How Come? (Relief Grooves on Hardwood Flooring)

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  #1  
Old 01-12-08, 02:59 PM
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How Come? (Relief Grooves on Hardwood Flooring)

I'd like to know why there are groves on the backside of flooring. I am about to make and install my own & am wondering if I need to put grooves in the back. I assume but am not fixed on the idea that they are relief cuts. I've never asked that question of anyone before.
Also, do I need to put any kind of moister berrier down? Next, just how do I fasten. I have had conflicting answers to that question. Glue & nail, just glue, just nail etc. If I use glue, any kind in particular?
Thanks for any and all help.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-12-08, 04:03 PM
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Your question is a tad vague.... are you talking about tongue and groove wood flooring? - if so - the groove is for the tongue to fit into to keep the floor from raising up. Making your own hardwood flooring will end up (trust me) being a lot more work and expense than buying ready milled wood.

As for application - totally depends on what you're putting down and where you're putting it.

I don't mean to sound rude - but if you have to ask these questions - it's probably not a project you really want to tackle. But - if you do - post more details...

Good Luck!!
 
  #3  
Old 01-12-08, 04:33 PM
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These are relief grooves on the bottom of boards. Grooves are cut on the bottom of the boards to allow air movement and to help the floor lay more flat on an uneven subfloor.

A moisture retarder should be placed over the subfloor. 15# minimum roofing felt is recommended. The wood needs to acclimate in the rooms where it is to be installed for several days before installation to adjust to temperature and humidity. A moisture test of the subfloor and flooring should be made. No greater than 2% difference if installing plank and no greater than 4% if installing the 2 1/4" strip. If you have a crawl space, it should be dry and 8 mil minimum polyethylene vapor retarder, overlapped and taped and run up the sides of the foundation and held in place with adhesive or caulk. This helps minimize moisture penetration from below. If you have a basement, it should be dry and well ventilated.

Flooring cleats are used every 8" or so and nailed into the tongue. Some manufacturers are recommending the use of polyurethane adhesive in addition to cleats when installing planks. Wider planks are less dimensionally stable than strip, especially 4" and greater. The starting rows next to the wall can be drilled through the top of the board or tongue and nailed with finishing nails that are countersunk with nail set. Once the flooring is far enough out from the wall, the flooring nailer can be used.

Go to www.nofma.org and click Publications. Download for free the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association's technical manuals on installation and on finishing wood floors.

Once your DIY project is done. Post some pictures at www.photobucket.com and a link here for all to see. Congratulations on having the tools and skills to manufacture your own hardwood flooring.
 
  #4  
Old 01-13-08, 03:19 PM
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Thanks & another question

Thank you very much for you response. I have already plained and am getting ready to cut the t&g. I'll do as you asked with the photos after I'm all finished.
The other question (actually just a little more in depth answer from you), since I'm making my own t&g, I'm not sure a regular flooring nailer with work. Is there any reason why finish nails won't work? Is there a particular glue you would sugest? Or will liquid nails be just fine? You say the moister barrier should be over the sub floor. Does that mean just under the t&g? If not, I've already passed that stage. I laid 5/8 osb and then 5/8 interior ply over that. Since I'm opver a basement that I use for my woodshop, there really isn't any moister that gets to the floor. Second, if the moister barrier is just under the t&g, then how would glue really be effective?
Again, thank you, I appreciated your response.
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 01-14-08 at 08:05 AM. Reason: Quote removed. It is not necessary to quote entire post in order to respond.
  #5  
Old 01-14-08, 07:49 AM
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My apologies... I misinterpreted your original question.

I've laid a few thousand sq. ft. of hardwood floors using finish nails alone with great results - it's just a lot of work compared to a flooring nailer - and more difficult to avoid denting your new floor with a bad hammer blow.

The need for a moisture barrier in many of today's homes is a subject for debate. If the room below the new floor is climate controlled along with the rest of the house - a moisture barrier is not always recommended other than the fact that "it's always been done that way". Certainly, it won't hurt - but does it help? I know professionals who use only a layer of wax paper under their wood (to make the planks slide together easier/tighter when nailing).

As I've never used glue for anything other than engineered floors - I'll not go there.

Good luck! - and again - my apologies - I didn't mean to offend you - I had a mental picture of a guy with a new table saw saying "Oboy - I can make lots of new stuff now!!"
 
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Old 01-14-08, 08:04 AM
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If installing wider plank floors, the manufacturers who recommend using urethane adhesive along with nails, say to skip the vapor retarder, which is usually 15# minimum roofing felt. Back in the day before flooring nailers, finishing nails were used. It takes longer because of the predrilling and countersinking the nails, but it works if flooring nailer is not available.
 
