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Author Topic: Oak Flooring  (Read 5910 times)

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Offline NHHillbilly

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Oak Flooring
« on: October 05, 2009, 08:31:15 PM »
Well need some direction and what a better place to get it.  Still learning with Woodmills ol' LT40.  Man what a blast....ok so I have a Freind that is going to let me saw up all his oak.  About 1400 Bf.  He is going to sticker it let it dry plain it and send it out for tongue and groove.  What dimensions should I cut the lumber at.  He doesn't care wide narrow.  He just is looking for best use.

Alex
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 08:46:24 PM »
Just finished an oak flooring project, made the flooring myself, from tree to finished product.
Planed on a woodmaser 718, did the tongue and groove on a shaper.
 Learned a few things the hard way.

If you use a shaper, the boards must all be exactly the same width
air dry is not good enough, kiln dried mine down to less than 6%
Put a vapor barrier under it.
Narrow is easier to get a good fit with no cracks
Don't make pieces more than 4 ft long
Beg borrow or rent a flooring nailer and a commercial  floor sander.
1995 Wood Mizer LT 40, Liquid cooled kawasaki,homebuilt hydraulics. Homebuilt solar dry kiln.  Woodmaster 718 planner, Kubota M4700 with homemade forks and winch, stihl  028, 029, Ms390
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Offline ljmathias

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2009, 09:37:54 PM »
Since oak flooring has surfaced again (thanks for that) I'll pose a question that is very timely for me right now: anyone have an update on air-dried oak laid on concrete that will be heated through in-floor PEX and an on-demand hot water heater?  Should keep the concrete dry but I worry about down time during the cooler months and especially the reduced humidity during the summer with air running most of the time.  Do I still need a vapor barrier?  Can I glue to the floor (obviously can't nail it down)?  I may even end up without tongue and groove- costs a lot that I don't have right now and thoughts?

Lj
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Offline sgschwend

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2009, 10:59:03 PM »
Others may think differently, but I would use the best, strongest flooring glue.  The glue will provide the barrier and if you are saving on cost you will need to be happy with how it turns out.

As said before short boards are the easiest to get to lay down straight with tight edges.  Without the T&G you will have nothing to accommodate alignment error.  Flooring does grow and shrink with the seasons, that is going to be a challenge for you.  The glue is going to help with these issues, hence the need for a good glue, and full 1/4 trowel coverage.

Steve Gschwend

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Offline DRB

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2009, 12:18:31 AM »
For the easiest application saw it all the same width. Random widths are difficult to install since you need the same width for each individual row.  If you use random widths make sure you have enough of each width for at least one row but it is a lot more wasteful.   The narrower the better to a point as cupping is easier to control, but I would saw it into 4 inch to 5 inch widths before planning and tongue and groove. That will end up with 3 to 4 inch wide flooring.  I have had bad luck with air dried flooring it is just not nearly as stable as kiln dried.  If you insist on air dried plan on about 3 years of drying before you even start then move it to a heated room for at least a month before you even think about installing it.  Even then it will move a lot more then kiln dried. As others have said short lengths are the easiest to install.  If you saw out 1400 bdft expect at best that will cover about 700 square feet of floor space after you cut out the defects and T&G it. Of course that is dependent on how nice the wood is but even with really nice stuff you lose a lot.  For the most stable floor it should be quarter sawn but he may not want that since it will not saw out as much, flat sawn oak makes pretty flooring as well.   

Offline Kansas

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2009, 09:48:47 AM »
In my new house project, the lumber used has been random width flooring, using a shiplap edge. Everything from hickory, walnut, cottonwood, and quartersawn sycamore. I have been having someone else do the shiplap part of it, but you can certainly do it yourself-a table saw and dado blade is all you need. A jointer is a good idea too. I like the wider look, and the different widths not only add to the room, but you get a lot less waste. 1400 foot should yield somewhere between 1100 and 1200 ft flooring, based on what I have seen. Granted, this is a log home, and I'm not looking for perfection. A lot of the flooring went down in 12 foot lengths. In one hallway, I went with up to 10 inches wide. That may be against conventional wisdom, but then, I'm not exactly conventional. At least at this point, it looks awesome.

Offline backwoods sawyer

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2009, 10:06:26 AM »
Well need some direction and what a better place to get it.  Still learning with Woodmills ol' LT40.  Man what a blast....ok so I have a Freind that is going to let me saw up all his oak.  About 1400 Bf.  He is going to sticker it let it dry plain it and send it out for tongue and groove.  What dimensions should I cut the lumber at.  He doesn't care wide narrow.  He just is looking for best use.

