Engineered Wide Flooring Expansion in Winter

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thapranksta

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I've started installing engineered maple that is 5" wide. I am using the nail down with glue assist method recommended for wide flooring pieces. My question is since I am installing my flooring in the winter time and it is mostly contracted, do I need to install it with an intended gap between the flooring pieces. I'm already accounting for the perimeter with a minimum of 1/4'' gap.

I am concerned about buckling in the summer time. I have already installed the first row and the space between the flooring on that row is pretty tight. Hopefully I don't have to rip that up because I doubt I can salvage it since glued and nailed.

Side note but due to very low temperatures recently, I purchased a humidifier to try to get as close to the manufacturers recommended relative humidity range between 35 and 55%.
 

nealtw

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Engineered is plywood base so it should be very stable and if you are on top of a plywood subfloor, you might expect them to expand and contract at the same rate and move together. I have seen it put down with glue only and I saw no bad effects for the 8 years friends lived in the house.
They paid no attention to humidity in the house so I don't know what effects that had or didn't have on it.
 

Steve123

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I have installed 4" engineered glue down in my home a few times. One time in December (plan was October, but stuff happens). Most important is that flooring is well acclimated to the house. Right or wrong, I also tried to keep the humidity up before and during installation. I have been able to detect no dimensional changes whatsoever, during the year. For example, I have one spot that I can check --- board must have been bowed a bit and I can see about a .010" gap between boards in that that spot. Its .010" in winter, its .010" in spring, its .010" in summer, and its .010" in autumn. Certainly no buckling. Engineered is very stable.
 

thapranksta

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That is certainly very comforting to hear! Sub floor is Advantech OSB btw. Going to try to keep the humidity high enough before and during installation because it's in the instruction manual.
 

Steve123

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Just don't make a quick change to your home's humidity level. You can probably hike the air humidity in a day. But how long before the sub-floor is acclimated to the new humidity level? I don't really know the answer to that. You don't want the flooring at the new, higher moisture level, and the subfloor still at the old, dryer moisture level.

By the way, one hint that I found useful. Nail some scrap 1/4" boards against one side wall. Then you automatically have the gap, plus, you can push against it when laying the flooring. You want to push against the flooring boards (i.e sideways) to ensure the gap between boards is closed, but you don't want to lose the 1/4" gap to the wall.
 
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joecaption

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What does the directions say about the gap needed?
No matter what anyone says here there is no warranty if it's installed wrong according to the manufacture .
 

thapranksta

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Manufacturer says allow 1/4'' expansion space for nail-down installation. That's the only explicit note on spacing.
 

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