Exterior Wood Care
Restore hidden treasures - without sanding

When patience is a virtue: extreme DIY project

DIY conversation in our email inbox: (do you have a question yourself - use this form to ask us)

Last year, around Christmas, we received the following email:

Hello, We are going to extend our floor area of basket woven wooden tiles, size 2x11.5 cm, 5 strips make one square. We can only find second hand matching tiles. After cleaning the the edges of the strips, can they be glued good side down, making a patterned square, onto a base, which then can be glued to the cement floor. The top will then be sanded smooth to remove bitumen/cement. The cleaned floor will then be fine sanded and sealed.

What kind of adhesive can be used to preglue the tiles on some kind of a base. What kind of base can we use for this? Surely each strip does not have to be glued individually onto the cement floor? One should be able to make a larger square first, for easier laying. Thank you so much for giving us advice on this. Looking forward to hear from you. Kind regards and Merry Christmas.

Hi Jack

Thank you for your question. These mosaic floors normally come in tile-form with either "mesh (string) backing" or felt-backing.

Would the mahogany we have available not suit you?

Otherwise, cleaned "fingers" can be glued individually to the concrete (and you'll be surprised how quickly you can do this once you get the "rhythm"). Often works better than trying for form a blocks of fingers first and installing the 5 fingers together.
If fingers and floor is clean of bitumen, F.Ball B91 is the adhesive to use

Hope this helps and Merry Christmas to you too.

Hi, So impressed to have got an answer so instantaneously!!
We most likely will try to lay the "fingers' one by one, as you suggested. What will our old knees look like? We will let you know about the end result!
We are in South Africa, close to Cape Town, so we won't buy anything from you! Thought we let you know.
Kind regards,

Hi Jack

Thanks for the reply. Knees will no doubt hold firm
Looking forward to an update (with images if possible!)

And that is exactly what our South African friends did last month: pictures which tell their own story of this extreme DIY project": 5 finger mosaic puzzle

We would like to give you an update of our flooring.
We had an extension done to our house and this needed a matching continuation of our parquet flooring.
The kind of parquet we needed was the ' basket weave ' pattern. We got hold of second hand pieces ( 5"x1"), dirty looking ones in bags. We bought them with a rather reluctant feeling.
The wood is Kiaat/wild teak/Pterocarpus angolensis.
They were all cleaned, fumigated and sorted into different colours and placed into bundles of 5 'fingers' with an elastic band put around them.
The concrete floor got a 2 layer water proofing laid by a roller brush.
We were fortunate to get hold of a man, Henry, who knew the trick of laying/glueing the parquet.
The glue used was Pekay's wood block adhesive.
The tiles were laid with the old glued side up, showing the cement still attached to the tiles.
The floor was sanded.
The floor was treated with 3 coats of Bona Novia.
Have a look at the photos we have attached. We are happy with the matching floors. The end result looks very good.

gigantic task of cleaning 5 finger mosaic

All of them went over the "sand bench"

bundling 5 fingers by fingers to install the mosaic floor

Then they were "bundled" per 5 fingers, ready to be installed.

installing bundles fo 5 finger tropical mosaic

Bundle by bundle - with the "concrete side up" the mosaic is installed

Using wood-filler to fill gaps in tropical parquet floor

After the floor is sanded to remove the concrete/screed and level the pattern, the manual filling of the gaps starts.

Extended mosaic floor creates one great result

The end result and a very great result it is

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