08:41PM | 05/11/03
Member Since: 05/11/03
3 lifetime posts
I am laying 2 1/2 inch oak tongue and groove flooring salvaged from an old home that was demolished. Some of the strips have various problems, part of the tongue on length is split or broken off, tongue on the end is cut off, etc. This wood will also require extensive sanding after being laid. What will be my best bet(s) for securing wood to plywood over wooden joist subflooring? I plan on blind nailing in all areas possible, but would a combination of blind nailing and face nailing (where the tongue is compromised) be bizarre? How would face nailing affect sanding (will sander hit nails and mess up sander)? What kind of nails are used for face nailing? What about screws and plugs on ends where there's no tongue or again would face nailing be better? I don't expect this to look like new construction. I like an old, eclectic look, but I am concerned about getting the wood to stay down. Many thanks to anyone willing to provide suggestions and share knowledge! Live lightly on the land.


07:44PM | 06/14/03
Member Since: 06/09/03
7 lifetime posts
Have an almost identical project underway and have been waiting for answers to your post. Looks like we're on our own.

Found the info here
the most useful.


08:21PM | 06/14/03
Member Since: 05/11/03
3 lifetime posts
Hi Suni. I have pondered my options for some time now and I've decided to use the screw and plug method that is described here on the Bob Vila site to secure the wood. This might seem like a lot of work to some, but I think I will enjoy it much more than any of the nailing methods. And I think, especially given the various problems with the wood, that the screws will provide more support and the plugs will add to the aged, more eccentric look that the floor will probably have. I plan to put the screws at both ends of each piece of wood (with additional screws in longer pieces) instead of placing the screws in even rows all the way across the floor as in the description to make sure everything stays down with no stray corners sticking up. Finding the right size countersink bit and plug bit was not easy, but I have all tools assembled now and I'm actually (after months of pondering and planning) going to start laying the floor this coming week. Wish me luck and I'll certainly send good thoughts your way also! Any advice or stray thoughts you've had would be most welcomed! And thanks for helping save a tree or two!


12:47PM | 06/16/03
Member Since: 06/09/03
7 lifetime posts
Since you're fastening to a plywood floor, I believe you've made good choices with end-board and irregularly placed counter-sunk screws and plugs; yes, a great deal of work, but reward enough if you are pleased with the results.

The method I use must accommodate differing woods, colors and widths (and grains) of hardwood attached to "sleepers" placed on top of layer(s) of rigid foam - the subfloor is open to below (the critters would use any insulation beneath the subfloor for their own purposes) - so the fasteners must be on a line with the sleepers. I'll start by drilling the hardwoods for the spacing of the sleepers and face nail (2 abreast on the 3-1/4", more on the wider boards), then use a nail punch (drift) to sink the nail head below the surface, and mix and match colors in a wood putty to fill the holes. Some screws may be needed in places, but I'll try to keep those to a minimum by using some body English with the hammer and maybe the angle of the drilled hole. The 3/4" thick hardwood has far more holding power than that of the fir or pine sleeper so the drilled hole can be just a bit less than the nail shaft and just a fuzz more than the nail head. I'll first try a long finishing nail (will have the 1-1/2" of the 2x4 sleeper to hold the nail). I wouldn't suggest this to others - the project is my retirement home - rustic, 100% DIY, off-the-grid (PV), fallen trees used for posts, etc. - perfection would be out of place. I might not even attempt to sand it completely level if the board thicknesses vary much. Well, I can always change my mind as I go -"yer outhouse fits yer boards."

Perhaps you may find something here useful:
particularly alternatives to solvent-cleanups and fumes - here's another water-base wood putty:

I certainly do wish you luck - and that certain kind of enjoyment that goes with working with old wood - and please post back with your experiences and comments.


08:51AM | 06/19/08
Member Since: 06/18/08
1 lifetime posts
thank goodness you are out there, I thought I might have bit off more than I could chew! One question, do you try to re-rout the ends and sides? trim them off? or just clean them up as best you can. I think the screw and plug is the best way for me too. how is the best way to store it?


11:42AM | 08/13/08
Member Since: 08/11/08
1 lifetime posts
There are screws that you can use that are driven through a jig that snaps them off 1/4 inch down. This allows you to sand without hitting metal and can fill the hole,about the size of a finish nail, with wood filler.


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