Arts and Crafts: New Floor

Time to put the bedroom floor in. I chose a 3/4″ solid hardwood from Bruce. I bought enough for the bedroob, kitchen, dining and living room. 36 boxes. Each one hundred pounds, 22 square feet, approx $100 per box.

I started out putting down a plastic/foam/foil underlayment layer. Then laid out the boards from one box and then a second. Then I started nailing them down using my finishing nailer.

This wasn’t working very well so I went to China Freight for a flooring nailer.

This worked much better. The finishing nailer was failing to drive 2/3rds of each nails deep enough to not obstruct from the next board. The flooring staples only failed one out of a hundred and then only when I mis-struck the tool with the provided mallet. In addition, the floor is assembling tighter, looks better and is going together much faster with no bending-stooping.

After 5 boxes of floor installed, I started laying our box number 6 and ran into this:

It’s a whole box of short pieces. Only the top 5 boards are of reasonable useful length in the entire box. This is a total change from the fist 5 boxes. It looks like the Friday afternoon box full of the factory scraps.

So I laid those out and opened box number 7 to see if that was a one-off. The 7th box was just like box 6. Only the top 7 boards are a useful length.

This is insanely difficult for me. I can’t use these. They will make the floor look like patchwork or increase by scrap rate from less than 1% to 70% and make the effective cost increase from $5.50/square foot to over $15/square foot. The first 5 boxes had no more than 4 pieces that were less than 24″ long.

This means I will have to box these back up and take them back for a refund. It also means I will have to open ALL of the other 29 boxes so that if they are similar, they can go back before the return policy at LOWES expires. (90 days). They are too expensive to let it ride.

Makes me wonder why they need a 7 foot long box to contain a box of wood chips.

Here is box #8 for comparison. Only 2 pieces under a foot.

About No One

I am totally non-threatening
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3 Responses to Arts and Crafts: New Floor

  1. Ame says:

    the floor is beautiful . . .

    but that’s crazy. i can’t imagine how someone thought they could or should do something like that. hope you get it fixed swiftly.


  2. Heresolong says:

    Why does the floor nailer have two handles if you have to whack it with a mallet to make it work? (Serious question, I’ve never used one)

    Why does the “correct” box have so many short pieces? I bought a box of bamboo flooring for my dining room years ago and every piece in the box was the length of the box. When I needed shorter pieces I cut them shorter.

    Also FWIW, when I was helping a friend do his house he said to open all the boxes and mix up the pieces because they will have slightly different finishes from manufacturing and wood variations. If you work your way through one box at a time you end up with all the different pieces together and your floor changing as you walk through the house, versus having all the slight differences randomly scattered throughout.


  3. No One says:

    I suspect the lower handle is vestigial since the upper handle is the one I used exclusively. This allows the tool to be used from a standing position, which is much easier on backs and knees.

    Bamboo is different because like vinyl, it is a manufactured product made from gluing together small strips of wood to make whatever dimensions are required. The floor I selected is made from hickory and the pieces are created at the factory from whole pieces of natural wood. During quality control, defects, knots, and flaws are cut out, and the smaller useful parts are kept in the pool. This results in multiple random lengths available for installation in each box. when installed, visually, this reduces the strict pattern and makes the layout look more random. In any case, that many short pieces in one box is not normal and not acceptable.

    I have noticed that there is plenty of color variation in each box so mixing them up isn’t required. Mixing pieces is a common practice for floors and tiles of all sorts. I never found it needed. I tend to layout 2 boxes at a time before nailing so if I noticed a problem in pattern or color consistency, I have flexibility to do additional randomizing.


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