This flooring was from the Jim Beam Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. After the fire that destroyed a warehouse in 2019, it destroyed 45,000 barrels of whiskey. Jim Beam started decommissioning the wooden warehouse. Donnie Peek at Interstate Flooring and Stairs was awarded the bid to take the wood and repurpose into flooring. This is the original tongue and groove pine hardwood flooring from that Jim Beam warehouse. Let there be a new life for these timeless pine floors reclaimed in Kansas City, MO.
Thick underlayment and over 3,000 screws!! Talk about work. Took us over a week to install. The first floor was a nice large square. Second floor had a long hallway merging into three separate offices. It was important for us to keep the rows as straight as possible, giving the tolerance of the wood.
Historical flooring like this is not straight, at all! Keeping this in mind, you want to account for 20% more when ordering for a project like this, because you have to cut all the bowed boards out. Trust us, we almost ran out at 15% scrap rate and had to use some of the cut offs.
We found using ratchet straps was super handy for locking in the tongue and groove. Once we got it tight, then drove 3 inch screws on each side of the board into the subfloor and the joist. We assisted the screws with 3 inch staples. The pine boards were 1-1/2 inch thick. For flooring contractors – you will need to take off the pneumatic flooring nailer shoes entirely to account for the staple depth.
Use A Laser
There’s plenty of room for error on a floor like this. It has a ton of character, dings, dents, saw marks, burns, paint, gaps, holes, etc. However, there’s no room for error keeping the rows straight during installation. We used a laser and it saved us from countless pie-rips. Pie-rips are slivers of wood laced into the gaps caused from straightening a crooked row. Use a laser to keep your rows straight and have a professional installation!
Sand & Finish
We presented samples of the finish well before starting the process. We built a sample platform with the pine flooring. We sanded three areas. Light sand, medium sand, and heavy sand. Applying oil based sealers and finishes by Masterline. Our client selected the medium sand. We did two passes on the sanding.
Two sands did not get the floor entirely flat. In the high areas, the use of extra sanding with a flooring edger was required. Client opted out of filling the gaps and holes. He wanted this floor to resemble an old bar floor. So, we strategically left those old mill marks, holes, gaps, paint, and burn marks as much as possible, yet still getting the floor remarkably flat.
Applying the final coat was impressive. We were actually able to get a buffer on these floors. We used a red buffer pad only. It was flexible enough for these uneven wood floors. It’s super important to buff before applying the final coat of polyurethane. This abrasion actually bonds the two coats properly. So, we were happy to find a solution for abrading the final coat. Otherwise, we would’ve abraded inch by inch, by hand!
Check out the pictures and videos of this project. They speak for themselves. The final coat leveled out perfectly. Giving this project a big win for our team! If you want to source this Jim Beam flooring, reach out to Interstate Flooring and Stairs. Ask for Donnie Peek, and talk to him about the Jim Beam flooring reclaimed in Kansas City by RippnFinish.
Plan for $1200 in screws. Add 20% scrape rate when ordering. Use a laser to keep rows straight. Ratchet straps will help lock in tongue and groove. Build a sample platform and sample finish. Limited supply for this historical Jim Beam flooring!