Alex

For a 3" finished board, it should be milled to 1 1/8 x 4 , for 5 wide mill it 6 , ect this allows for drying, planing, having the tongue and grove milled into, the relief cuts in the bottom ect. At least this is what both of the local kilns want it milled at.
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Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2009, 10:22:03 AM »
The narrower you cut it, the more waste you will have, and the more work it will be. No way in heck I would cut flooring less than 5" or 6" wide. 7" or 8" would be better. Yes, you may have a crack in the winter (heaven forbid!) but walk through any 18th or 19th century mansion and see how many cracks you can find between the floor boards. If it was good enough for them, it's good enough for me. Since both edges of a board must be tongue-and-grooved, making the boards twice as wide will cut the work in half. Also, you gain an extra 3/8" or so in width from every board if they are twice as wide, which means the lumber goes farther. Air-dried lumber is fine. Just be sure to keep it stacked in a heated room for about a month before installation, and install it in the winter if at all possible. The boards will expand in the summer and shrink in the winter, so a winter installation will result in the tighest floor. I will add that I have done random width flooring to save wood, and I think it looks great...but it does take more time, because you have to change your tooling setups for each width. If getting the most out of the lumber is not a top priority, I would use equal-width flooring.
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

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Offline DRB

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2009, 10:48:52 AM »
I have to agree random width floors can look great but they can be a real pain to make and install.  For installation a hallway where you are going the shortest way they are not a big deal as one board will span the hall.  If you are doing a 20 foot room then you must have 20 feet of every width as you can not change width mid floor.  That means if you have 25 feet of a specific width then you throw our 5 feet or rework it to the next width down.  If you only have 19 feet of one width it has to all be cutt down to the next width, I find it easiest to saw the log in 4 or 5 inch wide boards right off the mill.  After drying, planing and cutting the T&G you will end up with 3 to 4 inch wide boards.  Once you plane it cut out all the defects this will give you mostly short pieces.  After cutting out the defects then cut the T&G.  Use the defects to heat the shop to dry out the flooring to the max.  Yes installing in the winter is best with a floor as it will then be the driest unless you live in the Pacific Northwest like I do then summer is the dry season. The wider your boards the bigger problem you will have with cupping.  I have used screws through the face with contrasting plugs before on wide floors, it looks good and helps with the cupping. A lot depnds on if you want a nice defect free high grade floor or if you are happy with a rustic floor that has knots and cracks.  Both can look great and have there place.

Offline Stan snider

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2009, 12:31:41 PM »
Lj   I would think about making the floor as thin as could be tongue and grooved and glue it well. The thinner material would have less pull and push as moisture changed and the glue probably will hold it. What kind of moisture barrier is under the slab is a big factor. When you think your material is dry rip a short board to width on a table saw then crosscut it. Put one half in an oven for four hours at 215 degrees and compare the widths when you take it out. Flooring will never get this dry but you can get an idea of the shrinkage potential. If a very small bevel on the edges of each board appeals to you it could cover any shrinkage. If the flooring was dead flat,perfectly straight,  thin,and not too wide, glue alone with no t&g would be something I would try.  The floor and flooring would need to be dry as a bone. 

Offline Larry

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2009, 01:03:06 PM »
Since oak flooring has surfaced again (thanks for that) I'll pose a question that is very timely for me right now: anyone have an update on air-dried oak laid on concrete that will be heated through in-floor PEX and an on-demand hot water heater?

We were thinking about that idea for awhile.  I found a couple of flooring installers that said radiant heat and wood floors cant live together.  Called a couple of radiant heat suppliers and they said the flooring guys were uneducated hillbillies.  I did a little research and think I found the real answer.  During the fall the floor can get too hot, too fast when first turned on.  This is what causes the cupping along with cracks.  According to the radiant floor people the solution is to bring the floor up to temperature slowly over a weeks time in the early fall...and to never change the heat level rapidly.  One guy told me his system used three separate thermostats to bring the floor up to temperature...expensive system and in our climate probably to slow of response.

The standard method of oak on a slab is a vapor barrier, 3/4" exterior plywood, felt, than the floor.  I heard NOFMA just recently approved a glue down method for slabs...with the caveat that cupping and cracks may result...who wants that?
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Offline NHHillbilly

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2009, 01:12:11 PM »
Man You guys are great.   I will pass on all the info that I am recieving and we will figure it out.  This is going to be a great learning experience,  for me and him as well.  Thanks again.  Keep it coming.
Alex
LT40hdg28

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2009, 01:48:52 PM »
Hmmm? One group (flooring installers) prolly know from experience that they have some unhappy flooring customers if installing over a slab, and feel responsible for their wood floor with cracks.  Some installers don't want to risk their reputation if something bad can happen to their work.
The other group(radiant floor people) prolly have never been asked to replace a cracked, warped wood floor over their heated slab. Not their problemo.

I'd say it is risky, but with the exterior plywood down first, may be less risky.

