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Hardwood Floor Project

Question: I'm researching phase of a hardwood floor project. Some background, this is my first time laying hardwood flooring and I have access to tons or scrap pieces of random lengths from 6 inches to 32 inches of solid kiln dried .75 inch hardwood (cherry, oak, and hickory) the width is between 2.25 and 4 inches.

My plan is to purchase a router, table and tongue and groove bits and manufacturer my own product.

Here are some questions:

What is the min length of material I should use for a floor?

Is there a min and max width I should use?

What are some of the pitfalls of going this route?

For the cost of surfacing one room with a cheap laminate I can do basically my whole house so I'm pretty set on doing this, unless there is some big red flag out there.

Thanks for your time and input.

Answer: I think it is a great concept. Considering the varieties of woods you have available you might want to consider some different flooring patterns:


  • Make sure the lumber is in the room that you plan on flooring, to allow it to acclimatize at least 72 hours.
  • Unless you are using a diagonal pattern, and some of the patterns above will utilize a lot of smaller pieces, than in a straight layout, an 18" piece is really the smallest you want to work with. You don't want joints in parallel rows to be within 6" and joints should not line up for 4 rows minimum.
  • You will need to mill one side smooth (bottom) in order to use a router table.
  • If these are unfinished, and you are going to sand flat, make sure that the tongue and groove are cut from the same side and when laid, otherwise your floor will not sit tight to the sub-floor. Try to do all your routing of tongues, then do grooves. Duplicating the set-up exactly will be tricky.
  • You will also have to decide whether you will tongue and groove the ends.
  • There is no real difference in widths and you can mix and match in rows. I wouldn't use less than a 2 3/4" width.



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