wood flooring tiles

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I want to make my own flooring tiles from wood and install them as you would any other flooring tile. I would be intalling them on a solid concrete subfloor. Is this possible? Would I be able to use grout, or is there a special grouting material that I would use? Would I use construction adhesive or thinset to lay the tiles? Would I seal them with marine varnish, or would a urethane coating be sufficient? Any advice on this topic would be appreciated. I like tile, love wood, and hate parkay flooring. This idea seemed the best of both worlds. Please help.
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Not a good idea. Wood changes dimension as the water content changes. Because of this wood floors are not made of wooden tiles. If they were then gaps would open when the floor dried and it might/would buckle if it got too wet.
Now, that being said, IF you put down some sort of barrier so any moisture in the concrete could not find it's way into the wood, and IF you used a flexible grout (really a sealant) which had elastic properties sufficient to allow the movement of the wood then it would be OK. I'm guessing that you would end up with something like a bunch of wood stuck in a puddle of sikaflex. Maintaining it with the combination of wood and flexible sealant would be a problem - as would refinishing it since the sander would not like the sealant at all.
My advice, stick to the traditional methods of installing wooden flooring.
-Jack

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Hmmm, interesting. While I agree in principle, just the other day on the way home from work, I passed a road construction crew. I know, I know, what the hell does this have to do with anything but wait......
Looking at the "cross section" of the ditch dug down the middle of the road, it became apparent that the asphalt had been placed over the original cobblestones. The original cobblestones were wood blocks placed on end...and they were still there.
Must be something to it.
Rob

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If you want a very tough floor, then end grain up wood is among the toughest. I've seen that in a railroad barn once. I don't know how the wood has survived so long. It might be interesting to ask the road crew or the transportation department what sort of wood was used.
Michael

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message

the
crew or

They did that on some show - I think it was one of Bob Vila's Home Again. One of the first seasons I think. They laid them as tiles in a running bond and grouted them with something like sawdust and varnish. It looked pretty slick - like wooden cobblestones.
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On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 21:50:00 GMT, "Frank Nakashima"

Good memory,
http://www.bobvila.com/wwwboard/messages/76623.html http://www.bobvila.com/wwwboard/messages/6438.html
-Leuf
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Herman Family wrote:

This type of floor is quite common in manufacturing plants where dropping a valuable piece of metal on concrete would be disastrous. Tire plants and plants that make tire molds have acres of block floors.
The blocks are creosote or tar soaked oak 4" long set on end. No glue or grout is used, the blocks are just wedged in. The man replacing a section of floor uses a hatchet, wide chisel, and a mallet.
The plant where I worked had yellow spray paint outlines on the floor in several areas, when I asked what the lines meant, I was told to wait for a good rain then I would know. The lines indicated where not to walk after a leak in the roof had wet down the blocks real well and caused the floor to "blister up". As long as you didn't knock any of the blocks out of the blister and make it fall in on its self, the blister would subside when the wood dried out again.
The largest, and one of the first, blisters or domes I saw in one of these floors was in the main floor of a facility that was being shut down. The dome was 20 to 30 feet in diameter and 3 to 4 feet high in the middle.
ARM
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On Thu, 18 Sep 2003 21:46:07 GMT, "Herman Family"

One of the most interesting wood floors I've seen is the milk-unloading dock at Edge Hill Station, in Liverpool (the Edge Hill of Stephenson's Rocket fame).
To quieten the early-morning noise of milk churns being unloaded, the (outdoor) floor was made of wood blocks. However these wood blocks were pie-shaped wedges, recycled from the railway. An early form of smooth-riding patent carriage wheel was the Maunsell wheel, a cast iron hub, steel tyre and clamped-in wooden wedges instead of spokes.
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A variant of this is that I've seen is in use on the large manufacturing area floors at Sikorsky Helicopter in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Wood blocks, about 4 inches square. They carry a tremendous load without noticeable failure.
If anyone knows what they are (wood type), where to purchase them and how they are finished, I'd like to know. I'd like to use them in a two level garage I'm planning and on my shop floor.
Phil
Andy Dingley wrote:

