Are you considering installing yellow tongue flooring in your home but are worried that it might not be waterproof? In this post, we’ll explore whether or not yellow tongue is a good choice for a wet area and provide some tips on how to keep it looking great for years to come. So read on if you want to find out more!
What is yellow tongue flooring and where can you find it?
Yellow tongue flooring is a term used to describe wood flooring in which tongue and groove edges have been left unsealed so that they can expand and contract in response to humidity levels. This process is called ‘seasonal movement’.
The advantages of yellow tongue flooring are that it’s extremely durable due to being so resistant to moisture, insects and termites, while its rustic nature means that very little finishing work needs doing when you buy it from the supplier. In addition, it’s possible for homeowners who prefer unsanded solid hardwood floors to find yellow tongue floor boards at a lower price than other types of engineered hardwood floors.
How does yellow tongue flooring work?
As mentioned above, yellow tongue flooring moves with changes in humidity and therefore tends to warp or buckle if it’s installed in a home where the levels fluctuate significantly. When you buy yellow tongue flooring from a supplier, you’ll need to store the planks somewhere very dry for at least 24 hours before installing them (ideally no less than 72 hours).
Why does yellow tongue warp?
When wood is exposed to very humid conditions, like those found near showers and bathtubs, the raised areas of the flooring will expand and make contact with whatever surface they’re resting on. This causes warping; but this isn’t permanent damage. To get rid of such problems, homeowners can simply sand down any excessively high spots using 100-grit sandpaper until smooth again.
is yellow tongue flooring waterproof?
yellow tongue flooring is only waterproof when used in very dry environments. Installing it near wet areas will cause warping, so ensure your home is well-ventilated and humidity levels are not too high before laying yellow tongue flooring.
Steps to protect yellow tongue flooring
- Ensure the subfloor is smooth, strong and level
Before installing yellow tongue flooring, it’s essential that you ensure your subfloor is as smooth as possible. It should be no less than half an inch thick and made from plywood or OSB (orientated strand board). If it dips more than 3/4 of an inch over any given area then it’ll need strengthening with additional boards before you install the tongue and groove planks on top. A weak subfloor will cause your new flooring to buckle once humidity levels increase, so do everything in your power to ensure a solid foundation first.
- Use a moisture barrier between your new floorboards and the existing surface
When yellow tongue flooring meets wet areas like showers or baths, the wood will expand and contract with changes in humidity levels. This can damage both your existing surface and your new flooring, so we suggest laying a moisture barrier first before installing yellow tongue to protect against such problems.
- Use water-resistant adhesive if you attach yellow tongue using staples or nails
If you choose to use screws or nails to install yellow tongue flooring instead of adhesive, then we recommend checking that your choice of product is compatible with untreated hardwood as well as products used for building wet areas like tiles and vinyls. If not, then stick with an adhesive that won’t corrode when exposed to water or other liquids just as a precautionary measure!
- Moisture test before installing the planks
As with most types of wooden flooring, yellow tongue will expand in humid conditions and contract when it’s dry. Although this is part of the charm of living with untreated solid hardwood floors, you’ll need to make sure your supplier allows for seasonal movement before installation. Only then can you be sure that your new flooring won’t buckle or warp when its moving season comes around!
- Protect against termites by treating yellow tongue upon installation
If you live in an area where wood-eating insects like termites are rife (Louisiana is among the worst affected states), consider purchasing your yellow tongue flooring pre-treated once they arrive at your warehouse so that they’re ready to install straight away. If they aren’t treated yet, consider purchasing your yellow tongue flooring post-treated instead. We recommend opting for a colored stain that matches the basic color of your new wood flooring so you don’t notice any imperfections.
- Don’t forget to protect the tongues!
All types of tongue and groove hardwood are sensitive to water damage so be sure to protect them with varnish, paint or clear coat as soon as possible after installation. Don’t wait until they start warping either! Apply finishing products within 24 hours of installing yellow tongue flooring at most if not all stages of installation. You can even use leftover finish from previous jobs but remember to always pre-test on an inconspicuous part of your boards first before applying it across the entire flooring surface to ensure no discoloring or damage occurs.
- Properly dispose of old yellow tongue flooring when installing new boards
If you have any old yellow tongue flooring leftover from your previous projects, then be sure to dispose of them in a responsible manner before replacing it with new wood instead. With so many beautifully-made yellow tongue out there on the market, do yourself and mother earth a favor by avoiding landfill whenever possible! If there are recycling centers in your local area that accept hardwood, take your unwanted planks over for reuse instead—they’ll thank you for it later!
