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Floorboards Expanding When Heat is Turned On

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Pat in North Carolina has an unusual situation going on with the flooring. Tell us about it.

    PAT: Yes, my house is about six years old and I have natural wood floors. And everything was fine when I moved in and the first year I moved in I put the heat on and I seem to get an opening between the boards that are over the joists.

    TOM: Yep.

    PAT: The floor joists.

    TOM: Yeah.

    PAT: And they go away as soon as spring comes around and it warms up and I shut the heat off. And all the other boards are fine; just every 12 feet, where there’s a floor joist underneath the plywood – evidently, I don’t know what causes it but I can stand a nickel up inside of those cracks there over the floor joists.

    TOM: And that’s bugging the heck out of you, isn’t it? (chuckles)

    PAT: Yeah, everybody’s telling me, “Well, try to plane down the …” I wouldn’t know how to go about going to plane it down.

    TOM: No, I mean look; what’s happening here is normally, as the boards expand and contract, they kind of open and close equally and if that was divided up among the scope of the boards, that wouldn’t happen. But in this case, you happen to have some strategic loose boards there every 10 or 12 feet apart, so it’s showing up all in one space.

    I don’t really feel like it’s worth doing anything about it. I think it’s completely natural. I don’t think having a gap the size of a nickel is going to be looked at as a defect. So, if it was me, I’d probably just live with it.

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