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Author Topic: Wide plank flooring  (Read 7633 times)

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Offline TexasTimbers

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Wide plank flooring
« on: June 08, 2007, 07:20:30 PM »
I read a little in the archives but should have done so well before now because I have nbeen cutting walnut all afternoon and now I am edging.  I have between 10" and 12" wide 4/4 lumber on the walnut. Flat sawn. Is there a limit to how wide I should go? This stuff I cut today will fill up the rest of the kiln. I will bring it down to whatever it will get down to - hopefully 6%-7% then stack it in the house for a couple weeks be fore I lay it. Still, for walnut, and also qurtersawn red oak, is there a limit to how wide I ought to limit the planks. I guess the wider, the bigger the craks over the years no matter how dry I get it?
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2007, 10:02:01 PM »
Kevin, read this string on woodweb.  Read it all the way through - it has some great info.

If I ever install wide plank flooring, I plan to glue it down.

Scott

http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/GluedDown_Wide_Pine_Flooring.html
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Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2007, 10:11:02 AM »
It's a good article. I realized once I started reading it that i had read it before some months ago but it was worth another read. My question now is, do you think the thickness of my flooring will overcome the glue bond? They are going to be 3/4" after planing. Someone else asked that in the article but no one answered it.
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline solidwoods

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2007, 06:54:28 AM »
7%mc is fine.
Width can be anything you wish .
I've seen 24" wide floorboards that are fine.
Be sure the wood is dry and fully aclimated to the house, if you could dry the wood and wait a few months before machining it ,, that would let any last minute stress happen first,, then machine.  But in theory cool out of the kiln is supposed to be ready to go.

Wide boards and cracks are not related, any board could crack because of the same reasons:  It had an end crack to begin with, curved grain on the end, stress in the wood, the board tried to move but was restricted, uneven subfloor.

The only prob with wide is if it cups up a little in the middle, then walking on the middle could crack it easier then a narrower board.

Gluing down would restrict the movement and could contribute to cracking.

The woodweb article was a hoot,, plane 1 side?  uneven?  Pine not so good in a high traffic area (my houses 1890 floors are white pine and they are still there)
Why do people try to do things different than the tried and true methods?

jim
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Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2007, 12:21:11 PM »
It's hard to decide what to belive sometimes. On the pine flooring, todays fast growing 1/8"+ wide grwoth rings vs the old growth pine where you could have 5 rings in an 1/8" is the difference there. I have some SYP 2" x 12" that came out of a 1895 built building on our square and the growth rings are so tight it ain't funny. You catually need to squint your eyes to distinguish some of them. Then, the advanced generation Loblolly that the Texas Forest Service planted on my MIL place 25 years ago that i now harvest - geez you can instert your fingernail into the end grain and get a splinter practically. That old growth pine is not going to dent with anything less than a ball peen hammer.

As fara as gluing the stuff down i just do not know where to align myself. There are people who say they have done it years ago and are not having problems. There are people saying "the wood will wreck itself" but these people have never done it. It's a hard choiuce to make. I want the real w-i-d-e plank stuff but if I glue it down it need to be a glue that has some elasticity in my mind. The wood is going to move, glued ot not. My opinion is that if the glue will move with the wood a little and the wood does not move much anyway, it will work. If the floor ever gets wet or sonething I think that's where the crisis begins. But if I get the wood down to 7% MC and the house stays conditioned from now on, why would the wood move to the point of breaking the glue bond?
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline TW

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2007, 02:56:05 PM »
Old north European method of wide board flooring:
The oldtimers always made the floorboards at least 1 1/2 inch thick after planing. They used spruce or sometimes pine. The edges were doveled together and the floor was not nailed to the beams at all. Then the entire floor could be driven together when it schrunk. Theese floors are not everlasting but 200 yers is not too uncommon, but I think that is close to the limit. The boards could be hugely wide. They were usually taper sawn in order to use the logs efficiently.. Sometimes there is a groove and spline joint instead of dovels.

To me 3/4 inch floorboards sound very thin and fragile.

Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2007, 03:17:49 PM »
Then you are probably horrified by the thought of 3/8"   "thick" mateiral, as am I. :o 
I am okay with 3/4" on top of 1 1/8" Sturdi Floor, which is what my sub flooring is.
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2007, 05:57:04 PM »
kevjay,

Are you planning to sand the floor in place, or presand then install?  The flooring in our house is certainly not wide, but it has a microbevel on it the masks any slight shrinkage gaps.  If you have a stationary sander to run the boards through, that may save you quite a bit of work in the end.
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2007, 07:43:02 PM »
Move'n on.

Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2007, 10:23:33 AM »
spinner, I have a drum sander (in the form of a Woodmaster 725) I am going to run them through.

I had thought about putting a slight v-groove but just can't make myslef like that. i am going to T&G and instead of centering it I plan to drop them a little below center to give more sanding life over the years although it is probably unnecessary.

Thanks for the link SD I will study up on that product line. Looks like the D-317 is just what the donk doc ordered. ;D
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline Kelvin

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2007, 09:01:03 PM »
Hmmm.... maybe i'm missing something but flooring is made 3" wide plainsawn for a reason.  To minimize expansion cracks.  If you have a house that has really good climate control and doesn't swing in humidity, then you can install and forget about it.  However, most houses are dry in the winter heating season and wet in the summer.  Unless you are in a desert area.  My house trim goes from 6% or less MC in the winter to 10%+ MC in summer.  There are charts that tell you exactly how much you specific lumber will shrink and contract in any given humidity changes.  12" wide walnut i would guess would shrink and expand about 1/4" or more between 4% MC change, so if each board were nailed, glued tight in the middle, you will have at least 1/4" gaps opening and closing over the seasons.  If you have glued it, it will break the glue, unless is stretchy, than it will stretch, which i don't know how that helps.  quarter sawn lumber can be made into wider flooring, and i've used up to 8" in true QS without much seasonal gaps.  My 5" wide maple floors open up about 1/8" in the winter. 
Average your MC when you install as if its dry when down tight, it will crush the fibers when it swells seasonally, then go back to having gaps when it drys.  You can't fight mother nature.  Unless you use veneer on plywood, which is what some flooring companies are doing to make wide planks.  You can always use wide plank floors, just how much gap can you live with?  I wouldn't go over 5" with plainsawn lumber, and up to 8" with good QS.  You can QS the walnut as well.
Also if you use polyurathane it will act as a glue when you seal your floor.  Some boards will stick together and some will seperate worse b/c of it.  I have some 1/4" gaps b/c of this tendency. 
Just some things to think about. 
Kelvin

Offline metalspinner

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2007, 09:44:31 AM »
It also helps to know the MC of your inside wood stuff in the middle of winter after your furnace has been going a while.  Last winter I checked a few pieces around the house  - computer desk, coffee table near fireplace, cabinet door in bedroom - and surpisingly I was between 9% and 11%.  I should have checked my flooring, but didn't think to do that. :-\  This sunmmer I will go around and check those same pieces to see the differential. With all that info plus the species specifix expansion charts that  Kelvin mentioned you may be able to predict what will happen.

Bruce Hoadley's book has those species expansion charts in them I believe.
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline scgargoyle

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2007, 05:49:26 PM »
Is there any benefit (or harm!) from finishing the bottom of the flooring prior to installing it? I would think if it was well sealed on all sides, it should react more slowly to humidity extremes.
I hope my ship comes in before the dock rots!

Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2007, 07:08:03 PM »
scargolye, to me that makes sense, unless it is a known fact that it is unecessary then of course it is a waste of time and money. But I think "known facts" are not so well known. You can ready as many different opinions on something as people who give them.

In the end I think you have to weigh the info you have gathered and make the best decision you can and see what happens.

I don't have to finalize my decision yet because i am not laying the flooring yet. I may rip the wide stuff down into thinner strips and I may just lay 'em down and see what happens. If they wreck, I can always lay carpet over it or have my boys tear it out and try again. It won't be the end of the world either if I have a few gaps.

Most of what I have read about wide plank flooring seems plausibale, both the pros and the cons, so it's maybe a toss up at best.

