subfloor as flooring

Several years ago I read about using subfloor ( the one with all the chuncks and chips of wood) to create a countertop. The subfloor was sealed etc. I want to use this same idea as my flooring in my dining room. Has anyone done this or seen it done? Can you think of any pitfalls to this idea? What would you recommend as a sealer? Thanks, Donna
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

It sounds like you're describing oriented strand board (usually abreviated OSB). To me, it sounds really odd to use either for a floor or counter top. I guess it's possible though.
For a sealer, you'd want to use polyurethane, probably many coats. You should probably sand it before applying the poly. I bet the kitchen counter used that two-part epoxy bar top material. It's impractical to use that as a floor sealer as it's expensive.
The only issue I can think of is that it comes in 4'x8' sheets and probably has tongues and grooves along the edge. It will be nearly impossible to hide the edges.
Are you planning just to put a finish coat on the sub floor or put the same material on top of the subfloor? You could cut it into one foot square tiles and create an interesting effect.
I'm not sure how durable it would be. OSB is probably made from softwoods, not hardwoods. But who knows. There could be anything in there.
What is your goal: cheap or unique? If you want cheap, I think you should consider the long-term cost of this idea. Of course, you could always cover it later. If I were looking to cheap out on it, I might consider trying to pick up odd lots of various types of wood from a hardwood floor installer, then mixing them up and using them to randomly fill the room. Of course, they would all need to be the same size, bevel, and site vs factory finished. They might even give them to you if they're planning to throw them out.
brian
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We lived on OSB as a house was being finished. It's not a real good floor because it catches dirt, but it can save money until you are ready for something else/ I bought goof paint at Lowe's for $3/gal and really flooded the osb...enough to smooth it out a bit. Wilson

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On 13 Nov 2006 13:20:26 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

A shop in Wall Drug, SD has that (OSB) as their finish floor. The colors that jump out of that stuff is fantasic. For the floor, screw it down with the 'bumps' up, sand it with a vibrating floor sander and finish with several coats of poly.
Don't know how it would look on a counter top. Sand, finish and lay a piece on and see.
Pete
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On 13 Nov 2006 13:20:26 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

If I were going to do this (and I'll admit, I am not), I'd get the 2'x2' dricore panels (http://www.dricore.com/en/einstallation.htm ). It'll look more like a tiled floor, and the quality control is pretty good on the tounge and groove joints. It's designed to be a floating floor system over concrete, so there are no screws to worry about, and they come with a coating of some sort already on them- probably not ready for foot traffic, but at least floor polyuretane won't just soak into them as quickly as you can apply it.
I've used them a few times as basement subfloor, and it actually does look pretty good before the flooring covers it up. Just make sure you get a really good topcoat on them. The only downside is that they're going to be a little thicker than plain OSB, because they come with a plastic layer on the bottom that is supposed to keep the floor a little warmer and act as a vapor barrier.
If it's too bumpy, you'll have to just keep adding more coats of poly until it's as smooth as you want it to be, or find a self-leveling clear epoxy to finish it.
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I'd be worried about water. OSB is NOT good when wet--the compressed wood swells. And you can seal the surface, but not the edges.
I'd tell you the story about how my upstairs toilet didn't really seat well on the sewer pipe, and leaked, just a little bit, into the particle board underlayment, over a six month period, but it's pretty disgusting.
On the other hand, I too like the appearance of the chips of wood, and have used it in my shop, on the walls.
Whatever you use as sealer, I'd start out with about two coats thinned to about 50 percent consistency, so it soaks into the wood well, and saturates it, then start building up with the thicker stuff.
Good Luck

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