I am thinking of putting down pine plank flooring throughout the
living room instead of carpet. I was just at a friends house who had
it done 20 years ago, and the flooring looks incredible. It seems to
be an economical way to do flooring, and having animals in the house,
would be better for wear and tear. I don't mind that the pine is soft
and will dent or scratch. That will add to the look. Their flooring
was put down with about a 1/4 inch space between the planks then there
was a filler put in that would allow for any expansion or contraction.
What is the filling that is used? Also, it looks like the floors where
screwed in - basically subsetting the screw then a dowel was put in on
top of the screw. I am assuming glued. Then was coated with
verathane? Can you get these dowels pre-cut? Also is there a special
tool/drill that can be used to create the subset for screwing in the
floors? I want to do this myself rather than hire someone to do it.
What kind of animals? Goldfish? Hamsters? Cats? OK-- German
Shepard, Huskies, or Labs? forget about pine. I wouldn't even
try oak with them. In a high traffic area dog claws will take the
finish off wood the first year- and with pine they'll have it looking
like old barn siding in 3-4.
Dents [to some degree] and scratches are places for moisture and dirt
to mix with the wood. Looks nice for the showroom or low-use area,
but if you need to mop frequently- get something that can take some
abuse. [Bamboo might, even if you have big dogs.]
I've owned my own home for 40 years. I've built additions, added
windows and doors, re-wired, re-plumbed, re-roofed. I've laid block,
set patio bricks, built walls & dug out most of a basement. In that
time I've only hired 3 contractors.
1. an electrician to change a fuse for me 40 years ago because I was
young and stupid;
2. a spackling guy to do a bathroom for me because my brother-in-law
needed the work and I was in a hurry;
3. and a flooring crew to do some repairs to a birch floor because I
wanted it to look good and last forever.
Not saying you *can't* do a good job-- just sayin'. . .
That's what we have upstairs in our place, although uncoated - I'm going
to sand it and coat it sometime this year.
We've got oak downstairs and haven't had any problems with the dogs,
although it's old anyway and getting to that point where it could use a
strip and re-finish.
Pine Dowels are sold anywhere even Ace, a bit to recess a screw can be
a large drill bit. Filler between planks, talk to your friend or a
pro, since you like the rustic look consider a dowel of a contrasting
wood color like a hardwood. OIl Poly ambers in color over a few years,
water base ambers little but the pine still darken a bit nicely. Satin
finishes are less clear so do all but final coat in gloss, plus its
harder as the dulling agent doesnt give as hard a finish.
One *could* use dowels but they would stand outlike sore thumbs because the
exposed surface would be end grain and they would soak up much more finish
than the boards; the result would be that they would be much darker than the
Usually, screw holes are plugged with face grain plugs; they are cut from
the surface of boards and will be almost invisible. Special cuters are used
to make them and the cutters are best used in a drill press but can be used
in a hand drill with care. The most common sizes of the plugs are 1/4",
3/8" and 1/2" with 3/8 being the most used IME. You can get the cutters
here or other woodworking stores.
The plugs fit in a hole made by tools like this...
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