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Old 10-17-2015, 01:49 PM   #1
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installing hardwood - gaps


Hi all,

Im installing 3 1/4 white oak (select) flooring i got from lumber liquidators. I'm a newb when it comes to that but it seems to me that there is always gaps no matter how hard I pound the wood together.

I tried to select longer pieces at first and i snapped a line that I nailed the first row to.

The issue I am running into that I end up with tiny little gaps where the wood isnt perfectly straight, to add to the aggravation the first row seems to be moving a bit if I pound on the wood too hard.

Any tips? maybe I should be using smaller pieces?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, Thanks!

Tom
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Old 10-17-2015, 07:44 PM   #2
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Are you top nailing with a regular pneumatic nail gun? Better IMO to use a toe nailer which sinks the staples into the board at a 45 degree angle along the spine of each board. You can rent them usually at big box. the cleats/staples pull the board toward the previous row and it's a hell of a lot faster and cleaner looking too. Also, if you haven't acclimated the wood to the area before installing, the wood will expand/contract and cause gaps. They say you should let the wood sit in the house uninstalled for a month beforehand. But a lot of people say a lot of things, so take that for what it's worth

Gaps happen though and almost every installer I knew would go through with wood filler (matched in color to specific type of wood) and fill the gaps before sanding the floor and coating

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Old 10-18-2015, 07:32 PM   #3
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The first few boards were done by face/blind nailing them since I couldnt get my toe nailer in there. It seems my wood isnt perfect, I watched a few videos and it seems like most prefinished pieces are much straighter then my unfinished oak.

I did let the floor sit in the house for a few months (been kinda lazy haha).

I think the key is not to use all long pieces, if you use the shorter ones in between the long ones they even out the variation in the longer pieces. I watched a few videos and it seems my gaps are fairly normal. There was one specific video i found on facetube, that seems is pretty awesome. Those guys seem to have a good amount of tips and their wood layout seems flawless. Old school guys too.

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Old 10-18-2015, 08:38 PM   #4
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You have some wide boards--Some bending back to straight can be done with 2 1/2" stock--but not with that 3 1/2" material----when you run into a curved board--cut it in half and use it as a start and end board----

You may need to use filler before sanding---
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:53 PM   #5
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since you let the flooring acclimate for 2 months, has the indoor humidity been kept in check for that time? MFGs usually suggest indoor RH of 30 - 50 all year.
Just thinking maybe your indoor RH has been high thru the summer and raised the moisture content of the wood causing a little extra warping.

Can you post some pics,

in any case, I wouldn't fight with badly warped pcs, toss them aside or try to use by cutting as suggested
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:04 PM   #6
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I had a batch of on-sale wood like that a few years ago. I would nail one end tight and at the other end hand hammer a scrap up against it into the floor with the nails not all the way in, and then hammer cedar wedges into the gap to force the piece into place, then use the air nailer on it. Remove scrap and repeat.
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Old 10-18-2015, 11:07 PM   #7
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Reminds me of a floor i helped install years ago.. We had several boards that we pried the gaps out of... Can't recall exactly how we did it... But took two of us.. On to force it tight and the other to nail it..
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:30 AM   #8
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quick word of caution, if you have to pry too hard on a warped board to bring it in, good possibility you will also be lifting the previous board.
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