Weaving Wood and Tile Into a Stunning Floor
A field of slate squares is captured by a dadoed grid of reclaimed pine.
For the entry to his own house, custom builder Sean Flynn combined a grid of reclaimed heart pine with 6-in. squares of slate. In this Master Carpenter article, he describes the steps he took to make this beautiful woven entry. He started by laying out a grid on the subfloor with the help of a story pole, which not only helped with accuracy on the subfloor but also allowed him to mark the dadoes on the stock in the exact same position. He used different colors of chalk for the respective vertical and horizontal lines, then sprayed them with polyurethane so they wouldn’t smudge. After registering the lines onto the boards, he cut the dadoes with a dado stack on a tablesaw, alternating the half-laps facing up with those facing down. To begin the weave, he joined two boards in a corner, then continued by running all the horizontal boards from the first vertical. For each joint, he glued the dado facing up, using hammer blows and clamps to ensure a tight fit. Construction adhesive, pocket screws, and surface-mounted screws on perimeter ends connected the grid to the subfloor. Flynn then added a frame built with pocket screws. With the entire grid in place, he adhered each slate tile to a piece of decoupling membrane and filled in the gaps with a sanded acrylic caulk. With the application of several coats of Waterlox, the job was finished.