We found about 500sq.ft. of 5 inch wide maple plank flooring in a dumpster. It had a very slight warp to it due to it not being installed correctly. But with a little sanding we could get rid of that.

So we happily installed the flooring.

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This pic shows the layers. First Pex tubes in sand/structolite mix with stringers 16" on center. Then some paper. Then the wood nailed into the stringers.

Despite our good intentions there were complications….
1. Maple is not a good choice for radiant floor heating since maple bows, warps, expands and contracts more than other woods when there are humidity swings.

2. Wide plank flooring is not good when there are humidity swings because it expands and contracts more than narrow planks.

We had wide planks. We had maple. We had radiant floor heating.

Then we had just laid the sand/structolite mix around the tubes. And my ex-carpenter didn’t give the mix enough time to dry before putting the wood down.

And my ex-carpenter nailed the planks in as if they were narrow plank oak over a normal floor, that is to say he nailed the floor down WAY too tightly. Wide plank, maple, radiant, these are all reasons to lay the wood down with some space between them so they can move.

And sure enough the wood warped immediately. I fired my carpenter.

With my new carpenter we have taken the wood up….yes these free planks of wood, valued at around $3500 for that many square feet, are no longer free. But no worries. We are still way ahead of the game.

The new plan is.

1. dry the wood out.

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2. Let the floor dry out.

3. Seal the wood on all sides so that it doesn’t absorb water as well.

4. Before laying the wood we will put a real vapor barrier on the floor.

5. Then if all goes well we will just have to sand out the original bow and have a great, salvaged, affordable floor!