Home Repair

Installing prefinished Bruce 3/4 oak flooring

This topic is available here on The Repair-Place forum
I just purchased 1400 sf of Bruce 3/4" prefinished oak flooring and have several questions.

1)In reviewing the instructions on DIYnet.com, the recommended spacing around the perimeter for expansion is 3/8", however the instructions that come with the flooring specify 3/4". This is a 30 yr old house. The 3/8" clearance is no problem since the base molding is 1/2"; however 3/4" would require I undercut the drywall and in some cases I would run into drywall nails; wondering if the 3/4" is really necessary I called Bruce and was told that if I didn't honor the 3/4" and there was any warping the warranty would be void. What's your opinion. What is done in the real world. I have a hard time understanding how the flooring can move much at all with the heavy cletes used to nail it down, especially in a house as old as mine. I will be applying the flooring using a Porta-Nailer which includes a shoe for face nailing.

2) Bruce recommends an acryllic filler for the face nails. Would I need to put any varnish over the filler?

3) How sensitive is the finish on the flooring to water brought in by a wet sheepdog?
Floring does move quite a bit. Prefinished or site sanded and finished, it will expand and contract with weather seasons. If Bruce said to leave 3/4" expansion around the edges I would do that. You don't want to have some sort of problem later on and then find out they won't do anything because you decided to leave less. I normally leave about 1/2" in the driest part of the winter, and about 1/4" in the middle of the summer. But if the room is large then more space may be required. You could always put a shoe molding around the edges. but remember to attach it to the baseboard ONLY so the floor can move.

Just fill the face nail holes and then leave them.

Most of the prefinished flooring is fairly resistant to water from shoes / dogs. My hallway is prefinished oak and has held up very well for the 6 years it has been there (knocking on wood).
Thanks, Guru.

I've pretty much decided to follow the 3/4" recommendations, which will mean buying or renting a cutoff saw for door jams and drywall that is less than 3/4" from floor; also in hallway where panelling has been installed over drywall, but flush to the floor. One installer told me of an instance where flooring was installed in a rather expansive area in a old mill building being rehabbed for apartments and upon expansion the floor literally "exploded" with such a bang that emergency personnel
responded looking for a bomb.
I would have guessed that the floor was a free floater if they wanted that much expansion room.


Questions to Webmaster