November 7, 2009
The plywood tiles have been laid on the second floor and I am really pleased with how it turned out!
I saw the idea on a blog and it took some figuring to work out exactly how we were going to stick it down. The wood place recommended using baltic birch instead of shop birch – both for aesthetics and because the higher quality of the plywood would make the tiles more consistent in height. They had a great deal on 5’x5′ sheets, so we decided to just cut each piece in 9 square tiles of 19 7/8″ (no waste).
I emailed Michael Huber who was the architect on the blog project and he very kindly sent me some pictures of his own plywood floor. For his use (large tiles), they put a continuous 1/8″ edge around each tile and used 1/8″ strips of masonite to splinth it together, ending up with a floating floor.
We have a lot of smaller tiles and we debated back and forth on what to do. In the end, we went with glue and tiny finish nails in each corner of the tile. There has been much cursing and sanding of edges because the tile cuts were not perfectly square, and there is also some variation in tile height. Given the thin veneer on the plywood, there isn’t much room for sanding, but I think they’ve done a great job of it.
Cracks are being filled with a mix of polyurethane and sawdust from the cuts. The cracks aren’t filled in the picture below, but you get an idea of the after across a room.
In the closet, they cut around the door tracks that are sunk into the floor. The poly warms up the colour of the birch just a bit – I love it.
Now just another 4 coats of polyurethane to go…