Installation of Wood Floor

Have you ever walked barefoot on wood floors?

Yes, I have walked barefoot on wood floors. I have even scrubbed it every morning. The second floor of my Lola’s house in Ilocos was made of wood.

For my own house, I’ve always wanted a hardwood floor!DSC03141

How did we get the floor that we wanted?

With preparation, planning and Divine Providence.

Almost two decades ago, my husband’s father planted trees. Kung may itinanim, may aanihin. Few months prior to construction, we had mature trees cut. We had it cut in tablon sizes. The tablon were just stored in a dry place.

Photo on 9-26-15 at 2.57 PM

Then 2 months prior to installation of wood floor, I had the tablon cut thin (1 inch thick) at  a nearby lumber store. At that time, I had no idea of the correct plank size except for the 1 inch thickness. I did this so that wood would dry faster.

Later, I was referred to John,  panday and owner of a furniture shop near our site.  I looked at his hands and saw calloused and brown-stained fingertips. Check. I saw  a true worker.

DSC02834-1He brought his men and circular saw to the site. They cut the “thin tablon into 3.5 in.x 2 ft. planks.  I wanted width to be 4 inches, but they said they had to cut it 3.5 inches to minimise retaso. I also would have wanted longer planks. But they said that 2 feet would be the longest to minimise warping.  The panday above was sawing teak wood. Teak was installed in the masters bedroom and family room.

Thinking back, sawing the tablon thin was not necessary, if I have known already the desired installable plank size. I should have proceeded to sawing the tablon into the desired installable plank size.

I  have also thought of putting the 3.5 in. x 2 ft planks in a kiln drying facility. But when I inquired at the facility, it would take a month after I can get my wood. No, I could not wait for a month. It would delay our move in. And my panday said there was no need to kiln dry because, ” Mala na ni dok a.  Nami pa kay gulang ang kahoy. (These are already dry, doc. And the wood is mature.)”

For those who do not have their own mature trees to cut, it is best to start buying tablon months prior to construction. Then, as soon as possible,  have it cut into planks (4 in. x 2 ft.) and just store it in a dry place. You will surely have sufficiently air-dried planks.  But you have the choice to kiln-dry them, too.

DSC02853-1

Our planks were ready to be installed after a week from sawing. The mahogany were installed in chevron pattern. Oh no, I did not directly tell them, “Chevron pattern, please. ”  I printed a picture of the pattern and showed it to them. “Ok dok. Pero mauti, kag mausik sa kahoy.” But I argued, “Para ang makita ang work of art nyo.” They willingly obliged. They glued the underside of the wood plank and nailed it on the floor. They used Apollo wood glue. They used up 37 gallons of Apollo!

Contractor’s Tip: Always show a picture of what you want. Or draw what you want. To minimise surprises.

DSC03139-1After a few days , when the glue had hardened, they took out the nails and used a planer to make the surface even. Be ready for the dust to fly around the room. And yes, stick to the walls. That was why the walls of the room were just painted with white primer. 

The holes left by the nails were filled with wood glue and wood dust from what they just planed. Then painting the floor began. They used lacquer thinner, sanding sealer and polyurethane topcoat. Final paint color of the walls was done after final topcoating of the floor.

There was half an inch gap from the wall to the wood floor. The architect insisted on that. To give room for the wood to expand with temperature changes. The gap was covered with baseboard.

Photo on 9-26-15 at 12.46 PM

There, the baseboard was in place.

I, my architect and John had a prior discussion on how he would install the planks. I and Architect thought that the hole from the nail would leave an ugly looking mark. ” Basi pede hindi na lg magamit sang lansang, ” I said. “Hindi na magtapik maayo ang kahoy,” John said. “Or, ibilin na lang bi ang lansang? ” I persisted. “Kalain na na karon. Sa amon experience, hindi man sya halata, dok”  he stressed. “Pero, kung ano gusto nyo, tumanon lang namon.”

Very smart guy to end a conversation like that. So, I listened to his suggestion because he has been in furniture business for almost 15 years.

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Can you see the holes covered with glue and wood dust? If you look closely enough at the joints of the chevron pattern, you can see lightly coloured dots. But they are not annoyingly visible, right?

family room floor

Teak wood was installed simply. Straight. To show off its beautiful grain pattern. By the way, for our replanting, we would plant teak wood, one of our native trees.

Installation and painting of wood floor took more time than installation of tiles.  The 685 sq. ft. floor  took almost 1 month. One of the reasons why our move in was delayed.

But the waiting and the inconveniences were all worth it. At the end of the day–oops, to be precise — at the start of the day, we are happy walking barefoot on our wood floor. No scrubbing yet. They topcoated it so well that you do not need to scrub it.  A rag just worked fine.

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