Home & Garden

The OFFICIAL Hardwood Flooring Thread

Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
9476 posts
1161 upvotes
So this is new to me but I noticed that the hardwood floors shrunk a bit I think. I can see in between some pieces into the subfloor. This is on the 3rd floor of the townhome. 5 in solid hardwood.

Is it because it is too dry?

We already have the humidifier going and obviously cannot increase it too much given how cold it is.

Do I just wait until summer comes and hope it expands again?
Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2017
505 posts
392 upvotes
speedyforme wrote:
Jan 21st, 2019 7:52 am
So this is new to me but I noticed that the hardwood floors shrunk a bit I think. I can see in between some pieces into the subfloor. This is on the 3rd floor of the townhome. 5 in solid hardwood.

Is it because it is too dry?

We already have the humidifier going and obviously cannot increase it too much given how cold it is.

Do I just wait until summer comes and hope it expands again?
Hardwood will expand and shrink as humidity goes up and down. It absorbs water. If your humidity has dropped significantly, then your hardwood will shrink too.

A part of normal shrinking and expanding you're likely okay, within a reasonable humidity range (say 35-55%). If you get below that then the shrinking can be significant, and you risk warping the boards (or cracking them). If above that, then swelling can warp the boards as well (and is more likely to warp them than low humidity, because it presses boards against each other). Same reason why you don't mop hardwood floors with water (or worse, steam) - a light misting of hardwood cleaner at most.

Try to jack up the humidifier a bit to see if you're able to get humidity up a bit without any major side effects.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
9476 posts
1161 upvotes
grumble wrote:
Jan 21st, 2019 1:11 pm
Hardwood will expand and shrink as humidity goes up and down. It absorbs water. If your humidity has dropped significantly, then your hardwood will shrink too.

A part of normal shrinking and expanding you're likely okay, within a reasonable humidity range (say 35-55%). If you get below that then the shrinking can be significant, and you risk warping the boards (or cracking them). If above that, then swelling can warp the boards as well (and is more likely to warp them than low humidity, because it presses boards against each other). Same reason why you don't mop hardwood floors with water (or worse, steam) - a light misting of hardwood cleaner at most.

Try to jack up the humidifier a bit to see if you're able to get humidity up a bit without any major side effects.
Right now I am running on 40 and no change so far for the past 2 weeks.
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 17, 2005
10903 posts
1325 upvotes
Brampton
speedyforme wrote:
Jan 21st, 2019 7:52 am
So this is new to me but I noticed that the hardwood floors shrunk a bit I think. I can see in between some pieces into the subfloor. This is on the 3rd floor of the townhome. 5 in solid hardwood.

Is it because it is too dry?

We already have the humidifier going and obviously cannot increase it too much given how cold it is.

Do I just wait until summer comes and hope it expands again?
No you can't wait until summer. Sometimes shrunk boards will not go back to the original state. If it's happening more on the top floor, get a portable humidifier just for that floor. But in the meantime get a hygrometer for each floor so you know what the humidity is. You shouldn't be able to see the subfloor, it's probably the unfinished tongue.

And this is one of the reasons nothing wider than 4" is recommended in solid! Engineered only especially in 5".
The OFFICIAL Hardwood Flooring Thread
Voted RFD "Most Helpful Thread of 2012"
__________________________________________________
If I helped in any way, please click the UpVote button or UpVote my Thread(s) :)
Deal Fanatic
Dec 11, 2008
9476 posts
1161 upvotes
patrob wrote:
Jan 24th, 2019 11:10 pm
No you can't wait until summer. Sometimes shrunk boards will not go back to the original state. If it's happening more on the top floor, get a portable humidifier just for that floor. But in the meantime get a hygrometer for each floor so you know what the humidity is. You shouldn't be able to see the subfloor, it's probably the unfinished tongue.

And this is one of the reasons nothing wider than 4" is recommended in solid! Engineered only especially in 5".
Thanks, you are right. It's the unfinished tongue.

We've had the humidifier on that floor for weeks now, no change to the flooring sadly :(

It's not extreme but my husband who looks more carefully noticed it weeks ago so...
Member
User avatar
Oct 25, 2005
201 posts
1 upvote
Scarborough
Hi,

Been reading and reading and reading....great thread, but my eyes are just getting tired and thought I'd just ask. Replacing carpet with hardwood floor on ground floor and 2nd floor (nailed in). What kind of (if any) underlayment do you recommend? Thanks.
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 17, 2005
10903 posts
1325 upvotes
Brampton
speedyforme wrote:
Jan 25th, 2019 7:18 am
Thanks, you are right. It's the unfinished tongue.

