Wide plank flooring and cold, dry winters

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: I would like to know if wide plank flooring would be suitable in the Edmonton, Alberta region, with its cold, dry winters. I am afraid of shrinkage problems (gaps and cracking and warping), but I really like the traditional look of the wide plank. Any advice?

A: To have a successful floor installation, especially in climate extremes, is to acclimate the flooring to the home environment for about a week before installation. Then, when all is sanded and finished, try and maintain an even humidity level, which will prevent, limit and reduce shrinkage or expansion.

A word of caution: the wider the board, the more susceptible it is to expand and contract with accompanying gaps. I have a story from years back when I was working with another fellow. We were installing a 3/4 X 2 1/4 floor in a house on the edge of Scarborough Bluffs, with Lake Ontario facing us. We just took the wood in the house, nailed it down and sanded, stained and finished it within a few days. In 2 weeks the owner called us back because the floor had cupped. We had failed to let the wood adjust to its new environment before installing it. It was obviously dryer than the new environment, and after we installed it nice and tight, it absorbed moisture from the lake and expanded.

Original / moved link https://faceliftfloors.com/q-and-a/wideplank.php

Multiple gaps running the length of the planks

Q: We purchased a new home in January (2 ft. of snow on ground!) The house had just had 3/4 inch thick x 5 inch wide oak pre-finished micro edge hardwood installed in an open floor plan: living room, dining area, kitchen and family room. This installation is above grade on plywood main floor, but with an unfinished basement below it (which is below grade and has a concrete floor). Continue reading Multiple gaps running the length of the planks

Backsplit house/crawl space/humidity issues when considering hardwood

Q: We live in Ontario Canada and have a back split house in which we are thinking seriously about installing hardwood in the living room and dining room. The house was built is the mid 1970’s and it has that amber coloured mahogany trim incl. around door frames. The furniture in the house is french provincial. The only hardwood we could find that compliments the woodwork and furnishings is hickory (the stain the company uses really enhances the wood an brings in the colours in the rooms). Continue reading Backsplit house/crawl space/humidity issues when considering hardwood

What is the minimum temperature wood floors are safe at, that we can have our thermostat set at (when away)?

Q: We have a home in NC that we do not live in during the winter months. There are hardwood floors throughout the home. We do not want to pay high heating bills since the house is empty, but we also do not want to compromise the floors. What is the lowest safe temperature that we can have our thermostat set at / minimum temperature wood floors can take? Continue reading What is the minimum temperature wood floors are safe at, that we can have our thermostat set at (when away)?

Humidity and wood floors

Q: I recently moved into a newly built log home in Northeast Ohio. I have hickory floors. The floors were put down in the dead of winter (January) and the humidity in my house was very low. By May I was having a problem with the floor, wavy in some areas and actually buckling in one room. For the last two weeks I have been running dehumidifiers, ceiling fans, and the air conditioner to try and bring the humidity down, but it almost seems like the waviness is getting worse not better. Continue reading Humidity and wood floors

Could drought be causing the popping in my floors?

Q: My hardwood floors have developed a lot of popping/cracking sounds in recent weeks/months. I just saw on Weather Channel that people’s foundations and brick walls have been damaged from drought, and my state has had the worst drought in the nation for months. Could drought be causing the popping in my floors? Continue reading Could drought be causing the popping in my floors?

Turning off the heat when away during winter?

Q: We go away in the winter. I have ash floors and would like to turn off the heat while away. I live in NH and the house could get down to 30 degrees. Would turning off heat affect my floors? I have been leaving the heat on 60 degrees in previous years and there is some shrinking, but the floors expand in the summer with no problems. Continue reading Turning off the heat when away during winter?

Checking concrete floor for moisture

Q: I just purchased a small 2 bedroom home that has carpeting over a concrete floor. We are at ground level and want to lay hardwood flooring. What actions do we need to take prior to the installation to steer clear of moisture damage? Do we just lay some sort of moisture barrier or do we have to lay plywood? Continue reading Checking concrete floor for moisture

Planks developing a ridge, lengthwise

Q: 11 Months ago I had an engineered hardwood floor installed in a high rise condo. After 3-4 months I noted each plank developing a ridge lengthwise, and today it is quite pronounced. It can be felt underfoot. I have called the manufacturer. The rep came and did tests. He said it may be from the air being too dry although my barometer said 30%. Continue reading Planks developing a ridge, lengthwise