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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I'm putting some Eastern pine flooring down in a couple of weeks and the boards will be delivered tomorrow. I'd like to get it in the house to acclimate as for as long as possible.

My question is: should I sticker the boards or is just letting them rest on each other good enough. They will be inside for the better part of two weeks before I finish and install them.

What do you think?
 

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How wide are the boards? Pine is going to shrink a lot once the heat is on. You will have open joints if you don't let it dry before installing, the wider the boards, the bigger the cracks. Even worse if you have in the floor radiant heat. Your only chance of minimizing the cracks is to stack the boards with 3/4" or thicker stickers, turn the heat up, have fans blowing on the pile, then rotate the pile several times over the next two or three weeks. Use a moisture meter and look for 7-9%. You are in luck with white pine since it's winter, humidity is low and the heat is on. Don't be anxious to put the floor down if the MC is too high. Be meticulous in stacking the stock, nice and neat, full air circulation. stickers in a straight row up and down about 16" apart. It won't completely eliminate cracks between the boards but it will greatly reduce them. If you are using something like 1x8 you will be sorry if it's not very dry first. You will have cracks 1/8" to 1/4" between every board. I've seen it many times.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks! The boards are 12", and I am expecting some gaps - although I'd like to minimize them. We've got the same floors throughout our house and they are beautiful but when they were initially installed, I think they were put down wet as we have a min. 1/8 gap with every board.

I don't actually mind the way that looks, but upstairs there are some 3/8+ gaps that are not as "rustic" :)

What about cupping, should that be a concern? They will be face nailed every 16", cut nails, 3/board. They are also straight edge boards, not shiplap.

I'll get out in the shop and cut up a bunch of stickers this am.

Thanks again!
 

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Yeah, I would definitely sticker that and let it sit for at least two weeks. Preferably more like a month if it was going in my house. The gaps would drive me absolutely bananas lol

I was working with a few walnut slabs a couple months ago. I jointed and planed both slabs, and then stacked them on a bench for later use. I did not sticker them, and in a matter of just a few days the top slab had cupped because it was losing moisture from the top but no air could get to the bottom surface. I flipped the top slab over and let it sit for a day or two until it straightened itself out again, and then I stickered them and have had no problems since. Bottom line here is that wide boards will move, and like Hammer noted above, that pine will shrink like crazy if it's not very dry already.

As far as the nails go, I really couldn't say as I've never tried to nail down wide plank flooring before. I have installed 12 inch wide reclaimed Heartpine flooring once in the past. I screwed the boards in place. Each screw was countersunk first with a 3/8 inch Forstner bit and then plugged with walnut flush plugs, 3 screws across the width of each plank. If I recall correctly I think the spacing was more like 24". I would have preferred to plug them with plugs made of the same species, but the customer liked the contrasting look.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks BZ.

They are stored in a non-climate controlled building at the lumber yard, so not very dry. They will be sitting for a good two weeks, and i've got a little fan I'll point at them and I'll rearrange the stacks every few days.

I'll get some pics up when they're done.
 

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Cupping can be a problem. It's more a matter of the characteristics of the board. Boards can twist and bow, too. It's up to the installer to be selective, choosing the best face, cutting the warp out of some pieces while discarding boards that shouldn't be used. Just because a board is in the pile, doesn't mean you have to use it on the floor, if it looks unsuitable. Expect some waste, how much will depend on the quality of the load, grading as well as the moisture content. If edges don't fit tightly, you aren't going to bend a 1x12". Being a builder from the Pine Tree State, I've done a lot with white pine. I have a written waiver that customers have to sign regarding shrinkage. Pretty much says I can't be held responsible for inevitable shrinkage, worse with the width of the boards. I put it in writing because people don't hear what you say, and they will be calling about cracks later on.

Were your other floors 12" and were they face nailed with the cut nails? Did you have the floors sanded? Cut nails are much harder than ordinary nails. They have a black coating. If the heads aren't countersunk and contact the sander, paper can get ripped and the heads of the nails brightened. Plugging can be a ton of work depending on the size of the room. Taking up that type of installation is a nightmare. Plugs can fall out and it seems like a bit much for a soft floor like pine, that will be somewhat rustic with age.

I would get a couple larger fans. You have to take a random board from the pile and cut it to expose the center, which is where you take moisture readings. Make sure to take a reading at the start for comparison. Keep acclimating until you continuously get the lowest reading, then cross your fingers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yikes! There is a lot more to it than I thought. Yes, the boards in the rest of the house are 12" and nailed with cut nails. The room and hall I'm installing these in add up to 304 sq. ft. so I ordered about 80 sq. ft extra for waste.

The floors were here when we moved in but I assume they were sanded before they were stained. If I have issues with the boards, I can always get more (the yard is a few miles from my house). Problem being, they won't be dried.

As I was typing that I had a thought; I'll just head down to the yard today and get 5 or 6 more boards. That will give me 160 ft extra. That way if there is a ton of cupping or warps I'll have plenty extra to choose from that have been on site. I can return the rest.
 

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I would sticker them and put some weight on top of the piles.Let sit as long as you can.The pine your buying now is not near as stable as what was installed in the house origianally.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The wood was much drier than I expected when it arrived, but it's stacked, stickered and fanned… now we wait.
 
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