Introduction: Hardwood Floors

Picture of Hardwood Floors

1 planer, 1 mitre saw, 140 4"x4" Treated Fence Posts
13,000 cuts, sand, stain, sealer, wallah!!!!!!

Step 1: Cure the Wood

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very simple but completely monotonous.
1. first I let the wood dry and cure for a number of weeks.

Step 2: Planer

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then I used a 13" planer to shave off about 1/8 inch off each side to have a perfect edge.

Step 3: Miter Saw Cuts

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3. next I set up a sliding template using painters rollers and rolled the wood onto my miter saw. with which I cut each piece 5/8 thick. (about a gazillion times) ( I found it a good idea to use a really nice facemask for this type of work, unless you want to have a headache as big as TX and pass out and die of strychnine poisoning)

Step 4: Acclimate Wood to the A/c

4. after these were cut I would take them inside the house in the air conditioning and let them cure for another two weeks.

Step 5: Wait

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5. twiddle your thumbs

Step 6: Lay Them Straight

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6. as they were drying we set them all through the house in order to make sure my math was correct. I had two milk crates full left over.

Step 7: Prep the Concrete

7. next I prepped the concrete slab.

Step 8: Glue

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8. then I went on to applying hardwood floor adhesive all over myself and the floor by using a grout trowel. (this was the most difficult part because of the speed at which the glue begins to harden vs. how fast you can lay down a row of wood tiles and go back to the first of that row)

Step 9: Sanded It

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9. after adhesion I rented a floor sander from the depot and smoothed out the surface. then cleaned all the dust away.

Step 10: Stain

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10. then we stained it a dark honey color which brought out the colors and lines more.

Step 11: Sealed It

11. final step was applying hardwood sealer everywhere. this took a couple of days and I did about 3 or 4 coats.

Step 12: Finally

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12. last I added all the trim around the edges and I was done.
oh by the way, I ended up using every last piece of wood. down to final slivers which went into my master bathroom entrance.


doreenn (author)2015-04-24

I'm really hoping you are still on here! What do you think about using old hand sewn beams (I think that's what they call them! Lol). I believe the slices would be larger and I know of a few reuse places around me where I could buy them. Do you think that would be more economical then conventional hardwood flooring? I'm thinking it would definitely be faster but would I need to add any steps that you haven't listed? Also, do you think there is a way to "dip" the slices into a solution to coat them in order to get better protection and perhaps a better moisture barrier? I'm not sure what I would dip them in but I'm just thinking it might be necessary due to the wood choice as well as perhaps make for a faster process altogether. If you could, let me know what you think. I have two rooms I really need to get to that were ripped up due to plumbing issue and I'd love to do something like this. Oh, one very important last issue. If the sub flooring that is down there right now is plywood, could I (or should I) nail instead of glue? Thanks very much and really hoping to get a response from you!

joelsprayberry (author)doreenn2015-04-30

doreenn, i would recommend a thin subfloor and doing a tongue and groove on your planks. the old hand sewn wood would look so good as long as it doesn't buckle or warp. the tongue and groove helps with that.

hardwoodchamp (author)2014-12-09

This is super awesome!

vbaziuk (author)2012-06-18

I love this, believe me I do. I have a question though.. I was once told that the reason materials made for outdoors (especially wood) shouldn't be used indoors because of the different standards for treating the wood to be outdoor weather proof and in an environment where there is ventilation. Learning of this quashed all of my ideas of using outdoor products inside. Have you looked in to what your floor might be releasing into your indoor air? Might be worth some investigation. It really does look great though!! Nice work!

wecanclean (author)2010-06-10

Q; I'm not sure I can see in the pic, but is the left side of the room done in a "pattern" & the right side done "random"? If you tested patterns, did you like the "random" or the "pattern" better? This is the cats MEOW! Love it. I hope your floor brings you many years of beauty!

canida (author)2010-05-11

Wow, this looks excellent!  Like a parquet floor, but better.

