Will Solid Hardwood Floors Expand?
Will solid hardwood floors expand?
Yes, those who work with wood understand that solid wood floors will expand more across the face of the board (its width) than the board ends (its length).
When installing large rooms during very dry seasons or regions of the country installers will often create a series of built-in expansions about 1/16" with a technique called a *"Dime row".
This procedure employs dimes or washer spacers to be inserted every 12" in-between the top tongue edge part of one complete row. Repeat every 10 or 20 rows, after installation these dimes are pulled out. This "built-in" center spacing will allow larger floors needed stress points. The total flooring will settle-in as it normally expands and contracts with the indoor humidity. Ideally this range is between 30%-50% humidity and temperatures of 60˚- 80˚. In time these expansions will even out.
Keep in mind to provide an adequate perimeter expansion for wood floor products. This gap this is normally the thickness of the floor you're installing. For example when installing a 3/4" thick floor use a 3/4" gap, for a 1/2" thick floor use a 1/2" gap. This gap is very important for the performance of your floor. It not only provides room for expansion but also helps to prevent any side-wicking of moisture into your new flooring.
*Always consult your professional installer for his guidance as to established procedures for your region of the country.
Technical & Installation