Installing salvaged maple flooring

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: I’ve got some dry, ¾ x 2 ½ inch salvaged maple flooring from an old school stage, and I was wondering what is the best way to install it.  Some of the tongue and grooves are damaged. Do I need to biscuit join these together or are they usable?

A: You can rent a manual nailer that shoots 2″ nails. I have a manual one, but it got retired for emergency only after I purchased a pneumatic version. Much easier on the arm! If the bottom part of the groove is broken off, you can save those pieces for finishing off near the walls, where you would have to face nail anyway. A bit of glue would also be a good idea for these boards. Similarly, as long as all the tongue is not missing over the entire length of the board, you should be able to use it normally.

I must tell you, however, that with reclaimed wood, the sanding is going to be a rough ride, and is best left to a professional. The floor will be very uneven after it is installed and maple is generally quite hard.

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Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: I am installing maple hardwood that I salvaged a year ago. It seems that the moisture content is at 12% since we have had a wet year. I brought the wood into the house and now I am wondering how long it will take to dry to a desirable level. Also, is there anything I can do to speed the process?

A: I would set the wood in the rooms where it is going to be installed and let it sit for a week or 2. Preferably, if by chance you have to put on the heat, don’t stack it near the heat source in case you dry it out too much before installing it. I would think that in a couple of weeks it should be okay.

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