Solid Hardwood - Select or Clear and Short Pieces?


Old 01-26-08, 08:12 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Solid Hardwood - Select or Clear and Short Pieces?

Calling all hardwood installation experts!

I have an ongoing new construction custom house (not fancy but not spec). My latest questions are hardwood flooring.

My contract states "Red Oak Select hardwood flooring" I thought "select" meant not a lot of short pieces in the lot yet I noticed a large amount of pieces 1 foot this typical for a "select" grade?

Seems like the installer is laying out the floor to acclimate the wood but he is working from the two sides towards the center "aisle" of the room... I say "aisle" because its his staging area for bundles and a hell of a lot of dirt that he swept to the middle area. I'm concerned about the dirt and that he did not scrape/sweep very well before he put down a single layer of 15# roofing felt.

If there is small amounts of debris (dirt, sheet rock mud chunks etc.) does this cause the hardwood to have raised areas or cause it to squeak? Obviously the bigger the chunk the more impact but I can feel small intermittent areas when run my hand over the felt nothing huge but I can feel it.
Thanks for any help.
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Old 01-28-08, 09:57 AM
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The term select refers to the grade/quality of the wood itself. - % of defects within the wood (knots/streaks/etc.). In today's world, unless you're willing to pay a serious premium, your bundles of wood will contain numerous (up to a certain %) of short pieces... If mixed in well, you'll never notice it.

Your subfloor should be clean and smooth - I don't know what you mean by "bumps" under the felt (vapor barrier)... but, as you pointed out - the bigger the bump, the higher the chance of your floor not coming out smooth and level. Address your concerns with your installer - now is the time to rip up the felt and sweep/smooth the subfloor - cause after the floor is down - there is only one option - and you won't like it at all.

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