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I'm putting in an end-grain floor in my house. The idea is that you cut normal dimensional lumber into 3/4' "bricks", then lay them like tile.

What I'd like to find, however, is 4"x8" or even 4"x6", so the bricks are larger. I have not been able to find these at normal hardware stores (like Home Depot or Lowe's). Is this a specialty cut of some sort that I will need to special order?

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  • What are you going to use to fasten them? And how do you make sure the cuts are exactly even?
    – DMoore
    Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 21:13
  • I'm going to use the same kind of glue you'd use to put down normal hardwood floor. In terms of cutting, I'll rent a big table saw from home depot, then rent a big sander after putting them all down. Here is a blog I found that explains the process: lumberjocks.com/thomasporter/blog/4730
    – Kyle
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 13:20
  • 1
    Kyle - there has to be a locking mechanism (tongue/groove) or nails - and in best installs both. Glue isn't a long-term plan unless you are planning on being very very gentle to this floor. It is a cool idea why I asked the question. Also note that the guy that posted the article is already having shrinkage issues. Very cool idea though to tile the floor with wood caps but I think there needs a better plan for what to use as grout - you could ask that here. You know this is a TON of work right?
    – DMoore
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 14:44
  • I realize it will be lots of work, but hope the final product will be something that I will be unique and something to be proud of. I did see the mention of the grout. What I've read suggests that you should grout with a sawdust/fast-drying oil-based sealer mixture. This would allow the wood to expand and contract enough so that it won't crack.
    – Kyle
    Commented Sep 11, 2013 at 17:07
  • you might be able to avoid shrinking/swelling by soaking the tiles in PEG, which is what some wood turners do. If I remember correctly, PEG is polyethylene glycol.
    – mike
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 6:43

3 Answers 3

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This is not lumber, but framing timber as used in post and beam construction or for center joist support.

You're looking for support beams.

Our local lumber yard carries this stock, not likely to find it at the big boxes as they're more oriented towards stick framing for housing not utility and agricultural construction.

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I have had good luck finding 4x8 (which is actually 3.5x8) at lumber recycling operations. And it is impressively inexpensive at such places. For example, if you are near Portland, Oregon, The Rebuilding Center. The disadvantage is that they don't regularly have anything, let alone everything. Inventory is subject to what has been brought in recently.

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The MacLachlan Woodworking Museum in Kingston Ontario laid this amazing floor in 2009 (or prior):

enter image description herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MR181yRJPs

and here:

http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/oExzIWWDvaU/mqdefault.jpghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oExzIWWDvaU

and here:

enter image description herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0maJWFjoGbM

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  • Neat! Basically Terrazzo in wood. Commented Sep 28, 2013 at 20:18
  • It's been down for almost 5 years now. I wonder how it has held up. I'm also curious how the kept the disks from checking. My guess is that they were soaked in PEG before hand. I thought the tape was a good idea: after doing the layout, put a piece of tape on each disk on the topside (good side) so that a) when you pick it up you don't forget which side to put the adhesive on, b) you know the orientation for putting it back down, and c) then remove the tape so that you know which are already adhered.
    – mike
    Commented Sep 28, 2013 at 20:55

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