A Guide to End-Grain Flooring

Learn how to create beautiful, unique floors out of reclaimed materials with this simple guide to end-grain flooring.

“Building With Secondhand Stuff” by Chris Peterson is about making good decisions and learning specific techniques for getting unusable material into useful condition. Practically any material can be reclaimed using the tools and techniques you’ll learn in this helpful book, and all for a fraction of the cost of buying new materials at a building center.
Make your own end-grain tiles by using a bandsaw to cut inch-thick slices from a 2x6 or other piece of reclaimed lumber.
Establish the overall tile pattern. Work the pattern out on sketch paper first, using the dimensions of the room to scale. Once you’ve figured out the pattern, dry lay the actual tiles to ensure that it works to your satisfaction.
Snap chalk lines to divide the space into four quadrants. Lay one quadrant at a time, starting at the center. Spread a bed of polyurethane adhesive, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, setting the tiles in place either butted up to one another, or using spacers to leave room for grout.
Cut tiles with a band saw or jig saw as necessary to fit around obstacles and at the outer edges of the design. Leave a 1/2" gap at walls, and around obstructions such as pillars, to allow for expansion. Once all the end-grain tiles are laid, let the floor set for 24 hours, or as long as recommended by the adhesive manufacturer.
Spread flexible, sandable flexible wood filler into large cracks in the surface of individual tiles. If you’re refinishing the surface, sand with a drum sander equipped with 60-grit sandpaper. Sand across the grain to start with, and make a final pass with the grain.

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