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Alternative flooring

by Jez Poole last modified Nov 08, 2012 06:07 PM
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Alternative flooring

Posted by Jez Poole at January 28. 2009
Hi

 

 
I've seen quite a few posts about cheaper wood flooring and using plywood as a great alternative. This really appeals to me, however all image examples I've seen show the floors as been quite light in colour. Ideally I would like a walnut colour on my floors. Is there a board that has such a finish/veneer or is it simply down to the stain I use. Also....do these boards take the knocks that two young children can deliver!
 
Would really appreciate some feedback...soon as possible please, the plaster is on the last wall!!!

Re: Alternative flooring

Posted by richierod at February 02. 2009

I put 1/2" MDF in my kids bedrooms and it ROCKS! It's hard and has no veneer to ding off. If you don't like the natural color, you can stain it. Honestly, if I knew it was going to look this good and wear this good I would have done the whole house in it.

 

 

 -R.

 

 

Re: Alternative flooring

Posted by Peter Smith at February 04. 2009

richierod, nice to see you back on the forums.

You wrote to me, via email, about my Culver City house build but replies to the email address you wrote from, kept coming back.

Re: Alternative flooring

Posted by Grace Jones at February 18. 2009

Actually i have no idea about that discussion but i can Suggest you some

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I think this link can little bit solve your problem.

 

Re: Alternative flooring

Posted by Christopher Havens at March 09. 2009

Hi all, this is my first post here.  What about High Density Fiberboard.  I got to thinking about this when I was at a restaurant and noticed the tables were made out of this.  It was probably 1.5 inches thick and had poly on the top.  I think it was high density because the sides and bottom were unfinished and it was harder and darker than MDF.  This stuff was really hard and the poly was scratched pretty good and worn in some places but no signs of water damage to the particle board whatsoever which I know would not be the case with MDF.  Obviously you would not use material this thick on floors.  Looking on the internet I found this.

http://www.entrepreneur.com.ph/board/index.php?topic=45498.0

The description says the floor is High Density Fiber Board and I think it looks really good.  I'm thinking it may wear even better and be even more stable than MDF.  Thoughts?

Re: Alternative flooring

Posted by Brian Jewett at March 17. 2009

I have plywood floors in my loft. It's ok if you want that warehouse or industrial look but it IS a softwood and does scar up fairly easy. I don't mind it here because we live in an 1880 factory building full of old hardware, multiple exposed layers of paint and scars from it's previous lives in different forms of manufacturing. Another layer of history fits right in. In a single family home you might feel differently.

 

From what I've just read here, I'm going to look into the High Density Fiber board for the house we're building.

Re: Alternative flooring

Posted by Christopher Havens at March 17. 2009

The more I look into this option, the more I like.  It looks like the stuff is used for skateboard ramps and stage floors... so it should be pretty durable.  The only problem I'm having is that the thickest I can find is 1/4".  I guess this will be ok but I was hoping for 1/2" as it would be more rigid.  The great thing though is that a 4 X 8 sheet of tempered hardboard (hardboard is apparantly another name for hdf) is a shade under $12 at HD here.  I just bought a 2 X 4 sheet and am performing some tests such as how does it look with polyurethane, how does it respond to water being left on it for long periods, etc.

Re: Alternative flooring

Posted by richierod at March 23. 2009

I would be wary of using 1/4 material as it will conform to the inherent imperfections on your existing floor and look wavy. A better option might be to lay down 1/2" plywood or other underlayment and cover it with the 1/4" HDF, if that's what you have to use. I imagine, though, that it is available in other dimensions and if you are going to buy enough of it, your local lumber yard will order it for you.

 

 

 -R.

Re: Alternative flooring

Posted by Jim Norris at July 29. 2009

I've been thinking about ripping up our carpet and installing hdf as a short-term (~3 yrs) solution until we begin a major remodel.  How did your tests on the hdf go?  

