Maple hardwood floors: WARNED about gaps & buckling

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Thomas G. Marshall wrote:

Central Florida...
Summers are hot. Growing hair causes profuse sweating Winters are dry enough that my skin cracks
I put solid, 3/4" x 2 1/2" maple in my wife's office room (12'x16') about ten years ago. No gaps, no buckling, no problems.
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dadiOH
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I put down 3000 sq feet a few years ago. The 2 1/4 inch wide stuff is great. However, the 4 inch stuff does expand and contract with the season. No buckling, just compression that makes each board thicker at the edges than at the center (Poisson effect). It looks bad when you view it from the side when light comes in along the board length. When viewed from straight down it looks and feels ok. I did leave expansion room at the edges, but the rooms are too wide. In addition, it can't expand because the staples hold each board in place. It can't buckle because the staples hold it down. It's really a shame because I acclimated the wood before putting it down and I put 30# felt paper under it as a vapor barrier. Any ideas? Will it ever stop?
Len
Len
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Do you have any access to birch flooring? Looks a lot like maple, is usually cheaper and my experience somewhat more stable than maple. There are literally thousands upon thousands of homes around here with birch floors. (Great Lakes area where we know a bit about humidity, although nothing compared to some of the Gulf-bordering states.)
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"A bit more stable" ? Do you have any (at all) of the buckling/gap results with birch?
The contractor is suggesting oak, but that's just a look I am deathly tired of.
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T

Your contractor might be honest .. but wrong. I grew up in a house in Chicago that my Grandfather built in 1911, and the Maple floors in there look as good today as ever. They have been sanded & refinished once that I know of. Get an installer that knows his stuff .. sounds like your contractor is unskiilled.uninformed with respect to this topic.
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And I grew up in a house in Montreal that my grandfather built in 1930. My cousin lives there now. Maple floors are as good as ever, & they have been sanded and redone a number of times.
Luigi
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On Fri, 21 Aug 2009 10:02:36 -0700 (PDT), "Thomas G. Marshall"

35 year old maple floors in my house - insignificant axpansion/shrinkage issues. I get a squeak or two in the winter if it gets too dry
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This site compares various wood floor species for hardness and stability: http://www.highlandhardwoods.com/chart.html
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Several houses in my area have 50- 80 yr old maple in kitchens, these houses are top quality, so it can be done.
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If you use the right kind of engineered wood you can refinish it lots of times.
For example here in the UK you can get 21mm thick engineered wood with T&G joints. This can be resanded as many times as solid wood with T&G joints. (eg it's the T&G joint that fails first).
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On Aug 22, 4:32pm, "Cwatters"

That's nearly an inch thick, so it /must/ be including the plywood depth. How thick is actual maple on it?
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wrote:

Yes includes the plywood. The top wear layer would be a bit more than 1/4" say 5/16". It varies from make to make. You can also get a 14 or 15mm versions. Same ratio of ply to hardwood applies - eg the wear layer is between a quarter and a third of the overall thickness. Good prefinished engineered oak can sometimes cost more than solid oak.
We installed 200 mm wide, 21mm engineered oak in our house over UFH. Came pre-finished with Osmo Polyx Hardwax oil which is easy to recoat.
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On Aug 23, 4:23pm, "Cwatters"

Was it microbeveled, or did it allow for smooth butting (without an extra sanding/refinishing)? The beveled look is just not something I like at all.
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On Aug 23, 4:23 pm, "Cwatters"

Not sure of the difference between beveled or microbeveled.
Basically most of the engineered wood I've seen here in the UK has a small bevel on the long sides and none on the ends. We butted the boards together with no sanding - they were supplied prefinished.
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