Balanced Seal Finishing®


Shrinkage Values of Domestic Woods

  • Characteristic Shrinkage from green to kiln dried lumber showing distinction of flats and squares as affected by the direction of the annual rings.
  • Tangential shrinkage is about twice as great as radial.
  • Radiant heat floors and lake front housing require specialized solid wood flooring to compensate for the extreme dry condition that in-floor heat is and extreme moist conditions during summer months. There is only one cut of lumber that is best suited for plank flooring for these applications in our opinion: Quarter and/or Rift Sawn flooring!




The "log cut" shows typical wood movement from the "green" stage to the Kiln Dried "red" stage. As the cut clearly shows, pieces #1,2 and 3 shrink and move unbalanced and consequently move at indifferent rates through out the pieces of wood. There is an argument that once the wood is kiln dried that the movement is over. 

Tapertite's position is that all wood, no matter how carefully dried and conditioned in a Kiln has memory. When wood takes on moisture during the summer months, the wood cells "grow" comparable to how they shrink during the drying process and the piece of  wood wants to revert towards its original state. This is what we call "wood memory." 

One can conclude that a narrower piece of wood is better for the radiant heat application because there is less grain variation and we somewhat agree with this thinking. Please bear in mind that the cut shows a fairly large log, however in today's tree harvest, more juvenile trees are taken so the grain, even in the more narrow flooring strip, (see pieces #3 and #2) has more movement because of typical, smaller log diameters.
Piece #5 shows that with a quarter or rift sawn cut the movement is balanced and this will allow a consumer the flexibility of a wider board floor without compromising the integrity of the floor due to radiant heat or lake front exposure.

Please note that piece #4 should never be used in a plank floor under any circumstance as you can see the movement of this cut is unacceptable.

Developed and Manufactured by

Peter DeVivi Productions, Inc.
2494 Kingdom Road
Waterloo, NY 13165
Ph - (800) 833-3710
Fax - (315) 568-6041


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