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 Post subject: No spline when four inch hickory flipped
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:40 pm 
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I am in a new to us house and this is my first post on this forum. I'm at best a weekend carpenter. I can do finishing work (barely) but am comfortable building a bookshelf, bed frame or tree house for the kids or wife.

The house has a beautiful hickory floor. However in one room the hickory tongue and groove was flipped in the middle of the room. It looks like there was a spline attempted, but it's not tight enough to keep the boards together.

I didn't notice when it was warm, but now the boards have shrunk slightly and there is a definite loose board feel at the division where the boards were flipped. The two boards that should be joined together move independently up and down slightly.

What can I do short of ripping out 2-300 feet of hickory in that room to get the two boards joined together well enough so there is no more split or potential pinching if anyone stands in that area?

Covering it up with a rug is not an option and it has to look and feel good to a casual observer walking in the room barefoot. I also don't want to screw up the finish or put nails or screws directly in the floor because it's in the middle of the room.

Thank you for your advice on this matter.

Cheers,
Tom


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 Post subject: Re: No spline when four inch hickory flipped
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:08 pm 
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It may be that this middle board was the starter board and only got fastened on one side. The groove side is where the spline would go. You can nail through the spline to keep both boards down tight. A cleat would fit into a gap between the boards without showing. If this is the case, a cleat every 10 inches ought to fasten both edges of the boards at once. Cleats come in boxes of a thousand. You may find a flooring pro in the area who ought to have some. Pre-drill with a bit the thickness of the cleat shank cause they are a challenge to drive. You set the cleats with a flat blade screwdriver.


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 Post subject: Re: No spline when four inch hickory flipped
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:12 am 
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I agree with Pete, however if you would feel more comfortable you can also get some hardwood floor adhesive, drill through the spline and use a vinyl syringe to inject the adhesive under the boards. I would recommend Bona R880 adhesive and a couple of weights. Dritac also make a wood repair kit with everything you need in it.
Good luck


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 Post subject: Re: No spline when four inch hickory flipped
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:27 am 
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Thank you for the two suggestions. I have been investigating it more - short of pulling up the floor. It's basically two boards butted up groove side against each other with almost no spline. I see two inch pieces of soft wood (or at least softer than the hickory) about every foot that I can move back and forth a little. In a few places the two hickory boards are currently loose enough I can push a slim putty knife all the way to the sub floor or touch the bottom part of the groove without hurting the hickory finish.

I figure I should fix it now while it's still loose before it possibly swells again and hides this error in the summer. We bought the house last summer and my wife pointed this out to me as a list topping honey-do a week or two ago when we started staying at home more.

I'm guessing cleats isn't the answer here. Vinyl syringe and adhesive might work, but I don't want to mess it up.

Thank you again.


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 Post subject: Re: No spline when four inch hickory flipped
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:59 am 
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How wide is the gap between the Hickory boards?


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 Post subject: Re: No spline when four inch hickory flipped
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:18 am 
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About 12 feet of board. Widest gap is just under 3mm for about a foot where adjacent boards overlap. Smallest gap is 0mm. Median gap is probably about 1mm. Mostly it's 1.5mm or less.

That 3mm gap is right in the middle too. All the boards abutting these two are tight. I am considering putting some wood putty in to make the gap "disappear" after I figure out how to secure them effectively.


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 Post subject: Re: No spline when four inch hickory flipped
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:46 am 
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Where is the house located? What is the humidity in the house? Do you control the house humidity? As you are seeing changes in seasonal humidity are causing your flooring to swell and shrink.
Trim head screws or finish nails might fit between the boards to secure the spline pieces and to the sub floor and hold the hickory boards tight to the subfloor. Trim head screws or finish nails through the hickory grooves where there is up and down movement and no splines.


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 Post subject: Re: No spline when four inch hickory flipped
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:15 pm 
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Northeast. Near a lake. Probably Zone 5 or 6 for planting, and I haven't tracked the humidity in the house. It was pretty humid when we moved in. Pretty dry inside now though it rains/snows a lot here.

I might be able to get some nails in there. Haven't consider it big enough to fit any sort of screw. I'll look around to see what I can find.


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 Post subject: Re: No spline when four inch hickory flipped
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:28 pm 
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mot wrote:
Northeast. Near a lake. Probably Zone 5 or 6 for planting, and I haven't tracked the humidity in the house. It was pretty humid when we moved in. Pretty dry inside now though it rains/snows a lot here.

I might be able to get some nails in there. Haven't consider it big enough to fit any sort of screw. I'll look around to see what I can find.

Good hardware store or lumber yard should have trim head screws which have heads just a hair wider than the screw body.


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 Post subject: Re: No spline when four inch hickory flipped
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:53 pm 
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Thank you.


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