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Posted June 2004

Rosewood Flooring Project

Two years ago I removed a large garden tub from a space of 7 by 7 ½.   I then added paneling ( See paneling project ).   But this left a bare floor.   I really wanted to put down hardwood.   So Sharon and I went floor shopping.   The only wood that she really liked was Rosewood.   But there was a problem with that, at $15 a square foot installed, I was to cheap.   So I shopped and shopped.

I finally found the answer on Ebay.   I bid on 180 square foot of 3/4, 4 inch Rosewood.   The total cost, including shipping, was 25 cents a square foot more than basic Oak at Home Depot, $4.50 a square foot (600 pounds).   The company was out of Chicago, and they were great.

With the loan of a pickup truck, thanks to Richard Strum, I was able to pick the wood up at the Yellow Freight depot.

Prep Work

Leveling and screwing Clear

Screwing:

First came screwing down the sub-floor.   This house was built with nails into the sub-flooring, hence very squeaky floors.   In other rooms I have been shooting screws every 6 inches.   But for this floor I changed the spacing to every 4 inches.   I used #8 X 2 ½ Stainless Square Head screws.   One major problem is that I purchased a box of "Made in (Communist) China" screws from Lowe's.   About 10% broke off at the shank.   Some actually stripped the square heads.   I should have stayed with the local Tusculum Ace Hardward store.

You can see the row of screws at the bottom of the picture.

Leveling:

Then the floor was leveled, using a cement / polymer based product.   This stuff sets up very fast, so only about one quart was mixed at a time.   That is the dark gray material at the top.   Warning, better to have a low spot than to high spot.   Sanding even the little beading from the edge of the leveling tool can be a job.

Sorting Flooring

Sorting:

Sorting was an interesting problem.   I tried to do most of the sorting before I started.   I quickly found out that it was more of an artistic skill than a mechanical skill.   Although you do have to make board lengths, butt joints, grain, and color appear random..

This ended up not being to much of a problem by leaving most of the sorting to be done as I went.   I usually laid out two to four rows ahead.

Laying the Floor

The edge Clear

The Edge and First Row

The first and last rows, next to the wall, were screwed down.   I put two screws in each stud.   Then making plugs from the flooring to cover screws.

First three rows

One Board at a Time

First I laid down one layer of black "Tar Paper" to form the vapor barrier.

Then laying out two to four rows of flooring.   This was to have a random color and grain.   Also that the butt joints did not line up or did not fall between the same floor joist.   The third factor was the randomness of the lengths.

Then one board at a time was pried in good and tight.   Even then there were small gaps due to slight variations in width and some curvature.   My original plan was to rent a nail gun.   But due to the extreme hardness of Rosewood, I had to drill and hand nail.   I used 2 ½ inch spiral flooring nails.   One into each floor Joist board.

Sanding

Sanding Clear

Sanded Floor

Originally I had planned to rent a Floor Sander.   But after doing some reading and looking at them, I became a little apprehensive about using one.   So I purchased a Porter-Cable Belt Sander, 3 X 21 inch.   I started out looking for a larger one.   All the stores I went to did not have a full selection and the representatives were not much help.   I ended up at the local Porter-Cable supplier and picked the smaller one.   A lot easier to handle.

I started with 60 grit, then went to 100, and 180.   Then a quick once over with 220 and 300.
 

Sanding Dust

Sanding Dust

Yes dust was a problem.   Notice the reflection in the mirror, or really lack of a reflection.   The far left of the counter has been cleaned.

Finishing

Finish First Coat Clear

First Coat

I started with two coats of Dewaxed Super Blonde Shellac cut to 1 ½ pound.   Probably should have used a one pound cut.   This picture shows the first coat at the top.
 

Finish

Final Coats

After the first two coats, I switched to three coats of Dewaxed Garnet Shellac.   These were two and a half pound cuts.   Garnet is reported to have some "green" in it to dull down the red in the Rosewood.   Even though it looked just dark brown, I found that it did a fantastic job of toning down the red without obscuring the wood grain.

The Shellac was the best looking finish I have used.   It goes on real easy and only two hours between coats.   But, I found it the most difficalt to put down in a consistant coat.   It does take some skill.
 

Finish Close Up

Close Up

I still have to finish up by putting on two of three coats of pure Tung Oil.   The Tung Oil will protect the Shellac from water and other spillages.   Then buff it out.   But in no hurry to do it.

Small Table - Details

Cabinet Refinishing

Wood Working
<< Back             
            Forward >>

Rosewood Mirror

Paneling


If you have any comments, problems, questions or suggestions, please send me an e-mail at .

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