Repair & Care
Installing Medallions On Existing Floors
Often many find our website when their hardwood flooring project is getting near. "Look honey, that would go great with the new floor." Often they think it's too late, the hardwood guy is coming next week.
The fears can be put to bed. If you happen to be one that just had a wood floor installed and discovered the options today, it's never too late! Our story shows how the same happened. New construction, one customer found us (when we sold medallions) and wanted to know if he could get one, specifically the Golfer 2 in one week. Unfortunately most of the product we offered were made as they are ordered. The decision was made to install the floor and wait for the design to arrive.
Using The Template
In most cases medallions are positioned in the entry way. Our progress shows the installer centering the template. It is then tacked on each corner with small finish nails to prevent movement when the cutting takes place. Don't be alarmed, finish nails will be removed and you cannot see the small holes once everything is complete. Other options include two sided tape.
This job was actually handled with the use of a Rotozip. As noted in our story about installation on concrete, the procedure calls for taking it slow. Never try to complete the template cut out in one pass. Not only is it too much work for the tool being used, but the cutter blade itself cannot remove 3/4 of one inch in this case (the thickness of the floor).
Prep Work For Installing
The next step calls for removing the boards that are being replaced by the medallion. Personally I would have cut some starter areas inside the perimeter with a circular saw making it easier for removal. Leave the template in place when doing this work. You may find a few areas where the cutter didn't break all the way through the wood floor. When prying back, the template serves as a protective element.
The black stuff is common #15 asphalt felt paper many installers use as a moisture retarder when installing solid hardwood floors on a wood sub floor. This has to be removed along with the fasteners that were used to install the hardwood that sometimes remain in the subfloor on board removal. For many homes built prior to the mid nineties you will find cleat nails opposed to the crown staples that are more common today. Another reason for taking the cutting in several passes is locating staples or nails used in the actual installation. Small magnets can also help locate nails.Don't Hit Those Nails!
Solid 3/4" fastened wood floors have one thing in common. Most are tongue
After making that first pass you should be able to locate the fasteners. At this time we want to use a nail punch set or similar and set them into the sub floor so the cutter blade does not hit on remaining passes.Type Of Adhesive
It is vital all debris be cleaned up prior to installing. Once the area is clean it's time to apply the adhesive. Our preference is Bostiks Urethane adhesive but any premium urethane adhesive will do. Templates are precise, providing it did not shift during the cut out. Ordinarily there is no need to check for fit, but you could apply some very thin tape to a few perimeter areas to lift the medallion out. I don't recommend the idea because it may become too tightly wedged, with removal possibly causing damage.
Applying glue before installation
Parade of Homes winner!
Installation on concrete is far easier to do when the actual floor is being installed. In the set of photos to follow we had used our installation template to mark the area on the concrete where the design was going. Considering this is a glue down floor you don't want to cover the entire area before the design area is cut out from the floor. Doing so will create a nightmarish problem trying to remove the boards.
Depending on the manufacturer all have will different thickness templates. Ours was 3/8" of one inch. The next step once the floor was installed and the adhesive had a chance to cure (24 hours minimum), is tacking the template to the floor with brad nails in the desired area. Templates must be secured firmly, otherwise once we get the router cranked up it could shift and ruin the whole project.
Lesson number one. Don't do as we did in the photo below. Actually I was doing the photos and did not like what was going on so I continued the rest of the router work. The photo example shows the collar (guides the cutter blade along the template) barely touching the template. Installations are quite easy, but if you fail to double check before you start plunging into the floor you could have a lot of repair work ahead of you, namely pulling out boards and replacing them.
Designs should not be cut out in one single pass. In our case we made three passes around the template taking off a little under 3/16" of an inch at a time to play it safe. Incidentally, the floor is a select white oak unfinished 5/8" thick engineered plank manufactured by Owens Plank Flooring.
More Special NOTES
Your subfloor has to be flat for this project to work. Thicker products do not bend well. It is also critical your new medallion not be stored in areas exposed to high humidity or reverse, prior to installing. Thinner products also have a tendency to warp if you do not install within a certain period of time. How long? This is unknown depending on your circumstances.
Once you do receive your medallion everybody wants to see it and you're likely to display it proudly. Once you have marveled over the workmanship, we recommend placing it back in the original packaging until it is time to install. It's also best to lay flat when storing.
Next step is cleaning the area where the installation is to take place. If you've followed our advice on spreading the glue on the outside line of the pencil scribe, you may still get some glue squeeze over that line. In this case I adjusted the cutter blade depth on the router to where it was barely missing the concrete. It look off any remaining glue like a charm. For other contaminates or glue use a 4" flooring scraper, but be careful with those sharp blades! Finish by vacuuming.
Time to glue her up and drop that beauty into place!
It's also important to note all perimeter areas should be flush with the floor itself. This is very important with prefinished floors but not as critical with floors that will be finished. After dropping in the medallion, carefully walk on it to seat the adhesive. Don't worry, it will not move. The precision of the template makes for a seamless appearance. Neighbors, relatives, and your best buddy will be impressed with your expert workmanship! For added protection before the adhesive has a chance to cure, place weights on the perimeter area while making sure the medallion is flush with other areas around it.
Several passes with router
Before final sanding