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5" wide hardwood flooring, any problems with cupping?

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5" wide hardwood flooring, any problems with cupping?

Old 02-14-2014, 03:38 PM
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Default 5" wide hardwood flooring, any problems with cupping?

Getting rid of my carpet in my living room and going to a 3/4 hardwood. Bruce flooring, 5 inch wide solid hickory. I found it at Lowes but they are out of stock till May 2014. Bummer. I found the right color, width, look, etc. that my wife wants and loves, and they are out of stock

I been around to a few places locally, but they don't sell anything that wide in a color that my wife and I like, and I want a prefinished, nail down floor. Can't deal with the click of any engineered or floating products, I've put a few of those down and hated walking on them.

Went on Bruce's website and found another dealer, who has no problems getting the material in 7-10 days ( for $.50/sqft more), but did warn me about Bruce not honoring warranties on 5 in wide planks that show cupping issues. (width wise because of humidity). He'll still sell it, was just warning me about it. Course he also said 4" wide has no problems

Yes it gets humid here in NC during the summer, but it's in my living room, which is second story with HVAC conditioned rooms underneath it. The subfloor is 3/4 particle with no insulation in it. I run the AC all summer, and usually a dehumidifier, which keeps the humidity down in the 50-60 range, both down and upstairs, so there is no temp break or moisture on one side of the flooring and conditioned space on the otherside.

Anybody ever install 5" wide nailed down solid flooring and had cupping issues in the summer months here on the east coast?
Old 02-14-2014, 03:45 PM
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A good friend of mine just ran into this. 5" oak, installed by pros this spring, cupping like crazy. First floor, over a vapor barriered crawlspace. Wood even had the slatted back to prevent cupping.

Wood acclimated for 5 days prior to install. Location, mount pleasant, sc.

Good luck, its a risky proposition. I never would say its risky til I saw this guys floor. I've run plenty of 5" heart pine and number two pine floors, never Had any problems.
Old 02-14-2014, 03:51 PM
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Hickory in general is twisty curly wood . The wider the plank the more movement with all species . The most stable cut is quarter sawn lumber . That cut does not really cup . Hickory is sharp looking no doubt , I did a few hundred sq ft pre finished it is fine . The reason wood cups is growth rings shrink the long way so the further out you go the more they shorten . wood always cups away from the center or hart do to the ring length .
Old 02-14-2014, 03:52 PM
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Hickory will also beat the hell out of your saw blades and any other tools you use it on. Very hard wood.

But it wears like iron, and is a very attractive flooring choice.
Old 02-14-2014, 03:54 PM
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We glued and nailed our random width white oak. And double screwed / plugged the ends.
Old 02-14-2014, 03:55 PM
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Few contractors want to do the right prep work to make that flooring work.

With that... I'm not certain that I would do it based on your subfloor, insulation, and geographic location. Particle board is terrible for moisture as it is.

If you are determined. I'd insulate the area below. I'd get rid of the particle board and do ply subflooring... and then learn about an underlayment called Aquabar "B" (it's great stuff).

I'd also get a subscription to the hardwood flooring forum and pick their brains.

I'm not saying it can't be done... but it isn't going to be easy to do it right and not have to worry about it.

