I have a small area (approx 190 Square feet) to cover and was thinking
about going for a rustic look with some 8" wide Pine planks from the
local store. These planks are 1" thick. These are not T&G so I was
planning on butting them together and face nailing with cut nails.
I have a Biscuit Joiner that I can use between the joints.
I realize that pine is soft and I will have some separation between
Should I use the Biscuit joiner to strengthen the joints? Is it
necessary to leave an expansion gap between planks? Has anyone tried
if you get the pine to tight it will buckle up when the humidity changes.
you need to leave a .25 inch space around the walls, where it will be
covered by the baseboard also. you don't need to use a biscuit jointer. that
will only cause more problems when the floor moves with humidity changes.
shiplapped boards would work better than biscuits
I ___I I
then you don't have to worry about spills getting in the floor crevices.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of
On 31 Jul 2003 13:38:11 -0700, email@example.com (Tim) wrote:
Do NOT use the biscuits. If/when the boards shrink, the biscuits
will show... or if they are glued well enough, you'll crack the boards
themselves as they shrink. The only way I would use biscuits is if
you can do it as a "floating" floor where you glue up the whole
thing as one big sheet, then just lay it in place. Or, you could
use some pony clamps with long bars and build it in place as a large
I've laid a few pine floors. The trick is to do it with dry wood.
That means doing the job when humidity is low in your area. Butt them
up tight using wedges, a jack, or a lever system. If you are doing
it in the Winter, you can just bring them together. In the summer
with high humidity, push them very, very, hard. The gaps will also
depend on how wide the boards you use are: the wider they are, the
bigger your gaps (it's a percentage deal :-)
As an example, I did three rooms with wood from the same mill. When
installed, you could not get a piece of paper in a gap in any of
these floors. The first I did in May after a dry spring. Low
humidity. That floor is tight year round, with gaps of maybe 1/16"
in Winter in a few spots. Another floor was done in June. I was a
little better with the clamping system and I push them together really
tight. But, it was June and the humidity started to climb a little.
That floor is not too bad but has 1/8" gaps in some spots in the
Winter. The last floor I could not get to until July. We had three
weeks of hot, humid weather. I was really, really good with the
clamping system in this area as I had masonry to push the jack
against. That floor has multiple 3/16" gaps in the Winter.
The house is pretty dry. I have a dehumidifier running all the time.
The problem is, the room that I was planning on installing these planks
in is an enclosed 3 season sun room. Temperature/humidity swings are
pretty normal. Should I acclimate the wood in this room or in a drier,
humidity controlled room and then bring it into the possibly more humid
room when I'm ready to install?
Traditional pine plank floors are just pine board face-nailed down
crosswise to the (also plank) subfloor. No biscuts, splines,
or T&G. They got painted. (shock, horror). Usually ugly colors.
You can expect fairly wide cracks. Was it me, I'd store the wood
in the most humid place I could find short of the bathtub, and then
nail them in place with no spacing. As they dry out, they'll shrink.
You can minimize crack-size and cupping by using narrower planks.
I'll disagree, as I posted earlier. Unless the wood has been stored
in a very dry place for a long time, it still has some shrinking to
do. If you install in any season except Winter, make it tight - it
will only get looser. You can always run a circular saw between the
boards if you see that they've gotten too tight. THere's no
I've seen many pine floors - also poplar as well as many different types
Last summer, I ripped up (saved and currently stored) am origianl t&g
pine floor in my house (c. 1925) which was not uncommon in my area in
this era (and also knotty pine walls).
It had been stained and shellaced (same stuff as the walls).
One pass through the planer and it'll look like new.
They did however use an excessive amount of cleats!
There is nothing wrong with pine flooring. Anyone saying otherwise is
more than welcome to come check out my aged stack.
Oh, it was replaced with subflooring (which previously didn't exist!)
and t&g bamboo.
Mark from Pasadena, MD
The OP noted that he was aware how soft the floor was.
Actually, in the early days, they painted them because it was
fashionable. Paint was expensive. Painting a floor was showing off.
You can buy Southern Yellow fairly easily if you want harder pine.
Although, my one aged SWP floor does not look much different than
my Eastern White Pine floor in terms of wear. The SWP just does not
have the character though and other knotty hard pine is difficult
to find in the East.
Or, in my case, to supply additional strength due to an inferior
subfloor. Assuming that he's talking wide pine, you nail at the
edges and center, perhaps one more in 12" or greater boards. Or,
you use screws and plugs.
I think you'd find flooring quite a bit different here on the
East Coast. There are lots of old houses - or repros - with lots
of face nailed pine floors.
I go with T+G. If the stock you have isn't already milled, I use splines.
Use a router or shaper and mill a groove on all 4 sides of the board. I make
my splines out of no-void plywood. They should be a tight fit, and you
should fill all of the grooves. As the boards move (and warp), the splines
help keep the edges from rising, and keep the floor smooth. Because there
are no togues to toenail, I simply surface nail the boards.
In the event your floor *does* shrink, the splines keep the openings from
going all theway through to the subfloor (or if tehre is no subfloor into
whaever is below the pine...)
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