How to install hardwood flooring the wrong way?

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If you have installed hardwood what mistakes have you made? The hardwood I am installing is the 3/4 inch thick type, about 2-3 inches wide, oak and maple mostly, finished type.
I am installing hardwood flooring for my customers. There is a big demand for it here, as many people want me to replace their carpets with hardwood. I have being reading books and now work with a professional installer but there is nothing like learning from mistakes.
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I'm hardly an expert, but I would say a mistake would be to not make sure the paying customer understands that humidity related shrinkage gaps are to be expected. Maybe a mockup showing what it will look like in the winter is in order.
Is ississauga related to Mississauga?

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-> I'm hardly an expert, but I would say a mistake would be to not make sure -> the paying customer understands that humidity related shrinkage gaps are to -> be expected. Maybe a mockup showing what it will look like in the winter is -> in order. Or maybe it should be installed in the winter? Or would that lead to buckling in the summer?
--
8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail)
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AL said:

Or take the opportunity to sell them a furnace humidifier as well. It has worked wonders for our house and furniture, and an added benefit is that you are less susceptible to colds. FWIW,
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote in message

The key to avoiding seasonal shrinkage is, as said above, moisture content. Buy it from a supplier where you know it hasn't been sitting around picking up moisture in warehouses or conatainers. If it's dried right, there should be no problems. If the supplier says this is normal...go somewhere else.
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Is such 3/4" thick flooring like this tongue and groove, or just straight sided? Do you use those hammer type floor nailers? I'd think Oak would be pretty hard to do with those big flat floor nails.
John "gots a lot of rough sawn oak and a carpet that needs replacing"
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JohnT. wrote:

Yes (normally) _________________

That or one using air _________________

Not if you avoid the Bostich nailer and use the Porta Nailer one...it has a ratchet that holds the ram down until the nail (serrated cleat, actually) is totally seated. That means you can whack it more than once; with the Bostich, one whack is all you get, terrible tool.
-- dadiOH _____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.0... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico ____________________________
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I rented a pnuematic flooring stapler that required the big hammer swing. It helps tighten up the wood as you are nailing. I have used the old fashion non power assisted where you wack the heck out of the nailer. The pnuematic assist is much easier but you still get a workout.
All the flooring in my limited flooring experience has be tongue and groove where you nail into the top of the tongue. Or iis it the top of the groove. If you have a hardwood flooring supply house nearby they have installation guides.

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The furnace humidifier is a good idea. When I did my floor, I did 2000 Sq Ft over a couple of weeks. I stacked the wood in the room for six weeks prior to the job, but I neglected to put spacers between layers. Oops. The first 1500 ft went well, but for the last 500 ft I got sloppy and ended up with a lot of cracks. I'm not sure if it was humidity in those bottom layers in the stack, or if it was just careless work on the home stretch. Those cracks are a constant reminder for me that I can do better if I have another chance. The power staplers save effort and make a good job. I put decorative inlays around the stair landings, really nice effect. We put hardwood in the kitchen and around a toilet, not the greatest idea but it worked out ok. I wouldn't do that again. I found a videotape of how to do hardwood floors, sold over the internet, and found that really useful.
Dave

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My mistake was to use the wrong fasteners, get a proper flooring installation tool and my experience would be to recommend staples. There are 2 or 3 brands of flooring staplers available out there.
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If you can, stack the wood in the house with air spaces between boards for a week or so to acclimate to the moisture conditions in the house. I had some freshly kiln dried flooring buckle after I installed it acclimated to the house.

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You read instructions that state to allow the wood to acclimate. My house had no AC when it was being built. The AC or heat has been running post installation and finishing for the last 6 years. The humidity was 60-80% when the flooring was installed and the temp was 10-20 degrees warmer. The wood may never see those conditions again. In an existing house the acclimation to the environement is possible.
That said if you go into Atlanta houses that have hardwood installed back in the 1940s and 50s you see lots of gaps now. I suspect that has something to do with AC installed in the 80s and 90s. My parent's house built about 1900 in Cleveland Ohio had pretty tight flooring. We never had AC and the hot water radiators had humidifying trays on them. My frugal Dad rarely had the heat set above 68 so the house did not dry out the way things can here in the south with AC.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.comremove (SteveC1280) wrote:

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Use a vapor barrier below the floor, especially over basement/crawl space. If there's a crawl space, put plastic on the ground there too. Wilson

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I hope you don't mean directly under the hardwood. I wouldn't want a vapor barrier between the hardwood and the subfloor. The usual thing is to use rosin paper between the hardwood and the subfloor.
-al sung
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a basement slab is not a sub floor... untreaded wood against concrete with no vapor barrier rots
Phil Scott

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Uhm.. How many concrete slabs have a crawlspace beneath them?
: )
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ississauga wrote:

Assure that your first courses are dead straight and very firmly fastened.
-- dadiOH _____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.0... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico ____________________________
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On 15 Sep 2004 19:42:18 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (ississauga) wrote:

Not really a mistake, but remove the base trim before installing the flooring, unlike all the TV experts I've seen. A piece of 1/4 round chunked onto the last board looks tacky to me.
Build in the time to remove and re-install the trim, or maybe upsell them to a nice oak trim that matches the flooring. Either way, yank the old stuff.
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:

A-men!
JSH
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I prefer to do both, remove the base and install the 1/4 round. I like a three piece base, consisting of a flat board, the 1/4 round, and a moulded trim on top of the flat piece. In some rooms, the flat board looks great if it's 6-8 inches tall.
Barry
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