WILL62 (author)2009-12-29

You are right Manonfire and another thing that gets me is....he he instead of hee hee... whurd yall get yer comic books at   HEE HEE.

chrystopherlewis (author)2009-03-24

I feel dumb for asking but how do you prep the concrete,? Did you just remove all things off the concrete ? Or did you have to place chemicals to prep it ?

sanded, bleached, cleaned, glued~

chrystopherlewis (author)2009-03-24

It's better to have extra rather than needing some more :)

snarke (author)2006-08-31

There's no point to using pressure-treated wood anyway. Those slots on the outside are where spikes are used to push the preservative into the wood. It only penetrates about 1cm into the wood. So as soon as you slice the end off, you expose the middle, which isn't treated. (See

So you might as well pick something cheaper. I'll agree that an end-grain floor is going to be way more durable than the usual plank-style floor, although a heck of a lot more work to install. Yikes.

verbatin01 (author)snarke2009-03-05

good call snarke - I love this project, but you're right about the treated wood being an unnecessary cost unless you were going to use this outside for decking that rests on the ground or something. If you used a polyurethane coating, I wouldn't imagine that the arsenic would be a problem. They still use exposed treated wood to build decks, but I think covered is ok.

Asmodeo (author)2008-12-23

The nicest floor I have seen.Ever. My dining room's floor is "in the row", and I think I could borrow your idea. Thanks a lot!

paappraiser (author)2008-05-22

Did you figure out a cost per square foot?

ask4rew (author)2008-04-30

Sorry I couldn't tell because it was upside down - but now I see it ;) - Colorado can be recognized at any angle, although some folks mix us up with Wyoming...

ask4rew (author)2008-02-06

nice tattoo what is it?

pyroswmr (author)ask4rew2008-04-30


nothingmuch (author)2006-04-21

My aunt's husband is a rennovational architect, and he told me horror stories about wooden floors - if you don't leave enough gaps, and the floor was set while the wood was dry, but then the humidity rises, sometimes the floor will bulge up even several meters. The moral of that story is to leave gaps - both between the tiles and between the floor and the wall.

kaleb1999 (author)nothingmuch2007-12-15

The trick is the same with store bought wood flooring materials, you have to allow it to climatize to the location you are going to be installing it in, plus leave the gap around the outside perimeter for exspansion.

incorrigible packrat (author)2007-10-30

Manufacturers of wood roof trusses usually have heaps of offcut pieces of 2x4 and 2x3 lumber, which they would probably be more than happy to part with, for very little or no cost. These could be used to make neat patterns on your floor or other project. Bonus: the offcuts are usually about one or two feet long, so they are easy to fit into a car trunk, bicycle rack, shopping cart, or whatever mode of conveyance you choose. Building supply places seem to be much more truck oriented in their product length. Also, they have the annoying habit of wanting large sums of money from you.

great idea packrat~

inquisitive (author)2007-09-30

Beautiful project-the design layout possibilities have my mind racing-I think using the endcuts like this for a table and a glass top would be so cool. Great another "Instructable Insomniac" in the making---thinking of applications and schematics-LOL Thanks so much for this! PS over a year later now-any issues from expansion/contraction?

egreen767 (author)2007-08-31

very cool

luc9010 (author)2006-09-04

Sweet much did it end up costing per square foot?

Code128 (author)2006-04-21

Pressure treated Fence posts are definitely not something you want in your house at all. This wood has been banned for use in playgrounds and other areas where people are. Great idea but use some other wood.

snarke (author)Code1282006-08-31

Um, not banned. The only danger is if kids chew on the wood, or if you breathe the sawdust, or chop food directly on it, or something like that. Other than that, it's very safe; the treatment stays in the wood. Also, in Step 3 above, joelsprayberry should have said "arsenic poisoning," since it's arsenic compounds, not strychnine, that were used to treat the wood. I use the word "were" because the industry voluntarily phased out chromated copper arsenate (CCA) as a treatment in 2004. Now it's almost all treated with a copper-based compound that's not toxic, but more corrosive.

