Hi Group --
I am hoping there is someone out there with some experience with crazy
ideas. I know that this is kind of a hard question and that's why I'm
appealing to the group for help. I have an idea and I want to run it
past y'all because I'm worried that it won't work (even though I can't
think of a single reason why - except that it is too cheap to work).
I was thinking of getting these great Doug Fir strips (1"x4") that are
sold for indoor trim and nailing down to the plywood subfloor in my
living room. I know that Doug Fir is soft and that is okay because
I'm going for the rustic look. I was thinking of nailing them down,
sanding, staining and varnishing them.
I was wondering if anyone also knew if it would be alright to use that
trim outside as window and door trim.
I would so love it if someone with some experience with wood floors or
with Doug Fir could give me their two cents worth! Thank you so much
No reason that you can't. Personally, I'd skip the stain...too hard
to repair when it becomes scratched or worn.
Douglas fir is relatively hard compared to other soft woods. The dark
portions of it are quite hard, the light, pale areas pretty soft. If
you can find edge grain fir, the entirety will be durable. "Edge
grain" is wood that has been quartered...if you look at the end the
alternating bands of light/darkwood are vertical (perpendicular or
close to perpendicular to the wide side of the board).
Sure. Douglas fir is one of the most commonly used woods for anything
in the western US. Keep it painted and caulked and it will last for
many years. If you want it to last even longer, use copper ring shank
nails (or stainless steel) to attach as rusting nails will stain/rot
the wood. If you can find hot dipped galvanized nails, those would be
another (not as good) possibility. The commonly available galvanized
nails are electroplated and are garbage.
look at some tongue and groove flooring and you will see why what you
want to do isn't the best. wood moves, and those 1x4 boards will try
to warp around , leaving your floor lumpy or even making a tripping
you can still do it, and even have it work ok, but use lots of nails.
fir is OK as exterior trim. keep up the paint on it and it will last a
Two issues: the sharp edges of the boards will likely form
splinters. It was always normal practice to plane the boards
used for moulding, with a profile that was rounded at the
edges that showed ('bead board' was a simple round edge
making a kind of R cross-section, for instance). If you want
it rustic, maybe just hand-planing that edge down will suffice.
If you want it really rustic, trim with axe and drawknives.
And, it is usual to nail the board for the moulding to the wall, not
floor; a second piece of molding, the toe strip, hid the crack under
the kick mould, and that toe strip was nailed to the floor. If you
want it to look rustic, there won't be a toe strip. It might pay
to scribe the lower surface of the moulding and trim it to make the
crack at the floor small (a router can do the cutting, and a simple
pencil compass is all it takes to do the scribing).
NO! Gaps are inevitable (used to be chinked with rope as
antique floorboards shrank) and any warping will cause a
trip-line in the floor. Softwood floors are possible, but it's always
tongue-and-groove, to keep it at least locally flat. Nails keep it
from sliding sideways, but nails pull out easily (and you'll trip
over the protruding nailheads, too). The tongue-and-groove
boards can be nailed in the tongue area, so there isn't a nailhead
Simple whitewood boards aren't always fully dry as-bought,
either. And at the edges, after a gap opens up, you'll pull off
splinters. Lots of splinters. DAMHIKT
One could conceivably use softwood boards with loose splines
to keep 'em flat, with judicious use of glues to hold em down. It's
possible to fill the cracks, too (I've seen some sand-down/apply
goop finishes that make filler out of the dust from sanding).
But if you really want to save money, use a conventional flooring
instead. The labor cost and maintenance chores for those old
pegged plank floors are going to ruin your enjoyment of the rustic
Thank y'all so much for your help. I'm going to show my husband your
ideas. It sounds like there is some extra work associated with trying
to make it work. It might make more sense to spend a little extra up
front to save a bunch of extra work later on down the road.
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