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Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

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  • OttawaP
    replied
    Re: Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    FWIW my installers do the layout 1st then nail the whole thing, much faster this way. They start laying the boards about 12" away and layout the entire room quickly organizing all the boards with a bit of extra grace at the end. Then then drag and nail into position, cut the end board to fit.
    I've seen two guys knock off 1000 sq ft in multiple rooms in a good (and long) day.

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  • stevem
    replied
    Re: Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    well bignose, plenty of good advice
    careful layout makes the difference between a pro looking job and amateur stuff
    ive installed hundreds of floors from 88c/sqft laminate to top of the line hardwood complete with inlaid center sections and picture frame type borders
    one point none of us have brought up, is undercutting the door jambs. it must be done so that around the door frame the flooring slips under the jamb and casing, baseboard should be removed and replaced. 1/4 round is a sign of an amateur job
    under cutting can be done with a rented power under cut saw but a handsaw is almost as easy, gives a better cut and is not nearly as messy. the best saw is the folding japanese saw from LeeValley or 2nd best is the short stanley fat max crosscut saw

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  • callee
    replied
    Re: Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    Originally posted by yesterday View Post
    All good advice, my father who layed a lot of hardwood flooring in his days, insisted that no joint be within 6" of another joint within two boards to produce a pleasing pattern. The advice of using reasonable length cutoffs from the previous row to start the next goes a long way to achieving this and if this does not work it will become apparent very early in the process.

    Good luck with the floor. Don't forget to leave a space around the outside for expansion.
    great post.

    I've done a number of hardwood jobs myself, and the contractors I have worked for have always demanded atleast 6" between neighbouring joints. One guy I worked with even mandated that the next joint after that be staggered by atleast 3" as well! That was a tough job to keep an eye on!

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  • fdaluet
    replied
    Re: Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    Do the calculations first, you can even draw a diagram to help visualize things.

    The big considerations are:
    1. Don't have little pieces of flooring at any edge;
    2. Stagger the joints from row to row; and
    3. Have a space for expansion all around the periphery and every so often ( 10M if I remember correctly) along the length as well;

    The ideal is to have row length of almost exactly n and 1/2 lengths of flooring. I.E. 4 and 1/2. You start one row with a full length, end it with the half length and then start the next row with the left over 1/2.

    Calculate the number of rows you need if you get something less than 1/2 row add 1 to the fraction and divide by 2. You now have a starter row of more than 1/2 and an equal sized finishing row . The number of whole rows is 1 less than calculated.

    Good advice can be found here.

    Most of the above also applies to tile.

    P.S. You also need to put something down beneath the flooring. It depends on what you are putting the floor on but a spongy, possibly vapour resistant underlayment is a good idea.
    Last edited by fdaluet; 12-02-2008, 12:04 PM.

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  • Pete in the Hammer
    replied
    Re: Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    That's a good tip. Wish I'd read this before installing engineered wood in my basement last month! I'll keep this in mind when I start the first storey floors. I learn so much from you guys.

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  • yesterday
    replied
    Re: Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    All good advice, my father who layed a lot of hardwood flooring in his days, insisted that no joint be within 6" of another joint within two boards to produce a pleasing pattern. The advice of using reasonable length cutoffs from the previous row to start the next goes a long way to achieving this and if this does not work it will become apparent very early in the process.

    Good luck with the floor. Don't forget to leave a space around the outside for expansion.

    Leave a comment:


  • ArtMulder
    replied
    Re: Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    Originally posted by stevem View Post
    the end seams should be totally random
    Right.

    But also... as you lay a row, keep an eye on the row next to it. You don't want to have the end of a board fall within 2-3in of the end of a board in the neighbouring row. It'll look bad.

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  • Egon
    replied
    Re: Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    cut the last board to length and use the off cut to start the next row
    Only thing I can add is that if the off cut is very short you may wish to replace it with a slightly longer piece.

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  • stevem
    replied
    Re: Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    another quick note
    check the width of the room before starting as well and make sure that you dont wind up with a long sliver against the last wall. if you do, rip the first row in half

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  • bignose
    replied
    Re: Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    makes perfect sense, thanks!

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  • OttawaP
    replied
    Re: Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    What Stevem said......

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  • stevem
    replied
    Re: Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    not the way at all!!
    start the job with a full board at one end of the room, lay the next and the next and so on. cut the last board to length and use the off cut to start the next row
    if the last piece in the row is ridiculously short like less than 6 inches, trim back the first piece
    the end seams should be totally random
    do not try to join non factory ends together, unless you have the right equipment to cut the tongue or groove
    in a pinch, a biscuit joiner can be used if the flooring is thick enough

    Leave a comment:


  • bignose
    started a topic Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    Laying hardwood and minimizing waste

    Okay, strictly speaking it's bamboo but there isn't a canadianbambooworking.com

    This is my first time laying flooring and I want to minimize waste, and at the same time not be using small 10/15 chunks of bamboo to even out the ends of my runs up and down the room.

    So, here is the math I worked out, I apologize for the metric...

    The bamboo boards are 96cm, the room is 586cm , 6 boards is 10cm off the mark. [576cm], so if i take 7 boards and cut 13cm off each i'm left with 91cm of wasted wood per run, BUT I'll be able to have nice equal length boards, and I can then stagger effectivly.

    Is there a smarter way to do this?

    I just realized I should do my best to use full lengths, because the cut ends of the bamboo won't have the tongue/groove, and I lack the tools to make new ones after I do my cuts...

    Thoughts?
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