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Old 01-07-2010, 05:16 PM   #1
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Old hardwood floor seperating


I moved in a few months ago and I got the floor redone (sanded + varnished) and I noticed that the boards are separating. I'm thinking this is normal and has to do with the humidity level being very low, but is it really normal? I never seen newer hardwood floors do it, but they also use bigger planks, so maybe that's why?

Here is a pic of the floor: (don't mind the paw lol)


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Old 01-07-2010, 07:16 PM   #2
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How old? Is it T&G? I've got plank flooring in the older part of my house that has gaps big enough to drop a nickel from the living room into the basement.

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Old 01-07-2010, 07:26 PM   #3
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Old hardwood floor seperating


post another picture in the summer time. this is typical of wood contracting during dry times. It 'should' swell back tight in about April.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:44 PM   #4
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post another picture in the summer time. this is typical of wood contracting during dry times. It 'should' swell back tight in about April.
What he said. Yes, normal expansion/contraction. It'll swell back in the spring.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:28 PM   #5
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Old hardwood floor seperating


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post another picture in the summer time. this is typical of wood contracting during dry times. It 'should' swell back tight in about April.
That's what I figured would happen, good to know. I hear lot of crack and bangs at night, which I'm pretty sure is the floor "moving".

I'm guessing a humidifier would maybe help (there was one but took it out as it was all crusty and old) , but I don't see this as much of a big issue just wanted to make sure it's not a sign of a bigger problem!

I don't think it's T&G, but hard to tell. The house was built in 1965, and I'm pretty sure it's original. There was carpet on it at some point since there's lot of nail holes around the walls.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:00 AM   #6
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Old hardwood floor seperating


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post another picture in the summer time. this is typical of wood contracting during dry times. It 'should' swell back tight in about April.

What he said and make sure that cat is not the culprit.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:05 PM   #7
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Old hardwood floor seperating


You can be confident it's t&g. You need a humidifier during heating season and dehumidifier at other times. Not only will your floor shrink, but you'll ruin your furniture and your nose is gonna be dry when you wake.

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Old 01-09-2010, 05:47 PM   #8
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Old hardwood floor seperating


cracks and bangs at night? are you sure your house isn't haunted?
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:57 AM   #9
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Old hardwood floor seperating


I'm about to refinish some of my old hardwood floor. I need to match it to the existing floor that I have. The picture you posted looks identical in color to my existing floor. Do you recall what type of varnish/finish you used on your floor?
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:22 PM   #10
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Old hardwood floor seperating


A good oil-based finish such as Bona Kemi should give you a similar look. Stay away from water-based finish as it will not give you the amber color you are looking for.

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Old 07-08-2010, 10:38 PM   #11
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Old hardwood floor seperating


All I remember is that I went with low reflective type, as the guy who did it said if I went with high reflective, I would see all the defects. There's a bit of a reflection to it, but not enough to see defects. I don't recall the color or brand though.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:32 PM   #12
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Old hardwood floor seperating


That's why we leave a nice gap between the floor and the wall. Wood floor that are installed right up to the wall can actually push the walls around. The contractor can be liable big time.

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Old 07-12-2010, 12:48 AM   #13
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Old hardwood floor seperating


What is that duct by the cat paw? Is it heat or cooling duct in the floor? You might be getting a lot of expansion and contraction at that spot because variation in humidity. What about the other parts of the floor?

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Old 07-12-2010, 08:11 PM   #14
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Old hardwood floor seperating


That's a heating duct. Eventually cooling too once I can afford central air. There's a possibility that had an effect, maybe all the ducting played a role. I never really noticed if the cracks where consistent with ducts though. That one is just one of many that I got, but that was one of the bigger ones. Now I don't have many seperations. The ones I do have may have been there from the start. This is an older floor after all so it wont be perfect.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:24 PM   #15
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That's a heating duct. Eventually cooling too once I can afford central air. There's a possibility that had an effect, maybe all the ducting played a role. I never really noticed if the cracks where consistent with ducts though. That one is just one of many that I got, but that was one of the bigger ones. Now I don't have many seperations. The ones I do have may have been there from the start. This is an older floor after all so it wont be perfect.

The other people here probably have more experience. You are in Ontario so it is more east coast-central plus the lakes & seaways mean damper winters versus say Colorado. I bet when that heat kicks it it is very dry air. Probably lots of expansion near the duct.

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