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Old 06-28-2010, 03:21 PM   #1
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Can I open the window at night if have solid hardwood floor installed


My house is in west Pennsylvania. I've been working on installing Bruce 3/4 solid hardwood floor on the first floor by myself. Underneath are walk out basement and garage. I have a dehumidifier in basement to keep the humidity at 60%. The installation is good so far. My wife has the habit of opening window in summer when the outside is cool. She set the AC to a high temperature actually AC will stop working. Then the cool air come in. I know in this situation the humidity can reach over 75% or even 80% late at night in damp weather. My 3-1/4" oak planks were acclimated in this environment. I just have nailed down 2/3 of the first room. This early morning my humidity meter showed 85%. Gush! I closed the window immediately and set the AC temperature. The humidity dropped below 70% very quickly. Normally we close all windows and set the AC temperature to normal before we leave the house to work.
It looks like my wife will not change her habit after I install the hardwood floor. But my deep concern is will opening windows at night cause my wood floor cupping? My guess is 50-50 of chance. I hope the excessive moisture woods get from night will evaporate after the temperature outside is rising and AC start running. If this can still cause cupping I'll persuade my wife to close window at least in damp weather. But I'm not clear. Can someone give help?

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Old 06-28-2010, 10:08 PM   #2
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Can I open the window at night if have solid hardwood floor installed


I am totally no expert, but I did install wood floors in my last place.
I thought cupping was when the boards expanded and they had no place else to go. I would think if you install it in worst case conditions, the worst it could do would shrink in the winter and you get some more space in between.

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Old 06-28-2010, 10:51 PM   #3
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Can I open the window at night if have solid hardwood floor installed


Cupping and buckling are two different possible problems with hardwood. Cupping occurs when one side of the wood is damper than the other. This can occur if you spill water on the floor, or if the bottom of the wood is exposed to a damp basement while the top is exposed to dry (air conditioned) air.

Because damp wood expands and dry wood shrinks, if the bottom of the wood is dryer than the top the boards cup downward (concave). If the bottom of the wood is wetter than the top, you get a convex shape (supping). Cupping takes time, typically several weeks, unless you get water directly on the lumber. Wood absorbs moisture from the air slowly, and similarly dries slowly.

Buckling is a different matter. If you fail to leave an adequate gap around the perimeter of your floor, and install during dry conditions and with dry wood, the wood is going to expand during the moist part of the year (unless you use AC all the time). Red oak typically expands about 1 percent between kiln dry and moist, which means that in a floor that is 20 feet wide, the difference in width between the driest condition in the year and the wettest is about 2 to 2-1/2 inches. This means that if you install the floor when the wood is at an average moisture content, it will expand about 1 to 1-1/4 inches in the summer, and shrink about 1-1/4 inches in the winter.

This can be accomodated by leaving a 3/4 inch gap around the perimeter, and overlapping the gap using 1-1/2 inch molding. If you want to prevent wood movement, you must air condition the house in the summer, and add moisture in the winter.

In our Massachusetts house, the difference between summer and winter moisture conditions are sufficiently great that we get a buckle in the center of our oak floor every summer, which disappears in the fall. Guess the gap is not large enough around the perimeter. Course we never air condition, and the house is dry in the winter.

Despite the buckle, the floor does not cup, because the relative humidity is the same in the basement and the upstairs, so the wood does not differentially expand.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:37 AM   #4
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Can I open the window at night if have solid hardwood floor installed


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
Cupping and buckling are two different possible problems with hardwood. Cupping occurs when one side of the wood is damper than the other. This can occur if you spill water on the floor, or if the bottom of the wood is exposed to a damp basement while the top is exposed to dry (air conditioned) air.

Because damp wood expands and dry wood shrinks, if the bottom of the wood is dryer than the top the boards cup downward (concave). If the bottom of the wood is wetter than the top, you get a convex shape (supping). Cupping takes time, typically several weeks, unless you get water directly on the lumber. Wood absorbs moisture from the air slowly, and similarly dries slowly.

