installing 3/4 inch oak hardwoods at 35% humidity, need advice.

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Old 12-12-08, 06:45 PM
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installing 3/4 inch oak hardwoods at 35% humidity, need advice.

Hello, I am about to install 3/4 inch unfinished white oak hardwoods in our lake cabin in a 35% (low for north texas, but its winter) enviroment, and need some advice.
My concern is that I may have buckling or swelling problems in the summer when 70% or greater humidity levels are possible, since this is a lake place and will be shut in most of the time, with temperature swings from 45 to 105F possible.
The 3 and 1/4 inch wide white oak will be installed on the middle floor on 3/4 plywood sub floor, 16 inch on center, about 24 by 24 foot square.
I will install on felt, but should I take any other precautions like using spacers on every fifth board to build in some expansion space? Or should I just not worry about it? Installers up north must have experience with this. Thank you in advance!
 
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Old 12-12-08, 07:00 PM
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Welcome to the forums Texwing!

I'm not a pro at hardwood floors, but our other mod, CarpetsDoneWright, is. You may not get a response from him tonight though. Subscribe to this thread so when someone responds, you will get a email notification.
 
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Old 12-13-08, 07:06 PM
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A constant 70% humidity is not good for any wood, weeks on end.

Yes, if you acclimate your wood to a constant 35%rH and install it tight, at a consistent 70%rH, your going to have buckled flooring.

Vacation homes not climate controlled when the occupants are not there, have major problems with wood flooring. When you close it up and turn the HVAC to where it barely runs, humidity builds up inside the home, just like a green house.

Wood shrinks and wood swells. Keeping a somewhat consistent rH in the home, is best to keep movement to a minimum. 45-50% is best where I'm at, but that is not to say you may see 40-45% as an average.

Before HVAC was invented, wood floors swelled and cupped during the summers, and had gaps during the winters.
 
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Old 12-14-08, 05:01 PM
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Well, we can live with some cupoping, swelling, and cracks in the winter since it is a lakehouse and rustic, but of course buckling is to be avoived. This place may be shut in for months at a time, but dry-Pipes will be drained when we leave. I really cant say the HVAC willbe left on, so we need any install tips to make the situation the best it can be. Exterior is tyvek and cedar, so I think the breathing of the structure will be OK. thanks in advance.
 
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Old 01-04-09, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Carpets Done Wright View Post
A constant 70% humidity is not good for any wood, weeks on end.

Before HVAC was invented, wood floors swelled and cupped during the summers, and had gaps during the winters.
Thanks for the reply. Referring to the above quote, I dont want but can live with some sweilling and cupping in the summer, and gaps in the winter-would not be a disaster. "buckling" would render the floor useless, and I need to avoid, so I would still appreciate any thoughts on hedging my bets. Based on other comments, i will be starting in the center of the room with a plank I mill with two tongues, and moving outward. Would anyone advise gluing the planks to the plywood sub floor, as well as stapling? Or am I worrying too much? thanks for the help.
 
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