Installing flooring - page 6
Designs, inlays, and borders can add interest to the floor, but take a lot of extra time. Most floors are pretty simple once you get started and are completed by simply nailing one board at a time. An air nailer is used to fasten the wood to the floor.
Try to have the wood come within ¼" of the walls. Have a piece of the baseboard handy to be sure all the gaps around the edges will be covered. We use a plastic felling wedge from our logging tool box to push the last board away from the wall and up tight against the next board in the line. Wedges also help tighten all the lines of boards close to the walls where space is limited to tap them together.
Transitions to other floors take some skill and experience to master. Sometimes we meet up with carpet or vinyl and custom make a board to ease the changeover. Basic woodworking skills do the trick each time.
We use a 12"X18" flat flooring sander to smooth our floors after nailing. (Once in a while I rent a heavy-duty drum sander if old rough flooring with finish is being refinished.)
Normally we start with 60 grit paper to sand the floor down. Most of the work is done with the coarsest grit. Change paper every half hour or when the volume of dust produced diminishes. Once the floor is totally smooth, we use 80 grit paper to take out the ridges left by the 60 grit. Then 100 grit smooths the 80 grit ridges.
We use Super Glue and sanding dust to fill all the holes, cracks, and open character. Super Glue hardens and stabilizes character that may change over time. This is done at the later stages of sanding. Latex wood fillers are available in all colors also. I always work to sell "The Natural" look whenever possible.
I prefer to seal the floor and then finish sanding to 150 grit screen. The sealer hardens the wood so it sands to a smoother surface. An orbital hand held sander is used for detail work.
We normally use a Swedish water based polyurethane finishing system on our flooring. Bonakemi is the name of the company. They sell several types for home and commercial use. "Mega" is an oxygen cross linking varnish that we often use. Their more expensive "Traffic" catalyzed finish is often used when the family owns large dogs. These dry in about 2 hours and have low levels of odors and emissions.