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Tigerwood tongue and groove decking for interior use? Am I nuts?


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02-08-13, 06:51 AM   #1  
Tigerwood tongue and groove decking for interior use? Am I nuts?

Here's some background, before I toss my crazy idea out and see what you fine folks think.

We are doing a major renovation at the house. It's a Victorian, built around 1875. Rather plain on the outside, for our block - just a brick rectangle. We have totally gutted the main floor (street level), and are nearly finished with all our rough-ins (plumbing, electric, carpentry). So we really need to get serious about our flooring. The 2 rooms that we are looking to do a hardwood floor on are the first 2 rooms when one enters from the street, respectfully the dining room and then the new kitchen (there is a living room and bathroom behind the kitchen at the back of the house. These rooms together are about 15.5' wide by 32' long and are pretty darn open to each other with one very wide opening - we ripped out all the extra stuff to create a much more open concept. Ceilings are about 9.5'. The cabinets are white so pretty much any floor will look great.

The original floor was planking, tongue and groove. This is still in place in the dining room (about 15x16). But we totally removed it in the adjoining kitchen, to sister the joists there, to provide a totally flat and level surface. That room was a disaster with 1.5" or more of difference in the center from the edges. So we really did need to redo it. Once the rough-in inspection is complete, the kitchen subfloor will be glued and screwed high quality plywood - most ppl seem to recommend something called Advantex or similar.

We both really like the look of Tigerwood (Koa?), and have been looking at various options for this flooring. Well since the original victorian flooring was tongue and groove planking ... why not consider 5" wide tongue and groove tigerwood planking / decking for an Interior, rather than porch/deck application?

Here's the product I'm considering:
5/4 x 6 Tigerwood T&G

The price is certainly really good, and I can readily order boards of up to 14' for little extra charge (15' and up are a lot more expensive). So ... am I just crazy or ... am I on to something here? The photos of this stuff look amazing.

So ... what do you fine people think? Am I crazy? Is this do-able?

Thanks!

Jeff

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02-08-13, 07:04 AM   #2  
You could, but why not use the tigerwood t&g flooring? It's still 5" wide and is probably a better grade of wood. I would think the rounded edges on the decking, once it's butted together, would create a vacuuming NIGHTMARE.

I was in a house once where they used a flooring that was 3" planks, with the rounded v-groove kind of edges and that's all I could think about- how glad I was that I wasn't the one that had to vacuum their floors.

 
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02-08-13, 07:09 AM   #3  
Co$t. Their hardwood flooring products are substantially more.

 
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02-08-13, 08:11 AM   #4  
Well, if you do go that route, just know that the joints where the boards come together will collect dust and debris. You will also have way more cupping on those boards than you would on hardwood flooring.

Due to the cupping, you would probably be wise to invest in a portable thickness planer so that you can plane all the decking to a nominal thickness. That way, if any boards have cupped since they were originally cut and machined, you will be starting out with flat boards. They may cup some more after they are laid down, but at least you will have done what you can.

You would then need to sand the entire floor after installation.

If you don't mind the cupping, or the grooves between boards, then you could probably just lay down the floor as is. You'll probably need several wall jacks to get the t&g installation tight.

 
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02-08-13, 03:29 PM   #5  
Another note, be aware the ends don't appear to be T&G, so fitment there may be subject to a recut prior to installation so you will have square end. I have run into this with Ironwood (IPE).

 
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02-11-13, 04:15 AM   #6  
Uh .... I don't get that. According to the site, everything was milled flat to a consistent thickness and then kiln dried so ... it doesn't make sense to me that these boards would be any more or any less susceptible to cupping after the fact than their hardwood flooring options. These tongue and groove boards are specifically designed for covered porches etc. It IS clear that these boards wouldn't be quite the same grade of "clear" but I think that would make for a really nice look.

 
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02-11-13, 07:33 PM   #7  
Believe what you want to, we are just here to offer the advice. The point is that the boards aren't done cupping just because they are kiln dried. Just don't expect a perfectly flat floor like you would expect inside a home. If the surface variation is what you're after- like a porch floor look-then you will probably love it.

Larry, that's a good point about the ends of the planks not being t&g. That would have to be done as each board is cut to length individually with a router.

 
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02-12-13, 03:08 AM   #8  
Another tidbit, Jeff, it is the kiln drying that will be responsible for the cupping. You will be introducing extremely dry wood into a semi moist area, which will begin to rejuvenate the strands of the wood, causing it to swell slightly. Most of the exterior exotic I have installed have double or triple grooves routed on the underside to help control that cupping.

 
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02-12-13, 06:19 PM   #9  
Oooops! I spoke with the company yesterday. Only their interior hardwood is Kiln dried. All their decking line is Air Dried.

Ok so ... if it's left for like 7-10 days to acclimate, and the material is within X % of the subfloor then ... wouldn't cupping be a non issue?

I'm NOT a wood guy, so I don't understand a lot of this stuff but I AM confused as to why a product is OK to be used in a covered porch then ... why not indoors? I just don't get it :-)

 
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02-12-13, 08:10 PM   #10  
Cupping is an issue with all wood. If wood is kiln dried and then planed to its final dimension, as I assume all hardwood floors are, then the floors are given a final sanding after they are installed, then you get a flat floor.

People don't expect a perfectly smooth flawless floor on a deck or a covered porch. But they do generally expect a flawless surface on an interior room. But I am seeing more and more "rough cut" floors in some high end houses that just look to me like a nightmare to clean and vacuum. Which is why I mentioned that. If that's the look you want then go for it. I just don't think the pictures you are looking at online are really giving you a good feel for some of the imperfections you will see in your finished product, if you choose to go that route. So I'm just mentioning it so that you're aware.

Kiln drying heats the wood and often will activate the lignin (a natural wood polymer) in the wood, causing it to act like a glue that "sets" the wood which serves to help the wood better keep the shape it was in when it was heated and cooled. Wood can sometimes still change shape after it's been in the kiln. Kiln dried studs would normally be straighter (and stay straighter) than those that are not kiln dried.

 
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02-18-13, 08:27 AM   #11  
Thanks all. I THINK that I might actually get it now. We'll buy a pre-finished product. And I think that I've found a company w/ decent lengths at a price that I can swallow.

 
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