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Posted on 2014-08-03

I am installing hardwood floor. I have planks that come in 6 ft, 4 ft, 3 ft, and 2 ft. I have 42 rows to install, each row being 14 foot wide. I have 32 6ft planks; 16 4ft planks; 96 3ft planks; 16 2ft planks. I want to maximize the usage of the planks, with the least amount of waste. Can anyone help me out? Must be a way to do this using math.

14 Comments

Did you mean 14 inches wide rather than 14 feet wide?

The width of all the "rows" would amount to 588 feet if you really meant to say feet.

Personally I would just draw this out on squared graph paper or even use Excel to make a grid.

For the first row, Use 6', 3', then measure the remaining length (approx. 5') and cut a plank to fit.

Place the remaining piece as the first plank in the next row.

Continue to place planks in that row until you have less than 6' remaining (choosing lengths to make the joints not too near those in the previous row).

When you need to cut a new plank to finish a row, use the cut off piece to start the next row.

<repeat until done>

You also should consider the arrangement of the end joints: adjacent rows are staggered, alternate rows should align as much as possible.

I understand about the staggering the joints.

The total area is 13 feet by 13 1/2 feet, although I figure the total square footage was not an issue. So my rows are 13 1/2 feet wide. To me, it's the linear footage I want to maximize, since each plank is the same width. The planks are 3 3/4 inches wide. So, for a row I could use one 6ft plank, two 3 ft planks, and one 2 foot plank, with 6" cut off. Or two 6ft planks and and one 2 foot plank, with 6" cut off. (I prefer not to start a row with a 6" cutoff piece.) I have many more 3 ft planks that I do the other lengths, so those need to be used the most.

I have installed flooring in the past, and I understand about staggering; using the cutoff piece to start the next row, etc.

Since its being glued down, and once has to be very careful about getting the adhesive on the top of the flooring, I want to pre-cut all pieces for all 42 rows prior to installation. I thought maybe there are a way to maximize the linear footage.

Thanks

You need 42x14 = 588 lineal feet of flooring. You only have:

(32) 6 foot = 192 lineal feet

(16) 4 foot = 64 lineal feet

(96) 3 foot = 288 lineal feet

(16) 2 foot = 32 lineal feet

Total = 576 lineal feet

I believe the best pattern would be:

Sixteen rows of (2) 6 foot, (1) 2 foot

Sixteen rows of (4) 3 foot, (1) 4 foot cut in half

Six rows of (4) 3 foot, (1) 2 foot

Two rows of (4) 3 foot, (1) 4 foot cut in half

Two rows of (3) 4 foot, (1) 4 foot cut in half

Total consumption:

(32) 6 foot Fully utilized

(96) 3 foot Fully utilized

(22) 2 foot Note that you only have 16 of these

(16) 4 foot Fully utilized

Cutting pattern:

Eight rows of (2) 6 foot, (1) 6 foot cut into 1.5 foot piece

Eight rows of (1) 6 foot, (1) 3 foot, (1) 6 foot cut into 4.5 foot piece (remainder from above cut)

Five rows of (3) 4 foot, (1) 2 foot cut into 1.5 foot piece (0.5 foot scrap)

Sixteen rows of (4) 3 foot, (1) 3 foot cut in half

Four rows of (4) 3 foot, (1) 2 foot cut into 1.5 foot piece (0.5 foot scrap)

One row of (1) 4 foot, (4) 2 foot, (1) 2 foot cut into 1.5 foot piece (0.5 foot scrap)

Total consumption:

(32) 6 foot fully utilized

(16) 4 foot fully utilized

(96) 3 foot fully utilized

(14) 2 foot two pieces left over

If not here are some informative tips.

http://hardwoodfloorsmag.c

Note the comment:

"wood does move. Ensure you leave the proper expansion space around any stationary objects (walls, etc.). Wood flooring is a natural product and will move with varying moisture and humidity levels."

And slab considerations:

"Look more closely at the slab. Does it have a psi of 3,000 or higher? Is it porous enough? If you drop a bead of water on the slab, is it quickly absorbed? If not, there may be a sealer that must be removed or a non-porous surface (such as burnished/steel troweled concrete) that must be ground down so the adhesive can properly “grab” the concrete. It is critical that the slab is smooth and flat. Only use high-quality polymer-modified, cement-based patching and leveling compounds.

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