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A few years ago I was working in the body panel press shop of Rover cars in Swindon. This is a huge shop - one of the biggest menufacturing plant buildings I've ever been in. 20 lines of presses, about 4 or 5 presses in each line, and each press ranging from 250 to 1000 tons load.
The floor in there is end-grain woodblock, about 4" square as you describe. I can't swear to this, but I'd always understood them to be hard pitch pine.
Each press is fed with a sheet of steel, maybe 6' square. To lubricate the press tools, a guy with a paint roller applies a wax and paraffin mix. This goop gets _everywhere, and the floor is near-impossible to stay upright on. Being a traditional English company (useless fools) I had to show up wearing a suit and tie, even when I was working on the shop floor. I drew the line at shoes though, and had my biggest pair of hobnailed boots (real hobnails) and the suit trousers tucked into them. I worked there about two weeks, writing and installing machine-monitoring software on a laptop hooked into our press monitor. To get a clean workspace, I had to go out and buy locally a folding white plastic picnic table and chairs, complete with parasol !
I was used to trying to code (and think) in 100dB noise, so working in ear defenders was no surprise. But I'd never had to sit permanently in somewhere so oily and grimy for so long. Disgusting place - I was glad to be out of it.
-- Smert' spamionam
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Thu, Sep 18, 2003, 12:38pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@no.com (JackD) <snip> wood floors are not made of wooden tiles. <snip>
Seen 'em in several parts of the world.
JOAT Always remember that you're unique, just like everyone else.
Life just ain't life without good music. - JOAT Web Page Update 19 Sep 2003. Some tunes I like. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/SOMETUNESILIKE /
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JOAT responds:

End grain wood holds up remarkably well under uses that will destroy concrete. I've seen it used in factories with heaven knows what for a coating, in buildings that were still in use (in the late '70s) but built in the teens. Even then, there was a whole lot of heavy metal working going on (shooting pix of a guy welding a wood stove for an article I did for Pop. Science some time around '76, I thing: didn't do the cutting and welding directly on the wood, but spatter sure hit it without real damage, and with no evident worry).
I think that stuff was oak, maybe white oak. Later, I saw similar stuff further south that I'm pretty sure was SYP.
Charlie Self
"Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. " Adlai E. Stevenson
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I worked on the Wells Fargo Bank in SFs financial district years ago with a Fir end block floor.
M Hamlin

further
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(JackD)

In my defense, 4' think wood blocks are not wooden tiles. Parquet may be considered wooden tiles, but the original poster specifically excluded it.
-Jack
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Mon, Sep 22, 2003, 9:31am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@no.com (JackD) says: In my defense, 4' think wood blocks are not wooden tiles. Parquet may be considered wooden tiles, but the original poster specifically excluded it.
The original poster didn't mention 4" thick wooden blocks. And the word used was parkay, not parquet.
JOAT The whole of life is a learning process. - John Keel
Life just ain't life without good music. - JOAT Web Page Update 20 Sep 2003. Some tunes I like. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/SOMETUNESILIKE /
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Ah, "parkay", I thought he meant parquet.
Sorry.
-Jack
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JackD wrote:

Butter.
todd
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("Butter" it said, in a quiet mumbled voice.)
---------------------------------------------------------- --== EAT RIGHT...KEEP FIT...DIE ANYWAY ==-- http://www.diversify.com/stees.html - Schnazzy Tees online ----------------------------------------------------------
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You might consider putting down a moisture barrier, then 1x2s on 16" centers with foam insulation between them, followed by some subflooring and finally put your tiles down in the usual manner. The upshot of it all is you want to remove the tiles from the vagaries of concrete, and put them in a wood friendly environment.
Michael

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On 18 Sep 2003 12:27:29 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@msn.com (vegasdave) wrote:

Don't.
Making tiles is a job for huge presses. If you want to lay your floor from timber au naturel, lay it as strips. You'll need a spindle moulder to machine the edges, so you'd probably do this by subcontracting to a joiner's shop with the right machine.
Unless you've grown your own timber for this, I don't see the economics of it anyway. There's a big market in ready-machined wood flooring these days, of all qualities, and the prices are competitive. My cheapest local source of maple is to buy it as 3/4" finished boards from a flooring maker, and machine the T&G off !
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