The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline scgargoyle

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2007, 10:52:17 AM »
It would seem to me that once you got the moisture content down where you want it, if you thoroughly sealed the planks, esp. the end grain, that it should stay pretty stable. I would lay out the flooring, all cut to length and everything, then seal it up good, and apply finish coats on top once it was nailed down. I'm thinking wide native oak from my property, no T&G, nailed down w/ square nails like in the good ole days. The house I grew up in was 200 y/o, and the wide planks had been 'caulked' with manila rope over the years!
I hope my ship comes in before the dock rots!

Offline gharlan

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2007, 02:51:35 PM »
Thought I would wade in with my two cents worth .
I am afraid I can not see any benefit to trying to seal all edges. There is always going to be some areas that would not be sealed well and allow it to absorb moisture. There by defeating all your extra labor and expense.
 Kevjay I see that you are going over a wood subfloor. Be sure to presand all edges of the plywood before install to prevent the floor from telegraphing through. If the seams are just a little puckered you will be able to see every sheet even through 3/4 inch material. now the glue to glue the floor down is very expensive. I allow .50 per sq foot for the adhesive. I prefer a 1/4x1/4 trowel to spread the glue as this helps compensate for any low areas in the floor to give good adhesive bond. To use the glue you will need a #100 roller to roll the floor down good after the adhesive has tacked. I would suggest the latex glues vs the petroleum ones. They give a longer work time and are easier to spread. Alot of the petroleum ones are like spreading dried cement--very difficult. To get your glue find a C&C carpet supply. They are a wholesale chain but will probably sell to you. I know there are some in the dallas area.
 I have had good luck installing over wood using a small amount of carpenters glue to tie to the floor and then the flooring stapler. The stapler alone seems to leave to much movement in the floor and creates squeeks. I have a pneumatic floor stapler if you need to use it as well as a 100 pound roller. I am unsere if the stapler would work though as it is made to work off of a centered tounge and grove.
 One idea to help alleviate the wide plank movement may be to simply cavity the back in several areas. this should help create a movement place besides the edges.
Whenever I do a glue down floor i always start in the middle of the room. I get a perfectly straight line and glue down a couple of pieces to it and quit. After it is set i do the rest. This solid straight center gives me a place to push and pull to,to keep my floor straight and tight. Now if you use the glue keep the excess cleaned as you go. Getting dried glue off after it is dried is not a fun job.---good luck--gary

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2007, 11:59:24 PM »
We try to cut our plank flooring as wide as possible. I usually don't get to make much over 18" due to log sizes available however. I don't get involved in the installation, but I am told that it is being butted and nailed. I don't know about being glued. After installation it is then sanded. I personally like a floor with character, which is why I like the wide plank floors the best. I cut the boards 5/4 and we plane both sides and end up with a full inch when we are done. In a timber frame, I would be tempted to have a much thicker floor and skip the sub flooring, just let it be the ceiling of the room below. If you are selling the flooring, have price breaks setup by width, i.e. <12" 12"-18" >18" etc.

Once in a while I get lucky and get a nice log in that yields some nice boards, 24" white pine:

 


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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2007, 09:37:08 PM »
if you nail the wide planks seal the back or it will cup from one side being sealed and one not sealed. a friend has a nice mahogany 8"-10" wide board floor that is a wash board because they didn't seal the back of the flooring. if you glue the uerethane glue is a moisture barrier so it will seal the back. plywood is nothing more than wide planks glued together one more layer of wood is not going to cause it to explode. just my 2 cents worth.

Offline Handy Andy

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2007, 12:18:53 AM »
  I read on woodweb about glueing the flooring together.  About half the groove, skipping.  They said causes the flooring to hold together and not gap when it gets dry. But some guys tore up a floor glued like that, and the glue had stuck the flooring to the subfloor, and it took the top ply off the subfloor when they took it up.  Don't know why you would remove hardwood, but I have done it once, to install a bathroom in a former sunroom.  Crazy rich people.
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Offline cantcutter

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Re: Wide plank flooring
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2007, 05:15:07 PM »
We laid 1x12 beech down about 12 years ago in our house. We glued, screwed and then put plugs in over the screws to make it look like it was pegged. All that was done in the winter when the gas heat was running. The second winter we fired up the wood stove and it sounded like guns going off as the floor split apart. the following spring it closed right back up and you could not even tell it was split. In the winter the floor would open back up again and just had some added character.


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