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Old 04-06-2009, 09:13 AM   #1
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Installing unfinished wood


I installed 4" planks of unfinished walnut this weekend. We used a pneumatic nailer to install. I came across a site that said "wide planked wood" needed to be top nailed to prevent cupping. Is this always necessary?


Last edited by trudolph; 04-06-2009 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:28 AM   #2
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Installing unfinished wood


Each floor should have installation instructions. I would follow what the manufacturer says. If the flooring didn't come with instructions, contact them online for guidance.
When you post online it helps to specify the details of the flooring. Who made it? Wood species? Thickness of the flooring? Type of flooring? Engineered? Solid wood? Etc... This way people can refrain from giving you information that isn't relevant to your installation.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:41 PM   #3
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Installing unfinished wood


It also depends on where you reside. Some areas(high moisture) are more prone to cupping than others. Top nailing 4 or 5" plank is not that common. It would be best to check what you have underneath to mitigate any potential issues that may rise. In other words a dry basement or well ventilated and covered crawlspace etc. Cupping is caused by moisture intrusion from below.

I'm assuming you're dealing with one or the other when 4" unfinished Walnut is mentioned.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:47 AM   #4
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Installing unfinished wood


Thank you very much for your help. I have one more question...Do you think a large oscalating sander is safe for someone without any experience to use to sand unfinished wood? I cant afford to pay the going rate to have a professional come in and sand and finish the floor. I have thought about minimizing the risk of mistakes by using a small hand sander...but know that will take FOREVER. Any thoughts or advice?
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:21 AM   #5
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Installing unfinished wood


I have extensive experience installing but when it comes to finishing I don't even have the confidence to tackle the job even if it were my own home. Using the type of sander you mention could also take forever depending on how much material has to be removed to get a smooth uniform surface throughout.

I'd hate to see you destroy a beautiful Walnut floor. Oh maybe not destroy, but take twice the work to fix. Personally speaking, sanding floors is not a DIY project though many will lead you to believe so.

Sorry that's not the answer you wanted to hear.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:56 PM   #6
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Installing unfinished wood


I have never worked with Walnut before, but depending how the floor layed the sander you mentioned may be an option. If it is fairly level as you rub your hand arcross only feeling slight differences from board to board. I just laid 1100 sq ft of 2 1/4 oak flooring. It was graded as select/better. Installed with Pneumatic stapler. It installed pretty evenly. I got an EZ sander from Menards. I bypassed the 36 grit and just used the 50 and 80 grits with the orbital sander. actually my 14 yr old did most of the sanding. very easy to use...SLOW but Easy. Vacuum works good too. The sandpaper gets pricey. $5 for 3 discs. 3 discs lasted about 150-200 sq ft. My floors arent quite finished but very presentable.
more can be seen at
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:31 AM   #7
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Well I stand corrected but would have to be a little concerned with swirl marks left while using 50 grit paper. Maybe I'm a perfectionist and it's more in the eyes of the beholder. Nice looking job!
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:06 AM   #8
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Installing unfinished wood


Quote:
Originally Posted by HardwoodGuy View Post
I have extensive experience installing but when it comes to finishing I don't even have the confidence to tackle the job even if it were my own home. Using the type of sander you mention could also take forever depending on how much material has to be removed to get a smooth uniform surface throughout.

I'd hate to see you destroy a beautiful Walnut floor. Oh maybe not destroy, but take twice the work to fix. Personally speaking, sanding floors is not a DIY project though many will lead you to believe so.

Sorry that's not the answer you wanted to hear.
I don't think that's true. There are sanders you can use that are far easier to use then the pros, belt floor sanders. Varathane used to rent these floor orbital sanders that were about 14-16" square the did a very good job. They were slower then the belt sanders, but were far more forgiving in the, "use" department. Home Depot used to have displays in their stores and rent them. Now they have Rental Stores that do it.
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Old 04-16-2009, 05:53 PM   #9
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Installing unfinished wood


Thank you very much for all of the feedback. I am going to rent a varathane from Lowe's I have not talked to several people that have used them. One more question though. I just bought the polyurithane today(oil based). I hear it may tint the floor a honey color. Do you think this will make the walnut look funny?
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Old 04-16-2009, 07:17 PM   #10
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Installing unfinished wood


we just did a job with 4,5 and 6" wide walnut planks with T&G and as per manufacturers request, we glued and pinned it down. Came out great with a Blood wood border detail.

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