snarke (author)2006-08-31

Acrylic will scratch almost instantly, it would be very expensive, and you can't get it larger than 4' x 8' sheets.

bugcam (author)2006-07-12

WOW! Spectacular. Aaargh! I love it so-o much I think my naughty parts are tingling! Holy cow, is that cool. Did you say what the square footage was and how long it took to do approx., a)cut b)lay down c)etc...

tagyerit (author)2006-06-09

It looks great. What a lot of work! But I'm wondering why you didn't use untreated wood. It should be cheaper and usually comes in a bit dryer. Also, I was wondering if there was a particular reason you started at 5/8". A thicker floor would presumably last through more refinishing jobs. Of course that would add to the cost.

kqrpnb (author)2006-04-24

Excellent project! I almost<i/> did the same thing, but into a butcherblock table. I had a really nice piece of 4x4 Ash... that was pretty stuff. Alas, I am ofttimes too lazy!

kqrpnb (author)2006-04-24

Ha ha! More projects on what to do with the left overs from step 6 when we mis-calculate from step 3!

kqrpnb (author)2006-04-24

Another ancillary project?

kqrpnb (author)2006-04-24

You can probably use math a little earlier in the process to determine how many you will need (length x width) and save yourself some cuts from step 3...

kqrpnb (author)2006-04-24

How about a projet on 'setting up a sliding template using paint rollers'? Then you can link that to this and use the 'idea' tag on it to let others use it in their projects. Very nice project btw.

joelsprayberry (author)2006-04-22

to answer a few of the above questions: no arsenic probs in the house, it is the new style. the cost: if you add in the materials plus the tools was around .25/sq ft that obviously doesn't include man-hours. soft vs hard, good point. but the end of the greain is much stronger than the side. i haven't had any problems with sliding chairs or my wife walking in high heels on the floor at all. if i coud have afforded 8x8 redwood, that would have been my top choice. enjoy~

Temo Vryce (author)2006-04-21

THe fact that he's stained the floor and then added 3 or 4 coats of sealer to the floor, means that you would be hardpressed to get an chemicals out of the wood. 3 to 4 coats is about as air tight as you're going to get. This is a really cool project and It gives me ideas for our new house. I'm planning on building myself a computer room in the basement and this would be an awesome floor.

batzel (author)2006-04-21

Aren't these posts typically pine? That'd most likely be a 'softwood' floor, then.

mikesty (author)2006-04-21

D.I.Y. to the max! floors :D

lantera (author)2006-04-21

The new pressure treated stuff isn't a problem. The old formula (phased out in ~2003) used arsenic as part of the perservative. This has been replaced with a copper based formula which isn't toxic to humans (compared to the old stuff), but is very corrosive to metal fasteners. Still don't want to eat off it or snort the sawdust, but it is completely safe for skin contact.

billz260 (author)2006-04-21

Can we get a more wide shot of what the floor pattern looks like? Thanks, cool idea...

heltones (author)2006-04-21

It looks great. You have a lot more patience than the average homeowner. :) hugedom does however make a good point. I probably wouldn't let a baby crawl around on it or a dog/cat/self take a nap on it either. Have you noticed any smell to the room when walking in after it has been closed up for a few hours? Just curious. I don't know if the sealer locks in that stuff at all. Polyeurethane might...but they again, you have to deal with its offgassing... Maybe beanwaur's acrylic would work, but might scratch? Nonetheless, it looks really cool. I'm just freaked out by chemicals.

keimel (author)2006-04-21

I've seen a similar thing done with 2x4 but left loose in the mud room. Periodically they could shovel up all the wood pieces, clean up the floor real well and wash teh blocks, then reassemble. Very good for a mud room.

radiorental (author)2006-04-21

Very nice work, this would also make for a nice table top or kitchen counter top. Do you know roughly what the cost psf is?

hugedom (author)radiorental2006-04-21

The fence posts are likely pressure treated with chemicals that you may not want any food to be in contact with.

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