Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Regrets, I’ve had a few…

And one of them is this floor. Actually, I don’t regret the floor so much as I regret that the wood ended up in the hands of the guy who milled it. The words Quality Control are just not in his vocabulary. I guess it’s my fault to a certain extent. I have this love affair with used and salvage material, so I should expect that things are sometimes not going to work out well. Still, it’s a little irritating when it is not the fault of the wood, but the person who turned it into flooring. A more competent person could have done a better job.

The good wood is very, very good. The problem is there is just so much waste. A lot of this waste could have been avoided if they would have just paid a little more attention when they were milling it. The newest problem is with the second batch of wood. I told him I needed 50 sq ft to finish up the room, and I made a point of stating I need 50 sq ft of usable material.

When I picked up the wood I was impressed with the quality. Nearly every board was entirely useable. Not like the first batch at all. Now I’ve discovered the new batch is too thick. It is 1/8-inch thicker than the first batch. This isn’t a real problem because I own a planer. Two passes through the planer and I will have the proper thickness. The other problem is the tongue & groove are different than on the first batch. This means I can’t mix and match old wood with new wood. I have to pick a point were I will start with the new batch and after that I’m stuck with it.

I’m now wondering if I will have enough to finish the floor. Even after I went to hell and back to get more. It is all very frustrating. The last section of the kitchen where I will be laying floor is in the alcove. It is about 20 sq ft and the ceiling is 18-inches lower than the rest of the ceiling of the kitchen. Very much a separate space from the rest of the room. I’m trying to think of ways I can be creative with the wood. I will be left with a lot of short pieces (less than 2-feet) that are in very good shape. Also, about half of the floor in the little alcove will be under the Third Cabinet, and will never be seen. I’m thinking maybe I can switch to some kind of pattern with the shorter pieces of wood in the alcove. Like a herring (sp?) bone pattern, or a running bond with uniform lengths (like subway tile is laid). We’ll see how it turns out. One way or another it will get done. And when it’s done, no matter what it looks like, no matter what others think, I’ll be happy with it (I hope). But more, much more than this, I did it my way.


Trissa said...

How frustrating! I hate it when you pay someone else to do something and it isn't done correctly. It sounds like you have a good plan for making it work despite the differences in thickness. I'm hoping it will be enough to finish the floors!

Greg said...

I think what it comes down to is I am dealing with someone who normally doesn’t make T&G flooring. That is not to excuse the shoddy workmanship, but I think the subtleties of this escape him. His is a small, custom shop where he mills the wood and installs it himself. I think he is accustomed to scribing and finessing on the site.

The good news is, I paned it down and made the transition to the new wood. Whew!

Jocelyn said...

That's great Greg. You are very good at working around or with the obstacles that you come up against- that is why you do so well with salvage and that is a great thing.
Glad you are doing it "your way" :)

Scott in Washington said...


I'm looking forward to seeing what you do in the alcove. I'm sure it will be an innovative treat that will be fun for people to discover long after we're all worm food.

Have you ever checked out I ran across this guy's site randomly and was surprised to find that he only lives about 30 minutes from my house.