Cordwood Flooring

Cordwood Flooring

My neighbor Steve called up the other day and asked if I’d like to come over to see his new floor. Steve is a contractor by trade, he does beautiful work, so I jumped at the chance. When I walked in the door my mouth fell open. He had built a cordwood floor! It was beautiful, warm and artistic. The colors were tan and brown and the floor was polished to a shine.

Steve, the craftsman, stands proudly on his cordwood floor.

Steve the craftsman proudly stands on his cordwood floor.

Here is the latest (with instructions) on the cordwood floor from an article we wrote for Backhome Magazine.  http://www.cordwoodconstruction.org/img/Backhome_Article_Cordwood_Floor_LeesCOMPRESSED.pdf
I asked Steve how he built this floor. He said he had bought some old hardwood barn beams at an auction and decided to use them for flooring. First he cut hundreds of 5/8″ “log end” slices on a bandsaw. Then he placed the slices onto a plywood subfloor. He kept them in place by using Construction Adhesive. Then he used regular flooring grout, mixed with sawdust in an 80/20 ratio (80% grout/20% sawdust). After the grout had set, he came back with a heavy duty floor sander, smoothed the whole floor and blasted the grout off the faces of the log end slices.

The Russian Masonry Furnace starts in the basement and works its way upward. It keeps the house warm with one firing a day!

The Russian Masonry heater starts in the basement and works its way upward. It keeps the house warm with one firing a day!

Finally he sealed the floor with a commercial grade sealer. Steve says that if he had it to do over again, he would first seal the log end slices before attaching them to the sub-floor. He figures this would cut down on the amount of sealer he used. The hardwood sawdust would probably change to softwood sawdust next time to slow the set and cure of the grout.

Each log has a unique pattern. Steve talks about the growth rings in the wood and how tight they are, meaning that the wood grew slowly over many years.

Each log has a unique pattern. Steve talks about the growth rings in the wood and how tight they are, meaning that the wood grew slowly over many years.

All in all his floor is durable, stunning to look at and adds quite a nice touch to the Russian Masonry Stove Heater in the middle of the house. Steve and Sharon have a wonderful homestead complete with horses, chickens, cows, dogs, cats and children.

For information on how to do cordwood walls why not take a peek at www.cordwoodconstruction.org
While you are there, check out the Photos, News, Workshops, Links, Articles and the Eye Candy.

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14 responses to “Cordwood Flooring

  1. This is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Short but very precise information… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read article! -Vocamus

  2. I think this so awesome!! I am going to do my floor in my cabin in Utah. I thank you for the tip of sealing the log ends before. I am going to use hardwood. I have a bunch of small oak. Wish me luck. We are doing are cordwood sauna right now. It sure is fun. Thanks again what a beautiful floor. cheers…..Jennilee

  3. Hi there. I was curious to know if you thought this could work on a cement sub floor…I’m thinking of doing this in my basement, but the floor is concrete…thanks!

    • Hi Sarah,
      I just talked to Steve Lee, the fellow who made the cordwood floor. He said that he figures it will work on a basement concrete floor. He mentioned that you should look around for an adhesive glue (for applying the cordwood rounds) that was also a vapor barrier and a moisture retardant. Offhand he doesn’t know the specific name of the glue, but he knows they make an adhesive like this. So if you can find a glue like that, simply follow his other instructions and you should be well on the way to a cordwood floor in your basement!

      • We just received our cordwood rounds from a local lumber mill, and are going to attempt this in a few months! I wanted to also ask if there was anything special he did when applying the grout to the unfinished wooden tiles. A friend was saying that usually you spray regular tile with water when grouting to prevent effecting the grout’s setting, and with unfinished wood he wasn’t sure if there was anything special done. We are super newbies, so I’m sorry if these are silly questions, but hopefully we will be on our way in a few months!

  4. Pingback: Cordwood Flooring Article published in Backhome Magazine | Cordwood Construction

  5. What was the purpose of mixing the sawdust with the grout?

    • Hi Brian,
      The sawdust was kind of a carry over from regular cordwood masonry, where about 20% of the mix is soaked sawdust, which slows the set and cure of the mortar matrix and reduces the amount of portland and lime.
      Steve and I thought it might be a good idea. In light of hindsight, it doesn’t really need to be added.

  6. Reblogged this on The Adventures of Thrive Farm and commented:
    Really cool!

  7. Big like. This is going to be the way we do our main floors in out grain bin house.

  8. Love the idea, we will be attempting to do this in the summer!!!

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