Width of harwood flooring? Advice

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  #1  
Old 01-29-09, 07:46 AM
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Width of harwood flooring? Advice

I am going to install hardwood flooring in my family room and hallway. I found a good deal on 3/8 X 3" hardwood but have read that anything over 2 1/4" wide is to be used in large rooms only. My family room is approx. 290 sf (16X18).....
The hallway is about 4 feet wide by 12 feet long......
I have the space carpeted now... it is on the main floor of the home with a plywood subfloor.....
Any advice?
 
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Old 01-29-09, 10:22 AM
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Whether you go with 2 1/4" strip or 3" plank is fine. You still have the same number of square feet to cover. Many are under the misconception if they go with wider planks that they don't have to buy as much flooring. You still have the same number of square feet to cover. There is no rule that 3" and over boards are best for large rooms. From a decorator's point of view the wider planks (over 4") tends to provide a more country or casual interior. More narrow boards give a more formal look. In recent years, the trend has been toward wider boards.

The only concerns re: board width is that 4" and over tend to be less dimensionally staple. The wider the board, the less dimensionally stable. For 2 1/4" strip, there should be no greater difference than 4% difference in moisture content between subfloor and flooring when moisture test is done. 2% with plank flooring. To be on the safe side with the 3", 2% difference will assure that you have acclimated the wood long enough before installation in the areas where it is to be installed.

If you are going to DIY, go to www.nofma.org and click publications, How To, and installing wood floors and the PDF to download for free the National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association's technical manual on installing wood floors.
 
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Old 01-29-09, 03:43 PM
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Thanks for the help..... I have a few more questions....
The hardwood I'm looking at is 3" wide by 3/8 thick.... I see a lot of people go with 3/4 thick.... Will the 3/8 thickness be a problem?
The area I'm putting this hardwood on has wall to wallcarpet and pad at the moment.....

Finally, what type of underlayment do I want to get? There is the felt paper; poly sheeting; the dream home insulament; etc.....
Thanks
 
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Old 01-29-09, 05:46 PM
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3/8" thick flooring is popular. Some products allow for either glue down or nail down. Read and follow manufacturer's instructions for subfloor prep, acclimation, underlayment, and installation. Each manufacturer tends to have its own specific instructions required in order not to void warranty.

You have a thicker wear layer with 3/4" thick flooring, meaning that there are greater opportunities for sanding and refinishing.

Here's a good read: Wood Floor Doctor.com Avoiding Squeaks and Pops when Nailing Down a New Strip Floor

With nail down hardwood flooring, a 15# minimum roofing felt is recommended as a vapor retarder and to prevent squeaks. As indicated, read the technical manual at the link posted in the previous post.
 
  #5  
Old 01-30-09, 05:05 AM
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Well guys -- is this true??
"When a strip floor is too thin for it's width it will have a tendency to warp, when great variances in indoor relative humidity occur. For instance a 1/2" thick strip that is 3" wide is a very poor choice, but a 1 1/2" by 1/2" strip should be quite stable. So, as a general rule, try not to exceed a 4 to 1 ratio of the width vs. depth, and 3 to 1 would be ideal. That makes the 2 1/4" by 3/4" strip floor the most stable and longest lasting hardwood floor." ---- So is my choice of a 3/8" thick by 3" wide plank a good idea?? Now I'm worried.
 
  #6  
Old 01-30-09, 01:35 PM
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As long as you keep temperature and humidity at constants year round, there should be no significant problems for 3/8" or 3/4" thick solid wood flooring. Temperature at about 70 and humidity at 35-55%. Monitor humidity (varies from room to room) with hygrometer (sold where thermometers are sold). Acclimation, moisture test, vapor retarder, expansion gaps, and monitoring temperature and humidity should provide a successful installation.
 
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