Can you tell me what the maximum space between maple flooring strips in a athletic floor is after installed, painted and sealed?  I know the wood contracts and expands, but wasn’t sure what the largest gap we should see is?

06/19/2019 As you know, wood is a hygroscopic material. When exposed to varying temperatures and humidities, it will release or absorb moisture until it is at equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere.
 
The Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association (MFMA) recommends that the facility's environment be stable when the flooring materials arrive -- air temperature between 55 and 75 degrees and indoor relative humidity between 35 and 50 percent. In some cases, the maple should be stored in the room where it will be installed for a period of time to acclimate. Consult your MFMA installer for specific acclimation information.
 
After installation, maple flooring typically requires a year or two to stabilize -- through a complete cycle of seasonal changes. The floor will continue to adjust to environmental changes throughout its life span.
 
The appearance of shrinkage cracks during drier months is not unusual. It is a general rule that if you can fit a quarter in a crack it is considered excessive.  Installation moisture contents or environmental conditions can both cause cracks to be excessive. These cracks will normally close in the months of higher humidity, as the floor picks up moisture from the air. We do recommend the use of humidification/dehumidification systems if available to maintain proper humidity levels. 
 
If cracks persist, and the indoor atmosphere has been maintained between 55 and 75 degrees and between 35-50 percent indoor relative humidity (or no more than a 15 percent fluctuation between highest and lowest average IRH), contact your flooring installer or the MFMA immediately.
 
Disclaimer: The MFMA provides general information to architects, specifiers and consumers. The MFMA, its members, officers and agents disclaim any responsibility whatsoever for the accuracy or applicability of these guidelines under all circumstances and conditions.
Back to top
Technical Info