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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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Default Hardwood flooring for router table top

Everyone uses plastic laminate.But what about hardwood. I have a bunch of hardwood flooring. Is there a reason why formica is preferred aside from the hardness and smoothness? Any thoughts on this?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 05:17 AM
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Stability. Real wood won't stay where its put, it will warp, swell, twist etc. Maybe not a lot if installed with care and treated appropriately, but it will still move. Plastic laminate is applied over a substrate like chipboard or MDF, which will remain stable as long as they are kept dry.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 08:11 AM
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I agree that flooring should not be used (unless your table is located in a very stable atmosphere). Having installed many floors rule number one is that the flooring be delivered several days prior to installation. This is to allow the wood to adjust to it's new home. Now I have only worked with true hardwood flooring so I am not sure about the laminates. I would imagine that would depend on thier composition.
Good luck in whatever you choose.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 09:20 AM
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Oak moves with the temp, no matter how much acclimation it gets, so much so that rosin paper is used as an interface between it and the sub floor to minimize squeak. A minimum 1/4" gap is recommended between it and any wall surface or threshold for expansion, a main reason for plopping the baseboard over the oak instead of to the sub floor.

As for a table top, the dimensions of an RT are small enough so that expansion won't be as severe, but add possible cupping, you can't manipulate flooring for a preferable grain pattern in the same fashion as flat stock oak.

Sheet products are best because of their "stability" and "uniform" expansion characteristics. Even then multiple dual off setting layers are applied for preferable thickness, weight and increased stability

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 09:42 AM
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Just my 2 cents

Many (members) have used it on the RT/work bench, I don't see anything wrong with it (the two types ) after all it needs to stay dry, I don't think anyone is going to get a bucket of water and a mop and clean the top that many do on floors .....


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 02:51 PM
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Oak floors don't absorb moisture from the top until the seal between sticks is broken, (Up to 9 or more coats of color and clear coat) cover the top. When it does its from the sides and bottom but pretty much negligible.

Flooded floors absorb from the sides and bottom and combined with absorption from the sub floor incipient buckling and heave rapidly occur.

Most of the swelling in all stick framed floors like Oak is from heat changes, and moisture rising through the sub floor from the humid basement. That's why houses that go cold during the winter have the most noticeable movement and gaps.

This effect is one of the main reasons why companies are moving toward prefab flooring using water/moisture proofing on the ply'd sub panel then gluing the finish surface to the panel.

There are very few drawbacks to the prefab method, one of which is the super thin protective surface coating,
2nd, (for me) the wider panels are much more difficult to profile to convoluted perimeters.
3rd, except for some of the higher end products there are limited opportunities for resurfacing prefabs, (the surface lams are too thin).

Lastly, even prefabs move around interlocking floaters require almost as much free space as stick builds and the gaps aren't recommended incase the house floods but natural movement due to heat changes.

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