There are MANY different ways to install and finish wood floors. Here are a few basic pointers, tips, and suggestions. Please use your own creativity and discretion to adjust to your unique application or situation.
Drying and Moisture Content*
The wood flooring you are purchasing from RBM Lumber is dried to 6-8% moisture content. Maintaining this moisture content is critical to the success of your finished floor. This can be achieved by simply taking the appropriate precautions.
If the flooring is left in a damp, humid and/or unheated environment (such as an unheated garage), it will take on additional moisture. Then, when it is installed in a warm, dry, heated location, it will gradually lose this added moisture (dry out) and shrink, causing gaps between the boards.
When installing flooring in a newly built home, the flooring must be installed and finished immediately. New homes have high humidity due to the drying of new building materials.
*Please see note below concerning returns.
Wood Flooring Installation:
Flooring should be installed on a good, sturdy, level, smooth underlayment (3/4 plywood is preferred but not an absolute requirement).
The last run may have to be cut to the proper width and be face nailed. If installing in an irregularly shaped room, in a multiple room layout, or in a complicated pattern, placement of the starting boards is critical. If you are unsure of the proper approach, please ask we — will be happy to guide you.
Excessive moisture is the most common cause of buckling floors. Moisture can come from leaking pipes, wet basements or crawl spaces, plywood exposed to the elements during construction, and houses left vacant without proper ventilation. Floors can also buckle if a proper expansion gap around each wall is not used.
INSTALLING SOLID SOFTWOOD FLOORING OVER CONCRETE “BELOW GROUND LEVEL”
Installing our flooring below ground level or over concrete is not recommended, and will void any and all warranties….some installers have installed our flooring over concrete with radiant heat (glue down)……we don’t advise it.
Keep in mind when furring up a floor like this the rough opening door height needs to be taken into consideration.
After the flooring is installed, the next step is sanding.
Although some manufactures have begun to make pre-finished softwood flooring, usually southern yellow pine, Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir is almost always unfinished. Typical board lengths will range from 2 to 12 feet and widths can range from 3-1/8″ to 6-7/8″.
All requests to return flooring are subject to management approval.
We do not accept returned flooring that is not in its original bundle and/or packaging,
and in the same condition (moisture content and cleanliness) as when it left our facility.
Try to avoid returning flooring by properly measuring for your specific application
and ordering only what you will need. Returns are subject to a 15% restocking fee.
WE WILL NOT REFUND OR PAY ANY COSTS
IN CONNECTION WITH LABOR OR ACCESSORY MATERIALS
Softwood Flooring Grades are closely related to grading rules for lumber but can vary. The most common descriptions of pine or softwood flooring are as follows:
Be aware, sticker marks are allowed in #2 & #1 grade flooring… if you do not want any sticker marks in your floor be very aware of them and when you purchase your flooring it might be a good idea to pick up extra so on the rare board with a sticker mark you can high grade the sticker marked boards out.
Flooring Info & Specs
Although frequently referred to as hardwood, our wood flooring is actually softwood which brings you a warmth and comfort that can’t be found elsewhere. The natural beauty and variety of character as well as product options in our Montana wood flooring is unsurpassed. At RBM we price our wood flooring to fit almost any budget.
At RBM Lumber we have become a leader in the softwood flooring industry because we take the time to produce the best product available. We offer you the following specs on all our wood flooring products:
Wood Flooring Species:
Wood Flooring Grades:
Wood Flooring Textures:
Wood Flooring Sizes:
Most flooring products are available in 8” (6 – 7/8” coverage), 6” (5 – 1/8”) and 4” (3 – 1/8”) widths and come in random lengths from 20” to 12’.
*Because we hand cut our logs, and don’t use the conventional high-volume logging machinery, we are able to deliver these longer logs.× Close
When we talk about stability we are referring to how much a beam will shrink, twist, check and move as it acclimates to the environment it is in. All movement in wood takes place while the wood is drying out or picking up moisture. There are only two sources of beams that can be guaranteed not to move and that is glue lams and recycled — both of which may force you to sacrifice the price advantage and/or the appearance you are looking for. For this reason we make as many beams as possible, where stability is of concern, from dead standing Fir & Larch which is already partially dry and therefore more stable than green cut beams.× Close
There are many uses for rough cut lumber … from barns and fences on the farm, to exterior trim on a custom home. Each application has its own set of issues to be considered when selecting the best product to use. At RBM Lumber we’ve been supplying rough lumber for myriads of applications for over 30 years. The following are some basics to keep in mind.× Close
When wood dries out it shrinks. When it picks up moisture it expands. Consequently, in an exterior application in most climates wood will shrink and expand with the season changes.
In an interior application, once it acclimates, wood moves very little due to a more constant humidity. Where the product is being used in your project and your own personal taste is what determines how critical it is to try to control that movement. In many instances the natural movement in wood is irrelevant.× Close
In applications where stability is crucial moisture content is very important. For interior applications 6% MC is ideal. In semi-dry climates 12% MC is ideal for exterior. In certain applications such as siding, proper installation is very important because of the continual movement of the wood. At RBM we can help you know what moisture content is ideal for your application and give you installation tips. In some cases we will either air dry or kiln dry products where lower moisture is necessary. Other times, when available, we will try to cut from dead standing timber because of certain advantages.× Close
At RBM we cut all our rough full dimension which means a 2×4 is a full 2″ by a full 4″ not 1 1/2″x 3 1/2″. This means our 2×6 has more wood in it than a surfaced 2×8. But you can special-order pretty much any dimension you want from ¼ inch thick up to 30 inches or wider depending on grade and species.
We try to inventory as much of the more commonly requested products as possible such as 2×4 through 2×12 in rough green and in dry exterior trim stock, as well as various specialty products like 5/4 trim for different siding products and commonly used 1” boards. 5/4 is a dimensional term… that is, it’s really a full inch and a quarter thick. The width is dimensional… Our 5/4×4-inch is cut at a full 4-inches wide and then shrinks slightly as it dries.
Depending on the product we can cut up to 32 feet long. We literally have thousands of different products in stock and can cut almost anything.
Because there are so many uses for rough lumber with such a varied desire for appearance we at RBM don’t assume anything. We will ask as many questions as necessary to be sure your product both works and satisfies your taste for appearance.
Not all products come in all grades and all species
but we can usually find a product that will fit your needs.
If not we may know where you can find it.