  #7  
Old 01-14-08, 10:27 AM
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Still Confused

Twelvepole;
First, sorry, I thought I had said I was making 3.5" t&g. Second, I'm still not understanding about the barrier. Yes I know that 'it's always been done'. My personal opinion is it doesn't need to be done in my house. I just wanted to get some questions answered about it 'just in case I should do it'.
If a barrier is put down, and you use glue, what is the glue holding the flooring to? Just the barrier, right? Don't I want the flooring glued to the subfloor? I hope I'm not sounding goofy here, but I don't want this floor coming up in a few months.
As far as the pre-drilling and nailing, I know it takes forever. But to be quite honest, I usually end up doing everything by myself anyway, so it always takes longer. I would like to have a recommendation on what kind of glue to use. Or does it even matter? The reason I am wanting to use glue, is because I don't trust nails alone when it comes to the floor.

Thezster;
Your opology is accepted. If you don't mind me saying, your second post to me was a lot more respectfull. Thank you.
I agree that it is very difficult to keep from hitting the flooring with the hammer. I by no means can ever avoid that. My only way to keep the dents to a minimum is to use lots of cushions around the nail while driving. I have air finish nailers. Do you think they would be tough enough to hold? I have 16 gauge. I'm thinking along with glue, not just alone. That is why I'm so insistent on what type of glue to use. If need be, I will go with regular finish nails. But I still think I want to glue along with it.
Thank you to both of you for responding. Hopefully I can post some pic's to show you what I've done so far.
 
  #8  
Old 01-14-08, 10:43 AM
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Regards: Pre-drilling.....

When I first started out laying hardwoods with finish nails, I would try pre-drilling - just knowing the wood would split terribly if I didn't do so..... Lo and behold, when I experimented a bit - I found that pre-drilling in Red Oak wasn't necessary - 97% of my hammered nails didn't split a thing. The remaining 3% didn't hurt the finish as the tongue would still rest in the groove properly (if not tighter).

Lastly - I always used, at minimum, a 6 penney finish nail.
 
  #10  
Old 01-16-08, 04:41 AM
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Not reply, just question

Hey, it just dawned on my slow brain that maybe the flooring doesn't get glued down, but rather together. Have I been misinturpeing? Does it get edge glued instead of what I have always thought, down to the subfloor??? I must addmit that I can be a bit slow at time. I'll bet no one here would have thought that of me, would they?
 
  #11  
Old 01-16-08, 05:54 AM
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The grooves cut on the back of solid wood are there for milling(tell which is the top of the board) and for shipping. Less weight, less shipping costs.

For engineered boards it is to relieve bowing, and end peaking, from swell.

Now I see your in a basement, converting it to a workshop.

The moisture barrier system, goes directly on top of the concrete. The layers of subfloor, over that. then your finished flooring(I hope it is engineered!!)

Solid wood in a basement, is asking for some buckling in its useful life.
 
  #12  
Old 01-16-08, 08:36 AM
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Photo Misinterpretation

Your looking through what used to be my kitchen floor. I have removed all floor joist's because of damage. If you look at the photo's in order, you will see the wood shop is actually under the kitchen. the flooring goes on the plywood that was laid down in the kitchen. I just didn't take any photo's of the floor joist's replaced. I skipped that photo and went to the sub floor.
 
  #13  
Old 03-20-08, 09:23 AM
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Finally Finished

Ok, as promised, here are the pictures I took of the new oak floor I made from scratch to finish.

I bought the rough cut, planned it, routed the T&G into it and then installed it. Then I had a 'professonal' come in and sand it the first time. He was kind enough to help put down the putty and resand. After that I did the touch up with the putty (which was just about the whole floor again), then sanded it with my little 5" sander with 60 (that was what was easiest with the putty). Then I sanded with 80 grt and then 120 grt. Then I wiped it all down with minerial spirits.
Then I use varathane water based semi gloss finish. I put on three coats.

I don't have real good lighting in there yet, so it looks darker then what it really is. But for my first time, I think I did ok.

I didn't mind making the T&G, but the bad/hard part was the installation. I made the mistake of buying 2',3' & 4' pieces. It was great going through the process of making it. Thae hard part was actually putting down all those pieces. Next time nothing less then 8' strips.

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/i...akFlooring.jpg

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/i...shedFloor9.jpg

http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/i...hedFloor11.jpg

I hope this works. I forgot how to post a link.
 

Last edited by woodworks; 03-20-08 at 09:33 AM. Reason: Forgot the pictures
  #14  
Old 03-20-08, 03:12 PM
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I just want to tell you, that floor is gorgeous! Worth every minute you spent on it.

Did you wind up using glue as well as nails?

Connie
 
  #15  
Old 03-20-08, 04:31 PM
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Connie;

Thank you.
Yes I glued it. I use construction adhesive. I had to pre drill and used 6p finish nails. A lot of work. I still have the dinning room, hallway, living room and one bedroom to do, and that doesn't even include the upstairs. I will admitt that I'm not looking forward to it. I don't mind making it, but it sure is a lot of work installing it. The next time, I am going to try and see if a nailer will fit the T&G pattern I have. Will sure make it go a lot faster and easier.

The one thing I like about it is that I did it. From start to finish, it was all me. Usually my wife will help me at some point, but not this time. The only time she put her two cents in was on the finishing when she would stand there ans say 'you missed a spot' . But she can say she helped.

Now if I could just get the cabinets made and installed. I'm making them out of hickory.
 
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