These important installation tips will help you minimize expansion and contraction of hardwood paneling, flooring and millwork during seasonal changes in temperature and relative humidity.

Your customer’s house should be closed in, with all the outside windows and doors in place, before hardwood lumber, millwork or flooring are delivered.
The temperature and relative humidity should be maintained at occupancy levels for at least five days.
Excess moisture anywhere in the house should be allowed to evaporate.
Sheet rock should be allowed to dry for at least two days, and plaster for a week or more, depending on weather conditions.
When it’s delivered, the lumber, flooring or millwork should be divided into small lots and stored for at least a week in the rooms where they will be installed.
Unprotected hardwood products should never be trucked, unloaded or stored in rain, snow or other wet conditions.
The contractor who receives a shipment of hardwood paneling, flooring, millwork or cabinetry should pull out several sample boards and use a hand-held moisture meter to measure their moisture content. The figure should closely match the one recommended for your part of the country. If it doesn’t, the contractor should let the hardwood adjust to the site before installation.

For more free information about installing and caring for hardwoods in the home, contact the Hardwood Information Center, at www.hardwoodinfo.com.
Consider pre-finished or site-finished wood products for bathroom floors, tub surrounds, cabinetry and moldings. Oak, maple, cherry, ash, walnut and hickory are favored for bathroom applications. They are especially moisture-stable, strong, hard, durable and shock-resistant.

Pre-Finished hardwoods are recommended for many bathroom applications. Their shop-quality finishes are attractive and highly moisture resistant. They are more expensive, but less demanding in terms of skill level and site preparation. Most bathroom cabinetry, for example, is installed pre-finished due to its intricacies.

Site-Finished hardwoods are still preferred by many builders because of the lower material cost and higher degree of project control. Recent progress in water-resistant finishes has made site finishing increasingly popular for major bathroom applications, such as built-ins and tub surrounds, as well as flooring and millwork.
©2008 Industrial Plywood, Inc.