Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question about my own home...I did a kitchen remodel 2 years ago....we removed some walls and had a few sections where we needed to patch in some oak flooring....

ive been told they didn't use the correct type of oak...the grain patterns don't match....my grain is very open....and almost all the new boards are very tight...I don't believe its the same species of oak.....its like a stripe going across the floor where the new oak is....we covered it with a rug to hide it....I wanted the builder to tear it out, but I hired one of my GC's, so if I pushed too hard id lose $50k a year in business from him...I let it go in the end

so my question:

when patching in oak floors do you look for similar grain patterns with the new pieces....or do you just take whatever comes next out of the box..whether it matches or not....

just wondering if im too fussy...ill try to take a pic

when I had people come over right after the job was done I told them to look for a major flaw...they would all walk in a circle and point to the floor....everyone saw it........when the builder brought his wife to be the arbitrator she couldn't find it....it was total BS

never hire one of your GC's because you cant fire them
 

·
Working
Joined
·
4,127 Posts
It is very very difficult to get perfect but it also shouldn't stick out. We always dig through the stock pile to get the grain as close as possible to the surrounding boards. Do you have a picture?





The left side was covered up by cabinets so we didn't spend as much time toothing in that side under the cabinet. This house was built in 1919 so the wood today has more open grain than the old wood.



 

·
Particulate Filter
Joined
·
4,430 Posts
Grain matching is tough. There are, of course, grades of lumber. In oak there is typically #2 common, #1 common, select and clear. There can be pretty big differences between one mills common grades and anothers. Most important is choosing lumber from the appropriate region. Northern oak is tighter grained because the trees grow slower in the cold and shorter growing seasons than southern trees.

I ask my supplier for their input and we formulate our best guess but it is still never a perfect match.

With refinish and weave in work I always try to understate and over deliver.

Final thought, If you want a perfect match lay a whole new floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
it was a band that went the entire length of the room....it is a dinning room that had a built in sideboard...we took it out to gain an extra 2'...so the weave idea wouldn't have worked.

if anything they selected the boards that were the complete opposite of the existing grain pattern....

1 finish carpenter told me it wasn't the same species of oak

the GC was a new home builder...and all his subs are too....I figure they had no idea how to handle remodels and blending into existing floors...the thing that annoys me the most is I complained to the hard wood floor guys the whole way through...it stood out the day they installed it..... they said it would improve once they finished the floors....it looked the same...bad.......no one listened

i would have fired the GC or deducted $4k to fix the wood floors and refinish them again....but im his subcontractor......

never hire family or one of your customers....lesson learned
 

·
Working
Joined
·
4,127 Posts
it was a band that went the entire length of the room....it is a dinning room that had a built in sideboard...we took it out to gain an extra 2'...so the weave idea wouldn't have worked.

if anything they selected the boards that were the complete opposite of the existing grain pattern....

1 finish carpenter told me it wasn't the same species of oak
That's where they went wrong I would have weaved it instead of just doing a strip then you can mix in the boards.

Here are the two types of oak.

 

·
GC, Finish Carpenter
Joined
·
28 Posts
You can even get differences with how the wood has been cut. Most is flat sawn but if its quarter cut, or riff cut or fake quarter sawn etc. Old and aged vs new. Just luck sometimes. less porous wood seems to be easier. Probably the finish more than the grain.

You are missing some important rules to finish carpentry: fix your mistakes right away and don't point them out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,706 Posts
my first thought without fotos is you may have a quarter sawn floor and they put in plain sawn.

or possible you have a clear and they put in select..either would stick out.

white to red oak wouldn't matter if same cut was used..you may detect color but once stained never in a repair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,706 Posts
That's where they went wrong I would have weaved it instead of just doing a strip then you can mix in the boards.

Here are the two types of oak.

these are called medullary rays.

a good rule of thumb..if the rays in whole average less then the width of you r thumb it is red oak..if they average wider than the wide of your thumb it is white.

sometimes you may detect both in the floor..this si very normal..check a few different areas and go with the majority..there have been many instances where red and white are mixed into the flooring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
810 Posts
"these are called medullary rays."

Uhh. No. They're not. There are no medullary rays in that photo.

These are what medullary rays in white look like:



Medullary rays in red are hard to find, but they do exist here and there.
Hint: they aren't bright white like the ones in white oak. They look like this:


Notice that they're red.

Looking for medullary rays has always been how I tell red from white in existing stained product. All you have to do is walk around a little here and there and find a quartersawn board. The difference in red and white is most stark in that one aspect. To my eye, anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,706 Posts
"these are called medullary rays."

Uhh. No. They're not. There are no medullary rays in that photo.

These are what medullary rays in white look like:

Medullary rays in red are hard to find, but they do exist here and there.
Hint: they aren't bright white like the ones in white oak. They look like this:

Notice that they're red.

Looking for medullary rays has always been how I tell red from white in existing stained product. All you have to do is walk around a little here and there and find a quartersawn board. The difference in red and white is most stark in that one aspect. To my eye, anyway.
Well i stand corrected..learned this term from a supplier way back. Funny thing is he actually called them nebular rays and one day i Googled and found only the medullary term..i guess because they look a time warp ray..thus nebular..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
810 Posts
What I think strange is that the fiddleback (or curly) you find in maple isn't medullary. It's a totally different phenom. I want it to be medullary rays because then it's simple. No such luck. hehe Wood behavior is simple, but the botany is pretty complex.

Pretty neat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Besides the different grade of wood that may have been used ie: Select or 1st grade
there are four ways that wood flooring can be cut from the tree; the cut used affects appearance and performance. Plainsawn, Riftsawn, Quartersawn or Livesawn. Also the age of the existing floor will make a difference because wood patinas over time and much quicker when oil base finishes are applied. Let's go a step further and mention geographical areas where both trees were milled from can also make a difference in the overall look of the material.




 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
"these are called medullary rays."

Uhh. No. They're not. There are no medullary rays in that photo.

These are what medullary rays in white look like:



Medullary rays in red are hard to find, but they do exist here and there.
Hint: they aren't bright white like the ones in white oak. They look like this:


Notice that they're red.

Looking for medullary rays has always been how I tell red from white in existing stained product. All you have to do is walk around a little here and there and find a quartersawn board. The difference in red and white is most stark in that one aspect. To my eye, anyway.
Cole's picture had pith rays but his sample boards were flat sawn, when you have quarter or rift sawn they are more noticeable. Flat sawn doesn't show the wavyness of the pith rays because they are vertical and opposite of the growth rings.

They are always there, you just don't get the attractive look when it's sawn on the flat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Any one know where I can get that older "laminate" like thin oak flooring? House was built in 1930's. I need to patch in about 100sqft. It is solid oak but that very thin stuff. 1/4" maybe 3/8".
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top