Installing New Unit Wood Block Flooring To Match Existing

Procedure code:
Federal Building/New Post Office - Bldg Conservation Technol
Wood Block Flooring
Last Modified:



  1. This procedure includes guidance on installing new unit wood block flooring to replace lost or severely damaged portions of existing unit wood block floors, or to enlarge or alter an area of existing wood block floors. GENERALLY, THIS WORK SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED BY AN EXPERIENCED CONTRACTOR.
  2. See "General Project Guidelines" for general project guidelines to be reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines cover the following sections:
    1. Safety Precautions
    2. Historic Structures Precautions
    3. Submittals
    4. Quality Assurance
    5. Delivery, Storage and Handling
    6. Project/Site Conditions
    7. Sequencing and Scheduling
    8. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
      These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing this procedure and should be followed, when applicable, along with recommendations from the Regional Historic Preservation Officer (RHPO).


  1. Samples:  Submit 9" x 9" samples of proposed replacement blocks to the RHPO for approval of type, species, and grade of wood. Samples shall be stained and finished to match existing.


  1. Environmental Requirements:  Office area temperatures shall be maintained at a constant 70 degrees F. for 48 hours (and a maximum relative humidity of 60%) before and after installation.



  1. Kaswell Forling Systems
    Ashland, MA
  2. Old Wood LLC
    Santa Fe, NM
  3. Jennison &Wright
    Cleveland, OH
  4. Burchette Hardwood Floors
    Elkin, NC


  1. Wood Blocks: 9" x 9" first quality plain oak unit wood blocks which match existing blocks in type, pattern, and finish.
  2. Sub-Floor: No. 1 tongue-and-groove pine boards and No. 1, 2" thick pine blocking.
  3. Adhesive: Adhesive compound recommended by the manufacturer, or approved equal.
  4. Wood Filler: Paste wood filler recommended by the manufacturer, or approved equal.
  5. Stain: Penetrating permanent oil-based stain recommended by the manufacturer, or  approved equal. Color to match existing unit wood block flooring.
  6. Varnish: Linseed-tung modified phenolic spar varnish recommended by the manufacturer, or approved equal.
  7. Polish: Wood wax polish recommended by the manufacturer, or approved equal.



  1. Remove all existing floor finishes including carpeting and underlayment. Scrape off all adhesive material to provide dry, clean and smooth surface.
  2. If removal of existing work exposes discolored or unfinished surfaces or work out of alignment or unsuitable materials, such surfaces shall be refinished or the materials shall be replaced as necessary to make contiguous work uniform. Replace all sub-floor boards that are broken, warped or cannot be made level by planing or nailing. Sweep clean to remove all dirt and loose debris.
  3. Install new unit wood blocks securely to sub-floor with adhesive in accordance with the manufacturer's latest printed instructions. Follow existing flooring pattern in adjoining areas. Do not scrub, clean, stain or varnish until 4-5 days after installation to allow adhesive to set properly.
  4. Finishes:  Fill, stain, varnish and polish as follows:
    1. Sweep flooring perfectly clean. Fill open grain with paste-wood filler. Apply stain according to manufacturer's directions after adhesive has set at least 48 hours.
    2. Apply stain according to manufacturer's instructions. Allow surface to dry at least 24 hours. Sand smooth, sweep clean of sand and remove dust with a tack rag.
    3. Apply one coat varnish reduced with one pint of Mineral Spirits per gallon. Allow to dry 15-18 hours until tack free; sand lightly and wipe with tack rag.
    4. Apply second coat of varnish at package consistency. Allow to dry at least 48 hours.
    5. Prior to final inspection, clean thoroughly with manufacturer's recommended cleaner. Apply 1-2 coats polish.


Last Reviewed 2016-08-05