We've had the humidifier on that floor for weeks now, no change to the flooring sadly :(

It's not extreme but my husband who looks more carefully noticed it weeks ago so...
What is the RH reading on that level? Even though you have a humidifier, in the heating season you will notice a lot more separation/gaps between boards.
The OFFICIAL Hardwood Flooring Thread
Voted RFD "Most Helpful Thread of 2012"
__________________________________________________
If I helped in any way, please click the UpVote button or UpVote my Thread(s) :)
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 17, 2005
10903 posts
1325 upvotes
Brampton
Corrupted Monk wrote:
Jan 30th, 2019 11:53 pm
Hi,

Been reading and reading and reading....great thread, but my eyes are just getting tired and thought I'd just ask. Replacing carpet with hardwood floor on ground floor and 2nd floor (nailed in). What kind of (if any) underlayment do you recommend? Thanks.
None. Wax paper only to make your installation easier.
The OFFICIAL Hardwood Flooring Thread
Voted RFD "Most Helpful Thread of 2012"
__________________________________________________
If I helped in any way, please click the UpVote button or UpVote my Thread(s) :)
Deal Addict
May 9, 2006
1490 posts
173 upvotes
Hello @patrob, we currently have carpet and will be replacing w/ engineered hardwood flooring. Contractor told us that hardwood floor we picked is 3/4 inch, which is 1/4 inch higher than the top stair nosing. He either needs to raise the top stair nosing, or he can make a small slope when joining the hardwood floor with the top case nosing. I am not sure if I explained this properly. Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 17, 2005
10903 posts
1325 upvotes
Brampton
umlowcn wrote:
Feb 2nd, 2019 12:53 am
Hello @patrob, we currently have carpet and will be replacing w/ engineered hardwood flooring. Contractor told us that hardwood floor we picked is 3/4 inch, which is 1/4 inch higher than the top stair nosing. He either needs to raise the top stair nosing, or he can make a small slope when joining the hardwood floor with the top case nosing. I am not sure if I explained this properly. Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
It's always better to have flat surface at the point of step down (for safety reasons) so I recommend to raise the nosing. Depending on the nosing how big, how long it is, etc. you could slope it at the railing part and cut and raise the part at the step down.
The OFFICIAL Hardwood Flooring Thread
Voted RFD "Most Helpful Thread of 2012"
__________________________________________________
If I helped in any way, please click the UpVote button or UpVote my Thread(s) :)
Deal Addict
May 9, 2006
1490 posts
173 upvotes
patrob wrote:
Feb 2nd, 2019 11:46 pm
It's always better to have flat surface at the point of step down (for safety reasons) so I recommend to raise the nosing. Depending on the nosing how big, how long it is, etc. you could slope it at the railing part and cut and raise the part at the step down.
Thanks @patrob. Looks like this contractor is giving good recommendations. I have another contractor coming for estimates next week, want to see if he will give good recommendations or better.

I am also wondering if you have referrals for good installers? I live in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Thanks in advance.
Penalty Box
Apr 24, 2018
564 posts
33 upvotes
Can anyone recommend someone to do my condo floors?
Sr. Member
Apr 10, 2012
943 posts
437 upvotes
I can't decide between vinyl planks or laminate for condominium floors (~700 sq. ft.) . Any insight would be much appreciated.
Newbie
User avatar
Feb 6, 2011
18 posts
2 upvotes
Ottawa, On
Anyone can convince me not to install Torlys everwood series on the whole main floor? (LVP)

Beside the home resale value, wouldnt this be a great floor option for pets?
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Apr 17, 2005
10903 posts
1325 upvotes
Brampton
umlowcn wrote:
Feb 3rd, 2019 11:45 am
Thanks @patrob. Looks like this contractor is giving good recommendations. I have another contractor coming for estimates next week, want to see if he will give good recommendations or better.

I am also wondering if you have referrals for good installers? I live in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Thanks in advance.
The best way to do it is to remove the railing and raise the nosing to the height of the wood throughout. But honestly most homeowners don't want to pay for that. Try Homestars if you need more installer recommendations, I don't have one at this time.
The OFFICIAL Hardwood Flooring Thread
Voted RFD "Most Helpful Thread of 2012"
__________________________________________________
If I helped in any way, please click the UpVote button or UpVote my Thread(s) :)

Top