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Thread: 4 inch vs 6 inch beech flooring

  1. #1

    4 inch vs 6 inch beech flooring

    I'm still going forward with the beech flooring. Costs are about 100% more than I first thought but I hope to have flooring for less than $3/sqft.
    I have my uncle telling me that 6 inch flooring will shrink and leave gaps between the boards. I want 6 inch boards for the look of a wider board.
    Does anyone have experience making custom wood floors?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
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    1,989
    If I was using 6", I would only use rift or quarter sawn boards. Really about the only time you get the real enjoyment of wide board floors is when you are done laying it. Then you move everything in and get to see the floor between lots of furniture and accessories. Well that and when you walk down the hall. Since you don't have your location showing, it's hard to say how much the floor will move.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    5,105
    The gaps will be 50% bigger.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
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    2,154
    Look up a wood movement calculator online, plug in your species and extremes of humidity and you can see how big to expect the cracks between boards to be. You then have to decide if you're OK with that or not. Our maple floors (a random mix of 2-1/2, 3-1/2 and 4-1/2" boards open up 1/8" cracks some places in late winter and are completely closed in summer. I'm fine with that, others might not be. Sometimes the boards stick together with finish and you get the cumulative movement of 2-3 boards rather than just one as a crack in one place.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hill, NC
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    2,396
    Quote Originally Posted by kent wardecke View Post
    I'm still going forward with the beech flooring. Costs are about 100% more than I first thought but I hope to have flooring for less than $3/sqft.
    I have my uncle telling me that 6 inch flooring will shrink and leave gaps between the boards. I want 6 inch boards for the look of a wider board.
    Does anyone have experience making custom wood floors?
    Is your home climate (humidity) controlled year round? If so 6" widths should not be a problem, as long as the flooring is around 6% - 8% MC at the time of installation.

    IF your home is not humidity controlled year round, then a flat sawn beech board will move around .0043 in width for each percent of MC% change. Typically unless you live near a gulf coast non humidity controlled environments will experience at most 6 - 8% changes in MC year round, so your worst case gap would be around 1/32 gap opening up in-between the boards.

    This is predicated on the boards being fully dry (7% or so) when installed.

  6. #6
    I have experience with beech floors. Beech is a squirrelly wood and prone to movement and warping. I had beech flooring in my previous house, built in 1909. 100 years later and it was still unstable and prone to movement and big gaps in the winter. No way would I go with 6" wide beech for a floor. 4" max, and 2 1/2" would be better. It is pretty though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
    Posts
    365
    Beech moves a lot, and even straight looking boards have squirrels in them. If you really want six inch, I would suggest something other than beech. If you want beech, the narrower the better.

    As above, the more narrow your planks are the more narrow each of the individual gaps would be. Figure out the width of the entire floor and plug that in as one board. Do you want that total gap amount spread between a few wide boards, or more smaller gaps between more thinner boards?

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