Walk the Plank

Bob’s attic is starting to look finished. Hans and Mark have been busy for days installing finish floor planks for the stair landing, bathroom, and master bedroom. It’s a gorgeous natural pine, which Suze plans to stain an ash-grey once we’re done.

We use the 12-foot-long, tongue-and-groove planks we stacked in the attic a couple weeks ago. Mark, wanting to ensure full-width planks in high-traffic areas, started the pattern at the top of the stairs. Unfortunately, that spot is in the middle of the room. This flooring needs to be installed tongue-out, with each plank nailed through the tongue so the next groove hides the nails. See the problem? How do you work from the middle of the room to both edges if the tongue only sticks out one way?

Mark solved the conundrum by cutting a sort of double-tongue out of a spare board and sliding it between the grooves of two adjacent planks. Then he and Hans floored the north half of the attic with the tongues pointed north, and the south half of the attic with the tongues pointed south. Maybe not textbook, but it’s a simple, strong solution and the resulting floor looks great.

The lumber double-tongue enables us to install flooring both leftward and rightward.

The lumber double-tongue enables us to install flooring both leftward and rightward.

Downstairs, the living room subfloor is complete. We’ve replaced the first-floor bathroom wall with planks of barnboard, leaving open between the timber posts for storage. (Bob has a cool idea to finish this space.) There’s a new delineation in the attic as well: with stairs in place, we could locate and frame the second bedroom wall.

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