Previously Christopher Havens wrote:


The more I look into this option, the more I like.  It looks like the stuff is used for skateboard ramps and stage floors... so it should be pretty durable.  The only problem I'm having is that the thickest I can find is 1/4".  I guess this will be ok but I was hoping for 1/2" as it would be more rigid.  The great thing though is that a 4 X 8 sheet of tempered hardboard (hardboard is apparantly another name for hdf) is a shade under $12 at HD here.  I just bought a 2 X 4 sheet and am performing some tests such as how does it look with polyurethane, how does it respond to water being left on it for long periods, etc.


 

Re: Alternative flooring

Posted by Christopher Havens at July 29. 2009

The moving process is a pain so I haven't got any down but I did poly part of the sheet and performed some tests.  Overall it is pretty tough to scratch (the shiny side of the tempered hardboard).  Obviously, leaving water on the polyurethened part had no effect.  What surprised me is that I left small puddles of water on scratched and non-polyurethened sections for hours and there really was no effect.  I tried some of the poly with color in it too and I didn't like how that looked.  I am very pleased with how this turned out.  The shiny side did take the poly really well (I think I used 2 coats for my test) and I think it looks really nice.  I also polyurethened some of the edges to test sealing the whole thing, it took very well too.  The surface is quite hard with the poly on it.  I've also thought this might be a cool solution using some floor paint too.

 

An interesting occurrance is that I was testing this on the kitchen floor of my apartment.  Overnight my dishwasher leaked and pretty much soaked the floor.  The only damage to the hdf was that it was a bit bowed.  It dried fine and I can't tell that it even got wet except for the slight bow which has pretty much disappeared after letting it sit flat, I'm assuming this would be even less of a problem it the panel had been glued or nailed down.  I am pretty impressed with this stuff.

 

I do have some concerns which really focus on attaching it to the subfloor.  I'm not sure if I want to glue, nail, or screw it.  I like the screw idea because if a piece became damaged it would be easy to replace.  Unfortunatly, all I can find anywhere is 1/4" (Also, being 1/4" your subfloor needs to be level because this will show if it isn't.) so countersinking is pretty much out of the question.  My idea for installation (minus attachment) is to cut the 4 x 8 sheets in half because I think the squares would look nice. I will also (as I did do this on the test sheet) slightly sand all of the edges on the top side creating a bit of a rounded bevel to hide any irregularities where the sheets match up.  Really, the only thing keeping me from doing this right now is the attachment decision (maybe I will just use small screws and be done with it for an industrial look, maybe some square drive screws or something).  Let me know if there are any ideas.

Overall, I think this will look great.  I wish you could get laminate flooring that looked like this instead of being something that it is not (real wood).  I would be all over that.  I would also love it if you could get resilliant flooring in cool colors and designs instead of crappy immitations of tile, stone and wood but that's another discussion.

Previously Jim Norris wrote:


I've been thinking about ripping up our carpet and installing hdf as a short-term (~3 yrs) solution until we begin a major remodel.  How did your tests on the hdf go?  


Previously Christopher Havens wrote:





The more I look into this option, the more I like.  It looks like the stuff is used for skateboard ramps and stage floors... so it should be pretty durable.  The only problem I'm having is that the thickest I can find is 1/4".  I guess this will be ok but I was hoping for 1/2" as it would be more rigid.  The great thing though is that a 4 X 8 sheet of tempered hardboard (hardboard is apparantly another name for hdf) is a shade under $12 at HD here.  I just bought a 2 X 4 sheet and am performing some tests such as how does it look with polyurethane, how does it respond to water being left on it for long periods, etc.





 


 

Re: Alternative flooring

Posted by ken stephenson at June 12. 2011

We are planning to do a home in MDf or HDF but the wife wants me to plank it - 1ft planks - what do you think - will it squeak if i dont T&G it. do i need to worry about expansion in the joints or shrinkage after i seal it on all sides and do you recommend a vapor barrier between the sub-floor and the MDF

thanks for any and all thought

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