When most of us think about remodeling or renovating a house, we probably picture shiny new granite countertops, appliances in sleek stainless steel, and grand staircases winding down to a home’s main entrance. We’ve been trained by all of those high-end home makeovers we’ve seen on cable television in the last decade or so.
Thanks to some grass-roots renovators who are coming on the scene, we’re starting to see trends turn toward more natural kinds of construction. Though the eco-sensitive builder might choose a number of unique items to complete a project, not all projects are created equal. Instead of a floor covered with pennies and polyurethane, this floor features a relative of cordwood construction.
Wouldn’t this make an awesome floor for the entryway in a country home?
While it’s been used in many parts of the world for thousands of years, a special kind of construction is quickly gaining popularity in the United States. While I’m not sure if I’d call it fashionable, cordwood construction is coming into it’s own once again. The method is fairly simple, short pieces of wood that have been stripped of their bark are stacked tightly together and the gaps between them are filled with mortar.
A version of cordwood construction was also used to give new life to the floors in this home. The homeowners began by thoroughly cleaning their concrete subfloor. When that was done, they began to create the pieces they would use to “tile” their floor. Pieces of Shaggy Bark and Alligator Bark Juniper were collected from the nearby state forest. All of the trees had died and fallen on their own prior to harvest. Each log was cut into one inch thick slices with the use of a chop saw. The individual discs were then sanded to assure that they were smooth and even before they were arranged together on the concrete and glued down.
After they were arranged and glued, the discs were tamped down to be sure they were as solid and even as possible.
It wasn’t long before the whole floor was covered with beautiful cordwood “tiles.”
After the entire floor was set the homeowners put a light coating of polyurethane over the top of each disc. The Poly would keep the grout from sticking to the surface of their floor as they applied it between the crosscut pieces.
Once the floor was grouted to fill the spaces between the discs, several layers of polyurethane were applied to complete the floor. Their new cordwood tile floor was complete. How amazing does that look? The natural warmth of the wood brings something very special to each room. Wouldn’t you love to have a one of a kind juniper tiled floor? I know I would.