A Tisket, A Tasket, An Antique Pine & Walnut Basket

Photo courtesy of Ben Suer.

Ben Suer, owner of Diamond Wood Floors in Augusta, Georgia, started in the wood flooring industry in 2002. As an avid craftsman who loves a challenge, Suer is no stranger to custom jobs, including this one.

Upon installing antique pine elsewhere in this home, the client asked that Suer extend that installation into the small entryway leading to their master bedroom and install a small pattern in the space.

“In other areas of the home, we installed a walnut header board in a doorway to establish a positive break between the antique pine flooring, the primary floor in the home, and the yellow pine flooring, installed in a mudroom,” says Suer. “Additionally, a basket weave patterned tile was being installed in a bathroom in the home. So, I wanted to bring all of these elements together to provide the pattern the client desired while also maintaining a thematic consistency.”

After getting the go-ahead from the client, Suer started milling the antique pine and walnut based on the dimensions of the area. “Knowing the basket weave I created was based upon a 1/5th principle, and also knowing I had two exposed header board-type stops, I decided to set the length of the longest board at 1/5th the distance between my header boards,” adds Suer.

Cutting the boards to specific predetermined lengths ensured that the boards would all be proportional, which contributed greatly to the curb appeal of the entryway.

“Once I had the material prepared, I did a quick “dry fit” then put the materials aside so I could properly prep the subfloor and establish my lines,” says Suer. “In hindsight, this was the single most important step of the whole process. Even though the area I was working in was no more than 3’6” x 4’6”, I took the time to find the center of the room and popped a line. I then marked the center of that line and used a compass to mark trammel points.”

Taking the extra time to find the center of the room and create trammel points, even in a small area, ultimately saved Ben from great frustration. “After I began the installation, I realized that either my miter saw was slightly out of square or my jig was misaligned. Because I had the reference lines on the floor, I was able to quickly determine the culprit, make adjustments, and continue,” says Suer.

From there, the rest of the install was smooth sailing. A modified silane adhesive was used to attach the material to the floor and slip tongues were installed along the way. The floor will be finished with an oil-modified polyurethane once the millwork in the rest of the home is completed.

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