Best way to install wide plank oak floors?

labradoodlemomJune 28, 2009

We are planning to install wide plank tongue and groove oak flooring in our kitchen and dining room. They planks will be between 7-12 inches. We have heard a mix of opinions as to the best way to install wide plank flooring and we're wondering if anyone had any suggestions. We obviously don't want to have to worry about warping over time!


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a 12" wide board of northern red oak will vary 7/32 " in width (shrinkage in winter, expansion in summer) based on the variation in ambient humidity as the flooring may go from 10% moisture in summer to 4% in winter. In narrow flooring this differential gets distributed among four or five separate boards (joints), but wide flooring concentrates the gap at one point. Your wide floor boards need plenty of time to acclimate. Install when they are at the same moisture content as the subfloor. This must be determined with a digital meter of known accuracy. If the flooring is manufactured by a reputable maker, it will come with instructions, which should be followed. If you are buying wood directly from the mill, you will have to rely on the knowledge of the installer, so pick a good one. You may have to screw the boards down and plug the holes. IMO, that effect does not look great unless done with long lengths of boards.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 4:30PM
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