tounge and groove wood floor


Hi one more question for you… I am planing some old 5 inch tx FIR planks that were in my basement (they had paint on them) and will use them as a floor in the kitchen. If I run the tongues and grooves through the edger/jointer I get a much nicer joint and it cleans up the edges, but it makes the tongue considerably smaller, and doesn’t have the rounded edge on it anymore. It is a beautiful fit afterword, I am only concerned about the size of the tongue. Is this a problem to make the t & g smaller? Will I run in to problems in the future? Thanks Ben Ross, first time old house owner


Dear Ben

Don’t make those tongues any smaller or at least try to keep them to no less than 1/4″. The reason for this is that when these wide boars shrink seasonally they will need all this leeway in order that the next board’s edge groove won’t start popping up. Yes, these floors can easily have 1/4″ gaps between them after a humid summer followed by a long dry heating season. Just hand scrape the tongues clean.

Be sure to read my article in the hardwood Authority section on Plank Floor, about the proper subfloor requirements for this wide floor, and the fastening schedule. Don’t treat this like a strip floor, you will regret it. If you live in a damp climate with a crawl space under the floor, consider applying one coat of poly on the under side of the planks.

This floor sadly will not hold up well in a kitchen. But if you must, apply at least 5 coats of an oil modified poly on it and expect to recoat the floor every 2-4 years. Fir is not fairly moisture stable, but dents and edge splinters easily. Be sure to have the floor sanded by a pro, but do the finishing yourself. I like using the Fabulon brand heavy duty pro poly.

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As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.