Relative Stability of Selected Wood Flooring Species


(ranked by percentage of tangential shrinkage from green to ovendry moisture content) The numbers in the chart reflect the percentage of tangential shrinkage from green to ovendry moisture content for the various species. Tangential change values normally will reflect changes in plainsawn wood. Quartersawn wood usually will be more dimensionally stable than plainsawn. These percentages are listed only as a means of comparison of stability between the species. As these values represent change from green to ovendry, actual percentage change on job sites will be drastically less. Although some tropical woods such as Australian cypress, merbau and wenge appear in this chart to have excellent moisture stability compared to domestic oak, actual installations of many of these woods have demonstrated significant movement in use. To avoid problems later, extra care should be taken to inform potential users of these tendencies prior to purchase. This data currently is not available for Tasmanian oak, Sydney blue gum and spotted gum. Due to its composited construction, cork is not included, and due to its engineered construction, bamboo is not included. Also, due to the many different species and ages of the wood classified as antique heart pine, that wood is not listed.
  • Source: Stability ratings taken from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Center for Wood Anatomy Research Web site www.fpl.fs.fed.us/TechSheets/techmenu.html.
  • Douglas fir rating is an average of ratings for Coast, Interior West and Interior North species.
  • Pine rating is an average of ratings for loblolly, longleaf, shortleaf and slash species.
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