's tedious, but worth it when it comes time to lay out the rows for installation.   Layout is my job.   Installation [running the Super Nailer] is Eric's.

Layout involves fitting the boards to the correct length and attempting to get 100 years of mystery gunk off the tongues so the boards fit together well.  Sometimes I can get it off.  Sometimes it's cement.  If it doesn't then Eric goes at it again with the box knife [pic below] before final placement and nailing.

Turns out we had enough oak to do most of the floor upstairs and in front of the stairs. Woo-hoo!  We have enough maple left over to do the rest of the big room upstairs.   We considered getting new oak and keeping it all the same, but neither of us really wants to use the rest of the maple anywhere else in the house and we don't want to toss it, so we decided that we'd have a 'mixed' floor and let that be part of the house's story.  

We probably could have done something fancy to show off both woods up there, but we didn't know exactly how much square footage we had to begin with or how much maple we'd have left over after the guestroom without doing a way more intensive count than anyone wanted to do, so we winged it.    When we started with the oak, we looked at the stack and said, 'If we can get from the bookshelves all the way over to the stairwell with oak, then we can do the other area in maple and at least the oak and maple areas will make sense.'   We'll have exactly enough oak.  The floor upstairs won't match, but it's a good story. 

4 comments:

  1. Thanks! I confess I was surprised at how much I loved the oak over the maple. I'm glad we did both because now we know what we want downstairs.

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