Before & After: Cartolina’s End Grain Block Flooring

One of the things I find most interesting about working in an older building is the way that older building techniques and finishing methods are often thrown aside or forgotten once technological advances take over. But sometimes the old methods, from flooring techniques to paint types, are the most practical for buildings that are going to see a lot of use. A great example is this makeover from Fiona at Cartolina.

Cartolina built a new workshop at their studio (located in Nelson, British Columbia) and decided to use a time-tested method for flooring that uses the end of wooden boards as the actual flooring material. End grain block flooring is a technique that was used for a long time in factories during the 19 century because it’s sturdy, inexpensive and practical. It works indoors and out and has the added benefit of being pretty great to look at as well! Using leftover beams from their previous office projects (kiln dried fir), Doug Jones (co-creator of Cartolina) sliced over 850 3″ x 7″ blocks (3/4″ thick) from the beams and then glued each one to the existing plywood floor using a non water based, flexible flooring adhesive. Once it dried, Doug applies a coat of Watco oil stain and two coats of oil-based clear finish. The finished result is so cool and feels rustic and modern at the same time. I’m so glad Fiona and Doug shared this with us- I love the result and can’t wait to see how it wears in over the years. Thanks for sharing, Cartolina team! xo, grace

Click through for more images of the floor process (before, during and after)


  1. NJ says:

    Love this idea. Can it be placed atop concrete?
    Thank you


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