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bennett1031 01-08-2010 10:12 PM

rough lumber for flooring
my wife and I are undergoing a major home remodel - everything will be changed some way. we are almost finished with the kitchen and want to put down hardwood flooring. I was told by a friend to look into using rough lumber for the floor, we want the antique/old country look to it. has anyone used rough lumber cut from a local saw mill as flooring? is this a good idea?

Bud Cline 01-09-2010 09:20 AM

Sounds really charming but it's doubtful a local saw mill will have planks of a consistency needed for flooring. (Been down that road years ago with cottonwood.) Then there is the moisture issues.

Wood flooring manufacturers do however sell a product generally referred to as "cabin-grade" and is a more rugged product than the fine-finished stuff most people look for.:) The moisture issues won't be a problem, the thickness issues won't be a problem, the finish issues won't be a problem. :)

Nestor_Kelebay 01-09-2010 06:03 PM


I think that the person who suggested using a rough sawn wood for your floor gave you terrible advice.

It might not have been bad advice if, as flooring manufacturer tend to believe, the only thing you might spill on your floor might be a glass of milk, or maybe Fido might have an accident on it. But, that's not the life of a real floor. A real floor has to put up with your kids making Easter Eggs and possibly spilling Easter Egg dye on your floor. Or perhaps blue Saniflush, or maybe something else that'll permanently stain the floor, like Kool-Aid.

Also, many woods have lots of tannin in them. Tannin reacts with iron ions to form a simple ink that was used in the middle ages called "Iron gall ink", and the only way to get an iron gall ink stain out of that wood would be with a belt sander. If, for example, you have iron feet on your fridge or stove, and you spill water on that floor so that the appliance feet start to rust, you will have black iron gall ink stains where the appliance feet were.

Often you see round black circles on hardwood floors, especially red oak flooring. That's caused by people over watering a plant. The water percolates through the soil and picks up iron ions along it's way. When it leaks out the bottom of the pot, the iron ions in the water react with the tannin in the wood (and red oak has lots of tannin in it) to form a round black mark the same diameter as the pot. And, the only thing that will get that black stain out is a belt sander. (Although some people claim you can get those stains out by making a concentrated bleach solution by dissolving swimming pool chlorine crystals (KOCl) in water until they don't dissolve any more.)

I think you should opt for hardwood floors in bedrooms where you walk around in stocking feet and seldom spill any water. A kitchen, with it's sink is a potential wet area, and every time you need to move the fridge or stove to do repairs, you're gonna be scratching up your hardwood floor.

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