I'm certain a fellow THT'er will be along shortly that knows way more than I do.
Old 02-14-2014, 04:04 PM
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Remember guys, it's on a second story floor, with a conditioned space underneath of it also, I am not installing this on grade or below grade.
Old 02-14-2014, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by outerbanxer View Post
Remember guys, it's on a second story floor, with a conditioned space underneath of it also, I am not installing this on grade or below grade.
Are you thinking glue + nails?
Old 02-14-2014, 04:10 PM
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I never go beyond 3 1/4" just for the cupping issue.
Old 02-14-2014, 04:24 PM
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First I'm not a big fan off vapor barrier under any wood floor just plain felt. Second most cupping on wood floors is not completely moisture related in a sense. When installing any wood floor wether it be pre finished or not it has to be spaced. Unfinished floor every fifth run gets spaced with a nickel. pre finished every fifth with a dime. Most cupping is from a floor laid to tight.
Old 02-14-2014, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cedarholm View Post
Are you thinking glue + nails?
No nail down only, I'll glue the bottom side of the butt end's to prevent squeaks.
Old 02-14-2014, 04:27 PM
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What causes cupping? MOISTURE! If moisture is trapped underneath the board, the bottom swells and the edges cup UP. It is imperative to keep the bottom of the flooring dry. Plastic vapor barrier, whatever. Glue won't help.
Old 02-14-2014, 05:17 PM
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I installed my 5" hardwood flooring 5 years ago and no issues so far. It's 3/4" thick tongue and groove nailed down by 2" cleats every 8" or so. I also put tar paper underneath.
Old 02-14-2014, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by DotRotten View Post
First I'm not a big fan off vapor barrier under any wood floor just plain felt. Second most cupping on wood floors is not completely moisture related in a sense. When installing any wood floor wether it be pre finished or not it has to be spaced. Unfinished floor every fifth run gets spaced with a nickel. pre finished every fifth with a dime. Most cupping is from a floor laid to tight.
When you say space it, can you be more specific on technique? In order to run perpendicular to the floor joists I'm gonna have a lot of "runs" for my room layout. This is all tongue and groove 3/4 solid, I'll pull the baseboards and install new after the floor goes down.
Old 02-14-2014, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
What causes cupping? MOISTURE! If moisture is trapped underneath the board, the bottom swells and the edges cup UP. It is imperative to keep the bottom of the flooring dry. Plastic vapor barrier, whatever. Glue won't help.
Yes and no. Moisture barrier for when laying floor over damp crawl or basement but even that is suspect when you pierce that barrier with a thousand nails. Two things cause cupping both moisture related. first when humidity is not equal on top and bottom. This is were I find moisture barrier to be the problem. second is as I stated above that the flooring is laid to tight (not spaced) If you put two pieces of flooring together you will notice they will be tight on top but will have at least 1/32nd gap on bottom. When a floor expands(summer) it has no were to go but to push edges up(cupping).
Old 02-14-2014, 05:44 PM
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He means stick a nickel into the slot in between the tounge and groove. A dime for unfinished. This creates a gap, which allows for expansion.

I have a crown joint in my house where two 16' boards come together. I sanded it out perfect (no I didn't biscuit join it I know) and it looks great all summer when its humid and hot. Winter comes, air dries out, gap is 1/8"! When it rains, it snugs back up.

My wife couldn't understand it, she asked if I fixed it last time it rained. Of course I said yes, she was all. Sorts of confused the next morning.
Old 02-14-2014, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by outerbanxer View Post
When you say space it, can you be more specific on technique? In order to run perpendicular to the floor joists I'm gonna have a lot of "runs" for my room layout. This is all tongue and groove 3/4 solid, I'll pull the baseboards and install new after the floor goes down.
What was stated below. but for pre finished use a dime or old scraps of formica. It seems wrong and I guarantee you will be nervous for at least a week but it is the way it has to be done.
Old 02-14-2014, 05:53 PM
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Roger that.
Old 02-14-2014, 06:00 PM
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Now i've given you some good advice if you have ant bft reports down there shoot me a pm got a boat down there just waiting for fish and weather. haha.
Old 02-14-2014, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DotRotten View Post
Now i've given you some good advice if you have ant bft reports down there shoot me a pm got a boat down there just waiting for fish and weather. haha.
And roger that also...If the fish show up that flooring is gonna lay right on the living room floor in the box for another week.

We usually don't see them in catchable numbers till march, so I got a few weeks. They should be here from march 15th till the 30th. Usually that's when it quits blowing a gale also

We've got the Contender on standby also, I've been given strict instructions to get a 250lb'er this year from the wife.

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