Should I give couple of weeks for wood (installed over concrete) to expand before finishing?

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Q: I am in the process of installing hardwood floor with 3/4 plywood nailed down to concrete and 3/4 red oak stapled on. I have been running the heater at 80 degrees for past 10 days. How long should I wait before I start the finishing process such as sand, stain and seal?

I was told that, I should give couple of weeks for the wood to expand before finishing it.

A: I hope you checked the concrete for moisture seepage first, and that you had the hardwood on site, in the area to be installed for a week or more to allow it to adjust to the climate of the space. If you did these things there shouldn’t be appreciable expansion.

If the basement is not really dry then you are going to have a problem. No hardwood manufacturer will warranty solid wood installed below grade.

Stains and coatings will also likely be slow drying also regardless of how hot the air in the room is because the concrete slab is cold and that transfers up into the flooring.

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