One of the contractors, whom I think is honest, is warning me again
using Maple for my hardwood floors. He says that he's see no end of
expansion in the summer and contraction in the winter issues.
Basically, large gaps in winter. And if put in during the winter:
significant buckling during the summer. "except if you use
'engineered maple' which is a thin veneer which only allows
I have no idea. Can anyone shed any light on this?
Listen to the man. Maple is not the most stable of woods, and it's going to
move quite a
bit in response to changes in temperature and humidity. If this is a problem in
and you *must* have Maple I would suggest following the man's advice and
engineered flooring instead.
Free bad advice available here.
To reply, eat the taco.
Maple makes a beautiful floor, but does take longer to stabilize ... up
to a few years in some climates.
Acclimation, in the environment it's going to be installed in prior to
installation, is VERY important with maple; it performs better in an
environment that doesn't change much in RH; when finishing you don't
want to just throw stain on it as it blotches ... much better to use a
clear topcoat; and you better expect seasonal changes to cause gaps
during periods of low RH.
IME as a builder, if maple flooring buckles, it has been installed
improperly by not taking into account its inherent dimensional
instability ... gaps, you will most certainly have to live with even
when properly installed. You may also find you have to hide larger
expansion gaps around the perimeter with thicker baseboard and shoe
molding, which can be an additional, unplanned for expense.
Simply put, unstained maple makes a beautiful floor providing you know
what to expect and are willing to live with its vagaries for a couple of
years or so, or longer ...
Just my experience ... YMMV.
There are thousands of basketball courts all over the country which
don't seem to have such problems.
Unless it's very wide plank and/or one of the softer maples I can't
imagine it being an issue if it's installed properly (which includes
acclimatization, house already in climate-control stage, etc.).
For every one w/ a problem I'll bet there are hundreds that haven't had
As far as personal experience I know of six elementary schools, two
middle schools and two high schools here alone that have never had any
problems in from 20 to 80 years.
More than likely there was a specific problem w/ that installation that
caused a problem of that magnitude and I'd certainly not expect anything
like that in a residential installation.
It's not like there _can't_ be an issue but I'd ask for evidence they're
particularly trouble-prone before I made any issue over it as a
material. If they had been such it's unlikely they would have continued
as the floor of choice for so long for such facilities where costs are
I wouldn't "expect" it anywhere, but it does happen.
Cost isn't all that much of an issue in this application, since there
isn't much choice. However, it it were a constant problem the cost
wouldn't matter; it simply wouldn't be used. I would agree that if
it's installed properly, there is unlikely to be a problem but it
*can* happen. I'd still use it if it's what I wanted.
Did I _EVER_ say "never"???? :(
(Hint--no, never...) I simply pointed out there are oodles of maple
floors and by far the majority of them don't have such issues so it
would seem the OP's installer's premise is flawed.
I'm seeing lots of problems:yes vs problems:no, but I'm not seeing
anyone talk about local climates. Hardwood floors in CA are seldom a
problem cuz it rare gets below freezing in most of the state. I'm
sure that's not the case in MN or ME.
We have an "Engeneered" Maple floor in our master bathroom. Absolutely no
problems in the last 6 years EXCEPT where the water drips down behind the WC
from the shower curtain, if the curtain gets pushed outside the tub when
getting out of the tub. You may want to consider an Engeneered Maple hard
The veneer is about 1/8" thick.
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