Cordwood construction is one of the oldest ways to using wood to build flooring, walls, and much more. There are various definitions for cordwood construction. Typically, it means pieces of wood that are combined with mortar or stone to form a solid surface. The original purpose of cordwood construction was to stretch your materials as far as they would go. If you did not have enough stone or mortar to create a wall not enough wood to create a wall, you could combine the two. It was a practical option. As with many other practical necessities from history, it has become very trendy. Cordwood construction floors are growing in popularity.
How They Work
Typically, cordwood construction is made from the ends of logs. That means the pieces are round discs of wood. Oftentimes, this wood would be discarded or used as firewood. That means it’s often less expensive than other types of hardwood.
In a cordwood floor, the wooden discs are nailed or glued to the subfloor. Typically, they’re about a half-inch thick. Since they’re made from the ends of logs, they’re irregularly shaped and don’t fit together flush. The entire floor will be covered in these discs of wood. Then, the space between the discs is filled with mortar. The mortar is typically sawdust mixed with mortar to form a wood paste. That’s applied between the discs to create a solid floor. It’s finished with polyurethane.
Cordwood flooring isn’t right for every application. Since it must be mortared, it can be difficult to repair or remove a cordwood floor. In many cases, they have been installed in ways that closely resemble the old use of cordwood. They work well if you want to revitalize a concrete floor such as a basement or garage.
If you’re converting a garage or basement into a living space, a cordwood floor is a great option. The mortar and the wood work well to insulate the floor. Also, since the cordwood can be glued directly to the floor, it works well without a subfloor. If you’re trying to convert a concrete floor, installing a subfloor and then a wooden floor over that can add significant work to the installation. It can also add costs.
There are many different ways to choose your hardwood flooring. A cordwood floor is a unique type of floor that you likely won’t see anywhere else. If you want to stand out, it’s a great option.