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Using hardwood or bamboo flooring planks on walls

I live in climate zone 4a of the United states. I'm having a 3 season sunroom built and would like to cover the walls with hardwood or bamboo flooring planks horizontally over half inch osb or plywood. I have been told that this is doable. My concern is that this room will be unheated. CAN I DO IT????

Asked by Wendell Richardson
Posted Feb 5, 2013 4:45 PM ET

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3 Answers

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Wendell,
Q. "Can I do it?"

A. Yes.

What are you worried about?

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Feb 5, 2013 5:07 PM ET

2.
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I was told that because the room would be unheated, I would have a problem with excessive expansion and contraction.

Answered by Wendell Richardson
Posted Feb 5, 2013 9:20 PM ET

3.
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Wendell,
Expansion and contraction of T&G hardwood boards is normal. T&G hardwood has been used as flooring in New England homes for at least 150 years. These houses go through big swings in temperature and humidity. In most cases, the boards are fine, although it isn't unusual to see larger gaps in the winter, when indoor humidity levels are lower.

The only problem comes when very dry boards are installed tightly during the driest time of the year; it's possible for later swelling to cause the boards to buckle. This is rare, however, because it's hard to get boards dry enough during installation for this problem to occur. As with many aspects of building, installation requires judgment -- and occasional use of a moisture meter.

I don't have any experience with bamboo.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Feb 6, 2013 8:14 AM ET

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