Install and sannding new oak strip floor

Old 01-04-03, 10:19 AM
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Install and sannding new oak strip floor

Will be installing new 2 1/4" select red oak flooring over 3/4" T&G plywood in new house. Have never dealt with this before, but have researched subject, a couple of the latest books I could find on hardwood floors and recent articles in Fine Homebuilding Magazine. The area over which flooring is to be installed is roughly 15' x 24', a combination of a dining and kitchen area. Flooring to be laid parallel with 15' length. Installation may begin at center of 24' length and proceed toward walls, and therefore reduce future floor movement since supposedly the flooring will move in the direction of the tongue from what I've read. This seems strange to me since the wood could probably care less which direction the tongue is facing. Also the only indication I have seen as to the space to be provided at th wall for floor movement is to leave a 3/4" space, irregardless it seems of any flooring area. Just what is the theory behind this? The only rule of thumb I've seen is the floor will move 1/16" per foot of floor. Is this right or typically what is commonly used during install?

Rather than using a drum sander, edger and buffer, am planning on a new combination machine that uses 4 - 6" random orbit discs. Brand name is U-Sand. Anyone ever used this system?
Old 01-04-03, 04:13 PM
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3/4' is about the max. space against the walls. 1/2' is ok. i use a piece of flooring as a guide, if the piece of flooring will cover the gap then you know that base & shoemold will cover it. if the door casings/jambs are installed you gotta cut 3/4' off bottom so flooring will slide under, you won't cut/scribe around door casings. you might want to think about a 3/4' prefinished product. sanding/finishing should really be left to a professional, especially on a brand new floor in a brand new home. it is just as good a product, & really your saving life out of it by not sanding it. although you can resand it down the road. i never sanded a new floor w/ just a buffer type sander, only a drum/belt. watch out for swirl marks.
Old 01-05-03, 03:35 AM
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On Google- nofma Then click on I'm Feeling Lucky box. It will take you to the National Oak Floor Manufacturer Association site. Their you will find the answers to your questions. Your information in your post is not correct.
Old 01-05-03, 06:42 PM
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As INfo:
Wood absorbs moisture (mainly humidity) and expands across the grain. The wood cell fibers expand 'considerably more' across than with the grain.
Old 01-11-03, 10:02 PM
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Swirls and the wall

You shouldn't start your installation in the center of a room - always start against a wall.

The triple rotary sander is decent for the rough sanding, but it will leave swirls on your floor. Use the drum sander. If you aren't comfortable with it just use the square buff sander - it will take you longer but do a fine job. The drum will do the best job in the least time.
Old 01-14-03, 11:10 AM
David Leonard
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I dont like using shoe moulding. I remove the baseboards to install flooring. I then cut the drywall to create the expansion space; put a piece of new flooring against the wall (upside down) and cut the drywall with a new blade. I then install the new wood so that it is about 1/16" from the drywall. This solves all expansion issues and makes installation easier for me.
Old 01-15-03, 06:20 AM
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Triple rotary sander

I used the triple rotary sander to do the rough sanding on my red oak floor. It worked well, but leave some swirls that were noticeable. The square buff will do the job but take up to 2 to 3 times as long as would a belt/drum sander.

Old 01-21-03, 12:14 PM
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I have the same article as you and didn't fully understand it at first. For large installations you should start in the middle of the room/house to reduce expansion. Also, the first course should be nailed into the joists as much as possible with a finish nailer to "anchor it". Then when following courses are laid tongue out, they will tend to expand away from the first course, with the tongue. So it's not really that wood in general will expand toward the tongue, but if you anchor the first course tongue out on both sides by using a spline, that is the only way it can go.

I believe this is also stated in Bollingers book and in the NOFMA docs.

Just be sure that you use very straight pieces for the first course.

Good Luck

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