Buckling is a different matter. If you fail to leave an adequate gap around the perimeter of your floor, and install during dry conditions and with dry wood, the wood is going to expand during the moist part of the year (unless you use AC all the time). Red oak typically expands about 1 percent between kiln dry and moist, which means that in a floor that is 20 feet wide, the difference in width between the driest condition in the year and the wettest is about 2 to 2-1/2 inches. This means that if you install the floor when the wood is at an average moisture content, it will expand about 1 to 1-1/4 inches in the summer, and shrink about 1-1/4 inches in the winter.

This can be accomodated by leaving a 3/4 inch gap around the perimeter, and overlapping the gap using 1-1/2 inch molding. If you want to prevent wood movement, you must air condition the house in the summer, and add moisture in the winter.

In our Massachusetts house, the difference between summer and winter moisture conditions are sufficiently great that we get a buckle in the center of our oak floor every summer, which disappears in the fall. Guess the gap is not large enough around the perimeter. Course we never air condition, and the house is dry in the winter.

Despite the buckle, the floor does not cup, because the relative humidity is the same in the basement and the upstairs, so the wood does not differentially expand.

Does this mean that if installed correctly, the OP probably has no worry?
That is what I am getting.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:12 AM   #5
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Can I open the window at night if have solid hardwood floor installed


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
Cupping and buckling are two different possible problems with hardwood. Cupping occurs when one side of the wood is damper than the other. This can occur if you spill water on the floor, or if the bottom of the wood is exposed to a damp basement while the top is exposed to dry (air conditioned) air.

Because damp wood expands and dry wood shrinks, if the bottom of the wood is dryer than the top the boards cup downward (concave). If the bottom of the wood is wetter than the top, you get a convex shape (supping). Cupping takes time, typically several weeks, unless you get water directly on the lumber. Wood absorbs moisture from the air slowly, and similarly dries slowly.

Buckling is a different matter. If you fail to leave an adequate gap around the perimeter of your floor, and install during dry conditions and with dry wood, the wood is going to expand during the moist part of the year (unless you use AC all the time). Red oak typically expands about 1 percent between kiln dry and moist, which means that in a floor that is 20 feet wide, the difference in width between the driest condition in the year and the wettest is about 2 to 2-1/2 inches. This means that if you install the floor when the wood is at an average moisture content, it will expand about 1 to 1-1/4 inches in the summer, and shrink about 1-1/4 inches in the winter.

This can be accomodated by leaving a 3/4 inch gap around the perimeter, and overlapping the gap using 1-1/2 inch molding. If you want to prevent wood movement, you must air condition the house in the summer, and add moisture in the winter.

In our Massachusetts house, the difference between summer and winter moisture conditions are sufficiently great that we get a buckle in the center of our oak floor every summer, which disappears in the fall. Guess the gap is not large enough around the perimeter. Course we never air condition, and the house is dry in the winter.

Despite the buckle, the floor does not cup, because the relative humidity is the same in the basement and the upstairs, so the wood does not differentially expand.
Thanks! This information relieve my over concern. I leave the expansion gap about 3/4" and it sounds like no big deal to open windows at night in summer. If buckle and cupping can come and go, that's no big deal either. But I'd still ask my wife to close windows in dampest weather. It's not for the floor, it's for me. That's not comfortable.
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:32 PM   #6
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Can I open the window at night if have solid hardwood floor installed


http://www.woodfloorsonline.com/tech...oodwater1.html

You did install a vapor retarder, not rosin paper over the garage: http://www.fortifiber.com/aquabar_b.html

Be safe, Gary
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:36 AM   #7
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Can I open the window at night if have solid hardwood floor installed


Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
http://www.woodfloorsonline.com/tech...oodwater1.html

You did install a vapor retarder, not rosin paper over the garage: http://www.fortifiber.com/aquabar_b.html

Be safe, Gary
The ceiling of garage was finished with dry wall panels and painting. I did #15 felt for wood floor.

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