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Old 11-11-2010, 11:28 AM   #1
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acclamating pine tongue and groove

we are installing pine t &g on our ceiling in our new home addition. My question is : we are installing it before there is heat in the addition and eventually it will have heat ( in about a month) so it will be installed without heat and then eventually become a heated area will this be okay?


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Old 11-11-2010, 12:52 PM   #2
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Seal each piece on the face, the back and butter the ends before installation.


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Old 11-11-2010, 03:35 PM   #3
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Wood is not sensitive to temperature, it is the relative humidity that causes it to change dimensionally. You can read all about the effect of relative humidity on wood dimensions at the Forest Products Laboratory website, I downloaded a lengthy, technical article on the subject from them.

The point is that your wood is going to shrink in the winter in a heated space because the relative humidity is low, and expand in the summer, especially if you do not air condition the space. How much it changes in dimension depends on the moisture content of the wood when you put it in, and the swings in relative humidity in your house. Dimensional changes can be slowed by sealing, but they cannot be stopped. If you install your T&G in the winter with too small a gap between the boards, come summer the boards will expand across the grain, and buckle your ceiling.

The real trick is determining the moisture content of the wood, since if it is green (MC > 20 percent) it is going to dry and shrink considerably. The best way to determine the moisture content of wood is with a moisture meter, they cost somewhere north of $50. If the wood is kiln dried, you don't need a moisture meter, the wood will be down around 6 percent MC, unless it has been sitting around in unconditioned space for a while. If the wood is air dried, it will not be below about 12 percent MC, unless you live in the desert.

So the short answer is you can install the wood now if it is dry, if it is green it has to dry first, else you are going to have all sorts of problems with cracking and checking. If dry, allow adequate expansion space between boards, see the Forest Products articles to determine just how much expansion is needed for your species of wood.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:12 PM   #4
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When I do flooring and need to acclimatize wood quickly, it gets stacked and stickered then covered with a plastic tarp having the tarp open at both ends.
A small heater/fan blows 'warm' air into the pile for several days.
Short of cutting off a body part, the worst that can happen in woodworking is manufacturing really nice looking kindling. --- Quoted from lenaitch
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