Installing flooring in the cold - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-20-2016, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Installing flooring in the cold

Knowing it's not a good idea, but have an insistent client whom is aware of what could happen. Wants me to install about 600 sq of 3/4" maple. The temps are in the 40's in his seasonal camp. I've got about 7/8" on either wall side to work with(gap). But my question is should I gap each plank as well? The hummidity is about 38%. Are there any other precautions I could take?
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-20-2016, 07:40 AM
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I wouldn't leave gaps between the flooring. The important thing is that you have the flooring in the building and has accumulated to the weather for a week or more. The low humidity is in your favor. That will affect the flooring more than the temperature will.
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-20-2016, 09:15 AM
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agreed that the humidity will have much more affect than the temp. if you leave an intentional gap between boards, it will be there next winter. we're talking solid hardwood.

when installing in summer (high humidity) I nail the boards tight. I know the boards will be narrower the rest of the year.

when installing in winter, I nail boards looser, and leave extra space on the sides for expansion (min 1/2 - 5/8") otherwise it will buckle up.

a camp atmosphere will may be a game changer.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-20-2016, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Timpa- what do you mean by nail the boards loosely? Not pull as tight? Hence a gap?Yes solid wood. I've got 7/8"(1.75" total) on both side edges and will leave that as the gap.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-20-2016, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNYWOODS View Post
Timpa- what do you mean by nail the boards loosely? Not pull as tight? Hence a gap?Yes solid wood. I've got 7/8"(1.75" total) on both side edges and will leave that as the gap.

when laying the next course, I typically tap it in many times, and wedge when necessary to get the tightest fit. not so ocd in a winter lay. probably only amounts to 5 thousand of an inch.... but it will close by April/May

but if you can keep that much play on the sides, you may not need to worry that much. how wide is room? if each board expands a little, that obviously accumulates to significant amounts on the sides - 1/4", 3/8" 1/2" etc. problem is that those outside boards have to move a lot, and tend to pull up on the nails.

Last edited by TimPa; 01-20-2016 at 02:22 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-20-2016, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Large room is 22'. Rest are 12'.
Ok I gotcha:)
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-20-2016, 02:34 PM
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is camp heated all winter, a/c in summer? will also play a role in how much movement happens.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-20-2016, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Only heat a couple weeks out of winter(. But not this one as we are doing complete remodel). No a/c to my knowledge. But it is on the beach and does get quite warm . I do have some space heaters and fire those up to work, but he doesn't want wood stove lit or any unattended flame.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-20-2016, 03:48 PM
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Boy, that is a risky install---maple flooring expands and contracts more than oak---

I was on a job (very poorly run) and the floor was laid in an unheated house---once the heat was hooked up the floor shrink and had huge gaps----I don't know what happened after that--

Contractor was a flake so I finished what I needed to and moved on----------
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-20-2016, 10:12 PM
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If the house is heated and will remain so throughout the year no big deal, if it isn't (owned by snowbirds) and cold till April or May then you may want to keep the area at ambient temp throughout the install. Then light up the furnace and have it sealed/finished a couple 3 weeks before the house is normally opened up for the season.

Work smart not hard!
Never bite the hand that looks dirty
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-20-2016, 11:01 PM
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Just don't do what the flooring guy did in my parents house and mix a piece of ash in the middle of the room full of maple flooring.
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