I recently purchased around 600 sq feet of 3 1/4 inch solid hickory from Bruce, which I'm installing over a crawl space. I put down a 6 mil vapor barrier in the crawl space.

I'm measuring the moisture level of my plywood subfloor as the wood has been acclimating about a week. Most readings are right around ~13% with the overall range being 10-13% with some spots measuring as high as 14%. This is during the humid August summer in Kentucky.

The wood still has some time to acclimate. Readings for it at the moment are around 9-10%.

I'm wondering whether I'm in a safe position to install solid hardwood here. I'll be installing this with a #15 felt underlayment. If it matters the bedrooms have 2 1/4" red oak installed (might be original to the house) and those floors are in great condition.

  • Welcome to SE. Are the bedrooms also over the crawl space? – isherwood Sep 1 '16 at 17:12
  • Can't comment on the principal question, but did you consider ventilating the crawl space as insurance? – Aaron Brick Sep 7 '17 at 17:23
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    I had a house with almost identical description, 6 mil in crawl space but was in the northwest where the rainy season is almost as long as the year. I had straight grain oak that was original to the house and it was just on top of the ship lap boards that was the decking. Built in the 40s. Didn't have any problems at all as long as the crawl space itself was well vented. Be sure yours is and I think you are fine with what you have. – Micah Montoya Dec 17 '18 at 18:11

...Assuming you have some sort of flooring that is removable, I would consider using marine plywood and replace that area. That is what we use in extreme wet conditions such as a car wash. The marine plywood withstands water and moisture during all operating hours and is exposed without problems. EDIt: Is this actually in regards to the crawl space if not why is the question worded as such with all the extra info.. Cheers

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    The plywood mill I worked at when we made marine plywood the main difference was the veneer sheets, the sheets used for marine grade were of higher quality small tight knots on the full sized sheets and the core was the same or plugged so there were no voids but it used the same glue and press time. – Ed Beal Dec 22 '17 at 16:35

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