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Author Topic: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?  (Read 3277 times)

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Offline lshobie

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Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« on: December 26, 2015, 10:08:33 PM »
I just saved this pine from being turned into firewood, it's 38 inches at the butt, 50 feet long, the top blew off it 2 years ago and it died and remained standing for until a couple of weeks ago.  Some greying and pink spots in the wood and I'm fine with that.  Seems to be fairly dry with no gum to be found - not like cutting a fresh one thats for sure.

So I'm thinking of using some of this for flooring in my cabins.....how wide can I go?  Ive got access to a 24 inch planer and possibly a 30 inch cabinetry finish sander, my friend thinks at 30 inches there will be too much warping and cupping but Im thinking that it's well on its way to drying and another 4 -6 months outside in the stack and it should be good.  What's the widest planking youve seen on a floor?  any fastening recommendations? 

Cheers.

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Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2015, 10:41:06 PM »
That was a healthy tree.  :)

Personally I would not make my flooring over 6 inches wide. But thats just me.

Some other folks may give you better advice. Good post.  smiley_thumbsup
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Offline hopm

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2015, 11:26:30 PM »
I would not be comfortable wider than 6".

Offline York Woodwright

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2015, 11:57:30 PM »
The pine planking in our farmhouse, which was built before Canada became a country, measures up to 22 inches wide. The gaps between boards allow you to see what's happening on the other floor. If you don't mind a little cupping along with loss of privacy, you can go as wide as you want.  :)
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Offline Rando

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2015, 06:15:43 AM »
A friend has some floors 2' or so. He put them down with screws so he could take them out and move the boards closer to get rid of the gaps.
Kind of makes you look twice when you first see them being that wide.

Offline johnnyllama

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2015, 07:14:38 AM »
I installed 11" pine over radiant heat. I was told it wouldn't work, too much spliting and cupping. 18 years later it's still pretty flat, no splits or checks. BUT it moves every season a bit, with about 1/8" gaps, which I'm fine with, I wanted it to look old anyway and old farmhouse floors around here with true wide plank floors have big gaps. It depends on what look you want. 30" would be too much seasonal movement to not split in my opinion but 12-16" would be acceptable as long as you are willing to accept the joints and ocassional checks. I put mine down with cut 2 1/2" nails at every joist, 2 and 3 nails alternating joists.
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Offline fishfighter

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2015, 07:30:11 AM »
I think if you saw them at 6/4, that extra would help out checking and cupping and I wouldn't go over 16" wide.

Offline woodman58

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2015, 07:50:01 AM »
I install hardwood floors for a real job. Anything over 5" should be glued and nailed down. This is the recommendation from the National hardwood flooring Association. I have seen 3" wood cup in the right conditions. Good Luck.
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Offline snowshoveler

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2015, 07:52:53 AM »
8 or 10 years ago I had a friend saw me out some nice pine.
We got 22 and 24 inch boards out of it. 12 feet long
Very few if any knots in any of it.
It never buckled bowed or twisted.
Can't say if it shrank much because I still have it stored overhead in a building.
I did not take as good care of it as I should have but I must say I think the knots are what twists and warps the wider boards.
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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2015, 08:11:45 AM »
I used  4", 6", 8", & 10" Pine in the Cabin Addition and 6" & 8" Ash in the Bedroom project.  All was T&G and surface nailed.  So far, no issues.
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Offline Ox

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2015, 09:48:30 AM »
I grew up in an old house built in the 1830s or so.  There were several local sawmills run by cricks (creeks) in those days.  Wide, thick boards for flooring with large gaps.  Some are pushing the 24" mark awful hard.  Ironically, the widest boards aren't cupped but some of the narrower ones are.  I suppose it's likely because of the part of the tree they sawed them from.  In a cabin I'd go as wide as they mill out at and enjoy the rustic building practices.   :)
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2015, 10:06:41 AM »
Here is a topic you might find interesting on a visit to a place where the floor boards were up to 22" wide.

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,1321.0.html
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Online Dave Shepard

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2015, 11:11:14 AM »
It's white pine, go as wide as you can. If a wide board cups in drying, cut it in half, and it will still be wide. :D That log hasn't dried much.
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Offline Rando

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2015, 03:51:07 PM »
Saw my friend today. He said his are 30" and 32" and they do have seasonal gaps but he did not mention any cupping or splitting.

Offline Tree Dan

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2015, 08:48:08 PM »
I would mill them all 8" x 4/4.
The floor will look great.
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Online ljohnsaw

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2015, 08:55:34 PM »
I plan on just using 8/4 x 8" T&G - no sub floor.
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Offline Joey Grimes

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2015, 09:40:44 PM »
A old rule of thumb I've heard was increase 1 inch in thickness for every 12 inch in width.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2015, 09:45:33 PM »
Joey
Not sure where or why that rule of thumb would apply to flooring board widths, but maybe someone knows.

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Offline Ox

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2015, 08:50:34 AM »
Here is a topic you might find interesting on a visit to a place where the floor boards were up to 22" wide.

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,1321.0.html

Even in the pictures, which as you said rarely do things justice, that's a really nice floor.  I love the looks of natural wood buildings with different species all mixed together for contrast.  Warms the soul somehow.
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Offline JBlain

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Re: Wide plank flooring...how wide can I go?
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2015, 11:09:08 AM »
I think the width maximum has as much or maybe more to do with the growth rate and stress of the tree as anything.  My wife and I own an old ice house, now a 2 unit apartment building, that used to be along a canal that is all beam and post with brick in between for insulation.  It is a tank of a place.  The floors in the attic are 12-20+ inch wide and show no cupping with only cut nails holding them down.  I got a close look at the growth rings and I estimate 1 to 1.5 inches of diameter growth per 10 years.  Very tight and slow grown = stability imo.  I don't know the age of the pine you cut but I would factor that into my calculations. 
Josh


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