But maybe a good learning experience, if the wood doesn't behave too badly. If it turns out to be a mess, then just have to scrape it off and do something else. Perish the thought.  :)
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2009, 05:47:02 PM »
We put hardwood flooring down on my oldest sons house.  It was on a slab. We put down a vapor barrier then  shot down 2 x 4 's on 16 in centers with a hilti gun, then nailed the flooring to the two bys with a flooring nailer.  They been in the house for several years no problems...but they have regular central heat and air.  It would be a bummer to shoot a hole in the pex i would guess. ;D  I love the sound of walking on that floor... Tim
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Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2009, 06:30:14 PM »
 i would never put air dried flooring down period. let alone on infloor heat. what makes moisture leave wood? heat . what is in the floor? heat. 1400bf. spend the money and dry it! your only doing the floor once , do it right the first time. you can saw any size lumber you want but, to limit problems i wouldn't go over 5 inch cover. (saw 1/18x 6-1/4 wide).put down poly on the floor and 3/4 thick nailing strips with 3/4 plywood over top nail down your floor
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline schmism

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2009, 10:51:39 PM »
Yes, you may have a crack in the winter (heaven forbid!) but walk through any 18th or 19th century mansion and see how many cracks you can find between the floor boards. If it was good enough for them, it's good enough for me.

your fast growth "renewable" resource wood  is NOT old growth pine.
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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2009, 11:29:21 PM »
I glued down some engineered wood flooring directly on concrete floor in my living room with in floor raident heat the flooring its made of three layers of wood with the middle layer grain going cross ways to the top and bottom it also has cross cuts on the bottom (to give the glue more to hold on to I think), when I was looking for flooring this was the only thing recomended for wood. Please also consider also it takes more heat in the floor to feel warm in the living room than the rest of the living area that has clay tile , the tile gives off a lot more heat than the wood I run the house as one zone with three sections

Section 1 - Livingroom (Wood Floor) =  heat valve wide open
Section 2 - Kit & Dining Bath (tile)    =  heat valve 1/5th open
Section 3 - Bedrooms (laminate flooring) =  heat valve 1/8th open

The only problem I have had with the floor is when we had some interlocking foam play mats in the same place for a while and then moved them to discover the mats must have traped moisture under it and discolored the wood along the edges between pieces.

I would think the more layers and spaces between the heated floor and the finished wood floor the less satified you will be with the in floor heat.

Offline Dodgy Loner

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2009, 08:48:30 AM »
Yes, you may have a crack in the winter (heaven forbid!) but walk through any 18th or 19th century mansion and see how many cracks you can find between the floor boards. If it was good enough for them, it's good enough for me.

your fast growth "renewable" resource wood  is NOT old growth pine.

Old growth pine was seen as a utility wood by our wealthy ancestors and was used as subflooring, the same way we would use plywood or OSB. The woods used for the flooring was usually oak, maple, walnut, etc. Besides that, you missed my point entirely. Of course old home have cracks between the floor boards. What's the big deal?

i would never put air dried flooring down period. let alone on infloor heat. what makes moisture leave wood? heat .

I also take issue with your statement, red oaks. Heat does not make moisture leave wood. Low relative humidity does. How dry do you think your wood would get if you heated it in a bath of steam? The reason heating decreases the moisture content of wood, assuming the moisture content of the air remains stable, is that higher air temperature decreases the relative humidity of the environment. Wood will come to equilibrium with its environment, whether you kiln dry it and bring it inside to allow the moisture content to increase or air dry it and bring it inside to allow the moisture content to decrease. Either way, the moisture content will end up the same. I would invite you to see the air-dried cherry floor that I laid in my dad's house three years ago if you still believe it is a poor practice.
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2009, 11:42:38 AM »
I have done 13 rooms with air dried, both maple and oak all T and G

the secret  shhhhh :D

sticker outside for a year

plane to uniform thickness

sticker inside for as long as you can on planed stickers

finish plane, joint, rip, joint, then T and G

sticker in the room to be floored, again on planed stickers

rent or buy a nailer

If you T and G on a shaper expect some snipe on the ends but work smoothly to avoid any snipe elswhere.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Oak Flooring
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2009, 01:19:25 PM »
so if heat doesn't dry wood, so you say. the best i have ever seen air dried wood, fall of the year with relative humidity low is 10%m.c 1yr. old or 25 yrs. old doesn't matter the same. put that in a kiln put heat to it guess what it will dry to 6% mc. the whole reason to kiln dry is to get the core water out that airdrying can't do. if you live in a climate where the temp and humidity doesn't vary  airdrying is probaby fine  the whole question was he's putting it on infloor heat. was your cherry floor on onfloor heat? is anybody's above floors on infloor heat? that makes a huge difference .
 a little story a fellow brought in about 1500 b.f red oak been a.d. for 3 yrs.wanted floor made  checked m.c was 10% told him he should have us k.d the wood ,he chose not to dry it. the following year he stopped by to tell me how stupid that was on his part not to dry the wood it shrank 1/4"
 dodgy loner- simple question  if heat doesn't make moisture leave wood, why then do i run heat in my kilns? you know how much money i would save on heat. thanks for the tip
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree


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