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Maple flooring strips, okay in short lengths?

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milkman

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Hi all, we lucked into some reclaimed maple and want to lay it in our hallway. My wife was interested in laying it as a herring bone. The hallway is not wide, only a meter give or take so it would result in a lot of short pieces.
Apart from the extra work I wondered if this is advisable? The stuff looks a bit short grained in places and wondered if its effectiveness is based on using mainly longer lengths?
What do others think?

Thanks
Mark
 

hanser

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I've put reclaimed strip maple in a couple of rooms in my house. By the nature of maple the grain/figuring is not an important part of the effect. Shorter/herring bone patterning should look fine and even look more interesting than strip laid. It will be a fair bit more work. Will you machine the tongues and grooves at the cut ends so it interlocks? Also it is easier if you get it tidied up before you lay it. I spent weeks knocking out the secret nailing, cleaning out the T&G's and pushing through the stuff through a wide belt sander.
 

milkman

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Good advice thanks, mainly I was worried about the stuff twisting and winding if its cut down. We removed most of the nails but theres really short ones, (reused already I think?) we just flattened them down underneath and made sure the tongues were clear. Yep going to redo the tongues on the ends I think or something anyway.
Did you nail them to floorboards or onto ply underlay?. The floor boards feel pretty solid but I'm no expert on this as you can tell!
 

hanser

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When I laid the maple I used one a mechanical secret nailer ( google: secret nailer). You can get them a bit more sophisticated these days powered with a compressor. Probably no good for short length herring bone.

I have also reclaimed and laid mahogany blocks in herring bone pattern on floorboards. I cleaned /roughed up the boards and fixed the blocks with 'gripfill' type stuff. (From recollection it was Wickes board/panel adhesive with a fair open time so that you could nudge blocks to get the line/fit) They've not moved in 10+years despite it being the en suite floor. I guess a lot depends on the state of your boards. If your boards are pretty smashed up by rewires/central heating installs etc you may, as you suggest, need a ply substrate. If you use adhesive test out a piece to make sure you get good adhesion. A final suggestion would be to let your maple acclimatise to the hallway before you lay it.

A word of caution I'm a DIYer not a pro. Others may offer different advice.
 

Jonesy

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Another option is to screw them down - I've just laid a small (~9 sq m) area of strip oak flooring and as a DIYer without a secret-nailer used Tongue-tite screws - fine screws designed for screwing through the tongue like the nails. They're not cheap at ~£6 - £10 per 200 but not too bad for a small area compared with hiring or buying a secret nailer.

To be safe I pilot drilled the boards before fitting which took a bit longer but it did have the advantage there were no split boards. Plus, screwing them allowed me to remove and re-seat some boards that didn't go down right first time.
 
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