I plan on installing a wood block floor in the foyer of a home I am building. The material I intend to use was harvested from the site in July '04 and installation will be in the fall of '05. The material is currently being kiln dried and the kiln operator estimates that he can reach a moisture content of 6%. I intend to use 8"x8"x6" blocks of mixed species including red oak, hickory, walnut and ash. The floor will be installed over a sub-floor of two 3/4" sheets of Advantek glued and screwed to floor trusses 16" OC.
My understanding of floors of this type is that the blocks are "floating" (not secured to the sub-floor?), the void between blocks is filled with sand and the joints are filled with grout made of sawdust and lacquer. I have also heard that traditionally the blocks were secured to the sub-floor with bitumen (tar) to allow for movement. I am unsure of the best way to sand end-grain material, ie: orbital sander, belt sander, hardwood floor sanding machine or other and wonder what holds the whole thing together during sanding if the blocks are "floating". Also, is there any advantage to chamfering the exposed edges of the blocks to prevent splintering? I intend to finish the floor with Mckloskey Gym Finish or equivalent. The first coat will be cut 50% with mineral spirits for penetration followed by two coats at full strength. I would appreciate any comments.
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