The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Drying and Processing => Topic started by: Whitetail_Addict on January 21, 2011, 06:01:09 PM

Title: Is there a "best" time of year to install hardwood flooring?
Post by: Whitetail_Addict on January 21, 2011, 06:01:09 PM
Is there a better time of year to install hardwood flooring? Summer in New York State is very humid. I heat my home with firewood and in the winter months the humidity is way down in the house.  As a matter of fact I brought a stack of air dried Cherry and Ash into the basement back in November.  I measured the moisture content at 12-14% when I first moved it inside from the barn.  Two weeks ago the moisture content was down to 6-7%.  I have the boards stacked and stickered across the room from the woodstove and I have a box fan on low blowing on the lumber 24/7. 

Now this lumber has never been kiln dried yet reached 6-7% MC just from being around that dry heat for a couple months with a relative humidity of 22%.  The temperature might reach 80-82 degrees in the basement when the stove is really cranking.  Now in the spring and summer months the humidity is more like 80% and I have to have the dehumidifier running constantly.  So given the environmental conditions above is there a better time of year to install hardwood flooring?
Title: Re: Is there a "best" time of year to install hardwood flooring?
Post by: Just Me on January 22, 2011, 08:40:37 AM
Yes, right now......

I like to frame in the summer and finish in the winter for the best, longest lasting fits. If you do it in the summer mid winter you will have gaps. Doing it in winter make sure you leave a nice gap around the edges, especially across the grain as it will swell in the summer. If it is too tight it will hit the wall and one of two things will happen. It will buckle, or I have seen it push outside walls that were not fastened very well.

 The gap depends on the width of the room. If you have a long narrow room try to run it with the cross grain across the shortest distance. At doorways you have to allow for movement with a sill that covers the gap, again especially doors on the cross grain side.The gap needed as I said depends on the size, but I like to leave at least 3/4" in an average size room.
Title: Re: Is there a "best" time of year to install hardwood flooring?
Post by: red oaks lumber on January 22, 2011, 09:04:32 AM
if you are  burning wood in the house you need to run a humidifier. to dry is as bad as to moist
Title: Re: Is there a "best" time of year to install hardwood flooring?
Post by: woodmills1 on January 23, 2011, 11:54:07 PM
air dried flooring   hmmmmmm

likes winter install


likes to be on stickers for as long a possible inside before install

side note

I cut a truck floor for a ford flatbed the was probably put in way too soon
it swelled and buckeled right up next year.
new truck new floor  maybe buckeled up 3 or 4 inches


probaly no gap on the install
Title: Re: Is there a "best" time of year to install hardwood flooring?
Post by: rph816 on January 24, 2011, 02:25:26 PM
air dried flooring is a tricky proposition.  I am increasingly skeptical of most moisture meters.  Going from 12-6% in just a couple weeks is almost kiln-like performance.  I installed some air-dried flooring in my house last march/april and am disappointed to report quite a bit of shrinkage.  I think I'm only upset because the floor was SOOOO tight when I installed it, it looked flawless.  Looking (critically) at other people's hardwood, I'm realizing that it's not that bad (although I do have a couple gaps that are creeping up on 3/64" (I can't bring myself to say 1/16").  I haven't been all that pleased with my finish so I'm planning on "screening" and putting a couple extra coats on next month.  I'm hoping that will help conceal some of the gaps.  The narrower your planks the less visable gapping will be (BTW).  My planks are 3".  Best of luck.

Just FYI, my lumber was testing 11% after about 6 weeks stickered in the house.

Ryan
Title: Re: Is there a "best" time of year to install hardwood flooring?
Post by: red oaks lumber on January 24, 2011, 06:18:32 PM
11% is way to wet to install  needs to be around 6-8%
Title: Re: Is there a "best" time of year to install hardwood flooring?
Post by: SwampDonkey on January 24, 2011, 07:00:57 PM
air dried flooring is a tricky proposition.  I am increasingly skeptical of most moisture meters.  Going from 12-6% in just a couple weeks is almost kiln-like performance.

I think he had his lumber drying for a time and just happened to be 2 weeks ago he checked the MC%. A little bit of a difference. ;)

Best way to test it is have some sacrificial pieces in with the lot and dry one once in awhile fully in the oven after weighing first before putting it in. Then weigh when done drying. It's done drying when the weight don't change any more. Difference in start weight and dried weight divide by dried weight is the MC%.