Endgrain Floor - Made from scratch #4: So much to do... so many sore muscles.

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Blog entry by Thomas Porter posted 05-28-2008 06:57 AM 32262 reads 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Getting things going... Part 4 of Endgrain Floor - Made from scratch series Part 5: Wrapping things up... »

Please don’t use regular grout like me. The wood shrinks slightly and is allowed to move because of the urethane adhesive remaining pliable. There’s tiny little cracks where the wood has separated on the outer tiles in the room. It’s not going to weather well, so I’m replacing the grout in the near future. Thank goodness endgrain floors are cheap material cost. :-) Everything else I did was fine, but the grout was an experiment that proved bad. I’ll leave this project here so you can see it, but be warned – I have now decided to try other grout mixes using flexible wood filler or epoxy/resin/sawdust mixes.

Okay I’m slow today. After felling that Olive tree (see my projects for detail), lifting all of the subfloor panels and fir beams by my lonesome and working my day job to boot… I’m beat. I’m more sore than I have been in a long time, and I just don’t feel like doing much. I’ve been on and off tackling the floor but I keep getting side tracked.

I finished laying all of the full size tiles. I started cutting up all of the custom pieces that go at the end of each row. I’m calling it a night because I’m exhausted, and I’ll tackle the little stuff tomorrow after a good nights rest. Better than trying to speed my way through it and screwing things up. While the mastic was drying I tryed out a bunch of different stains and finally ended up with a color I like. This isn’t a very good respresentation of the final product because there will be a gloss finish on it, but just pretend. The piece of oak is a completely different stain that I’m trying to match to the floor. I’m close but not quite. I want to use oak for the doorways and they will lay on the long-grain. Since the douglas fir on the end grain soaks up stain like a paper towel, it gets dark very fast and what might look like a very light brown becomes almost black when you stain it, leaving a zebra-like stripe. If you use a fairly light stain it comes out okay. If you use a dark stain… eeeeek. So I have to find a matching stain that looks like it was meant to be the same.

(My words aren’t coming out like I want them to. I’m tired. I hope this is all making sense, because I’m not going to proofread before I post this.)

Well… here’s some more pictures. I can’t wait to finish this project and compile the video I’m making for you guys. I’m doing a step by step process to show you how I do it on video. I think that will give a better idea. We’ll see.

See you tomorrow!

-- Thomas Porter, Phoenix, AZ,

8 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5161 days

#1 posted 05-28-2008 12:31 PM

Thanks for the post, Thomas. I am sure you were beat after all you did today. Good luck on the stain as it is going to be tough to decide on one to use. The end grain will soak it up like a sponge. To tell the truth I probably would just topcoat it and leave it natural because any stain you put on it will end up being fairly dark.

This is an interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 5106 days

#2 posted 05-28-2008 02:34 PM

I agree with Scott about the topcoat. Several coats of an oil based poly will really warm it up and pop the end grain. It will keep darkening as it matures. If you want to stain, then you may try picking the color you like and diluting it. Good luck and keep us posted. Thank you for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 5179 days

#3 posted 05-29-2008 05:35 PM

Dido on the natural top coating, fir will take on a nice warm tone as it ages.
It look great!

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View suebee's profile


34 posts in 4956 days

#4 posted 07-01-2008 04:28 AM

I love your floor! I can’t wait to see the finished product. We are getting ready to do the same thing only we are not grouting. I think we pretty much have it down. I am only hesitant about a few things and thought you might be able to comment or give us some feedback before we start. Our kitchen is huge and we are doing 4 X 4 in douglas fir. We are getting ready to cut the tiles now. We are using a 12” compound miter saw to cut the tiles down. Do you have any comments on this? We thought this would give us the most accurate smooth cut. After seeing your saw in the pics I was wondering if this would make a big difference. Second, I am a little worried. We still have to pull up the linoleum and plyboard. Have you heard of endgrain flooring being laid without a plyboard layer? And surely not without a vapor layer, right? Please let me know your thoughts if you have a moment. Thanks!

-- sues

View Karson's profile


35295 posts in 5739 days

#5 posted 07-01-2008 05:43 AM

Looking great. A nice job

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 5426 days

#6 posted 07-01-2008 01:42 PM

I’m glad this came back around.
Last week we got a tour of Lockeed Martin in Marietta. The plant was built back in the ‘40’s and now makes the C130 and F22.
One area that has not yet been “modernized” has a huge section of the hanger with end grain flooring. It was easier on the feet and less flexible.

Yours looks nicer.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View sherryc's profile


1 post in 4938 days

#7 posted 07-18-2008 05:47 PM

This is a great series, and your floor looks amazing so far. We are adding on to our house in a big way right now and doing all of it ourselves, of course. We are considering creating an end-grain floor in the kitchen, and can’t wait to see the rest of your story. Will you be posting more soon?

-- Sherry, under Montana's Big Sky

View Amber's profile


1 post in 4880 days

#8 posted 09-14-2008 09:41 PM

Wow, your floor looks great! So, I am thinking about doing something like this but intermixed with tile. Can you make the cuts with a chop saw? My table saw is kinda crappy. I was thinking more about maybe 4×4s. I also read somewhere that you should buy at least 5 year dried wood. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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