I'm a lurker and occasional poster here. In a few days I'm having
some maple hardwood flooring installed as part of a remodel. I'm a
bit concerned about the moisture content of the flooring going in, due
1) My experience with the GC handling this work shows that he is prone
to shortcuts and sloppy work,
2) The hardwood was very recently manufactured (the product was
backordered from the manufacturer, and is being shipped to me as soon
as it is ready),
3) The floor is being installed the day after it arrives in my house,
i/e. no in-house acclimatization.
Because of this, I'd like to check the MC (moisture content) before I
give the OK to install it. Trouble is, I have no moisture meter (I
rarely need one: Wood generally sits around my shop for at least a
year before I get around to starting the project I bought it for!)
I'm wondering if anyone is aware of any place in the Portland, OR area
which rents these, or failing this, if there is a RCW'er who could
loan/rent me one for a day? (Please don't suggest I 'buy' one locally
and return it next day, I wouldn't feel right about that.)
Thanks for any help,
Forest Grove, OR
The flooring's moisture content has to be acclimatized for your home. A
moisture reading would give you a figure, but what would the number mean?
Check the flooring manufacture's web site, or contact them, to see what
their instructions call for. Failure to follow the installation
instruction may negate the warranty.
Personally, if the GC insists on installing the flooring without letting
it equalize, I'd dump the GC and find a new one.
Buffalo, NY - USA
I wouldn't allow a contractor to install the flooring without letting it
acclimate for a good long time. Even if you check the moisture content, it
will still adjust to the house and move a bit. Get a new contractor is this
Frank <--- Jealous of your soon to be floor
I guess I don't understand. If the average relative humidity of my
home is such that the equilibrium water content of maple is, say, 8%,
and I measure the flooring and it comes out right at 8%, then what
will acclimatization accomplish? If coincidentally it's already at,
or near, equilibrium, it should be good to go...
A couple of points to consider. The RH will change from day to day and the
RH of your house may be far different that the ambient. If you heat or cool
your home, it will be different than the RH of ambient even with temperature
correction. Hot air furnace will give your home a lower RH than other heat,
AC will reduce it artificially also. Ten kids taking showers every day will
raise it more than one old man taking a bath on Saturday night. You'll do
better with a hygrometer in the house to see what you have.
The moisture content for equilibrium changes every day. There may be
seasonal swings that are greater, such as dryness in winter and very humid
in summer (depending on location) You can have a piece of wood in your shop
that is just perfect, but 6 hours later, it is way out of spec in your
I buy dried wood and have not considered checking mc. If I was drying wood
myself, I'd use a meter to see if it is down where it should be. I don't
know if it truly would make much difference at 7.75% or 8.25%, but I'm sure
it would at 15%.
And the there is thermal expansion. If the product was stored and shipped
at 65 to 75 degrees, it may not be a big deal, but if it was on the road in
a 15 degree trailer, I'd be sure to wait a day or two to use it.
The Mannington engineered flooring I recently installed was in agreement
with this in their instructions.
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