- Keep humidity levels low in your home
Humidity levels affect yellow tongue flooring just as much as they do other types of untreated wood, so you’ll need to be conscious of them especially if you live somewhere with a higher than average humidity level like Louisiana or Florida for example. To avoid expansion and contraction issues, consider installing dehumidifiers inside your new house to keep the air around this new hardwood nice and dry. Since some types of untreated wood can absorb moisture better than others depending on these factors, always ask your supplier for advice beforehand about what types are suitable for installation underneath yellow tongue flooring!
- Replace yellow tongue only when it’s necessary
Although many people remove old yellow tongue boards when they want to install a new one, it doesn’t mean you always have to replace them. If boards are in good condition but just cover too much ground for your liking–or if they’re yellow tongue leftover from previous jobs that are no longer needed–consider sanding down the surface or planing them down until they fit your needs instead. You can even custom-cut these old boards into smaller pieces to use as small accents inside bookshelves/side tables etc!
- Let natural light flood in when installing yellow tongue flooring
For an authentic look that replicates solid wood floors found in homes dating back hundreds of years, install yellow tongue flooring with either stained glass windows and exterior lights on either side to let natural light shine through your ceiling on both sides. There’s nothing like natural light to make your home look more lively and enticing, so why not let it flood in through your glorious new flooring instead?
- Stick with the basics when choosing wood types for yellow tongue flooring
It’s safe to say that you’ll be living with your yellow tongue floors for many years to come–and if they end up looking awful after some time (even if they’re just stained or scratched), then consider sanding them back down again before installing brand new boards instead! Wood types like oak are popular choices for this type of hardwood because of their smooth finish and lovely color varieties but ask around first since others might prefer knotty pine boards with rough edges etc.
- Try to keep your yellow tongue flooring indoors
If you’re planning on installing your yellow tongue boards outdoors, then you might need to think twice about using untreated wood types since they’ll be exposed to the elements. Try using outdoor-rated wood or even sealants for this type of hardwood instead–if weather conditions are too harsh for unprotected yellow tongue floors, then what good will it do inside your home?
- Use self-leveling compound if necessary
Self-leveling compound is a type of understanding that’s mixed together with water and applied onto subfloors before installing new boards–this makes leveling problematic subfloor imperfections easier than ever before! If subfloor problems are too severe for leveling compounds alone, consider investing in a subfloor replacement instead.
- Use newer yellow tongue flooring for high-traffic areas
For the most part, yellow tongue flooring is suitable for all types of regions inside your home with just one exception–high traffic zones with lots of footfall like foyers and hallways need stronger boards that can handle this type of wear and tear! If you now know what to look out for when buying new hardwood flooring, then be sure to ask your supplier about board strength before taking away any offers they might have available!
- Avoid moisture problems by installing dehumidifiers during installation
Humidity levels can affect how perishable yellow tongue floors are if they’re exposed to too much water vapor in the air, so go ahead and install dehumidifiers to prevent stuffy conditions during installation! These devices help to remove any moisture from the surrounding atmosphere before it can affect your new flooring boards by drying out the air and providing a suitable environment for them instead.
- Try not to install yellow tongue flooring outdoors
Like we previously mentioned, yellow tongue hardwood floors aren’t made for outdoor regions–so if you plan on installing them outside, then you’re going to need to reconsider their potential lifespan as well as how easy they’ll be to maintain in such an environment. You’ll also need special tools like power saws with water-resistant blades, plus you might even need specific power tools designed exclusively for cutting down trees too!
- Use cork underlayment for more breathable flooring
A lot of newer yellow tongue boards are waterproofed to prevent rot and mold but this can lead to humidity problems some time later on–oh, and don’t forget about the risks associated with some types of moisture build-up like ice dams too! A great solution is to use underlayment that’s made from cork since it’s highly absorbent while also being more breathable than other materials too! Underlays made from cork will help your yellow tongue floors avoid moisture buildup altogether while letting them retain their natural aromatic qualities at the same time.
- Install non-yellow tongue flooring over existing wood/vinyl baseboards
If you’re planning on installing yellow tongue flooring over existing baseboards, then think again since you’ll need to tear all of it down before beginning your project–even if these baseboards are in poor condition or infested with pests! You could try using a sander for this task but it’s going to be a lot of work either way.
- Consider using solid boards instead of engineered/plywood types for higher-quality results
Engineered and plywood yellow tongue flooring is prone to bowing due to its construction type, so consider purchasing solid boards instead if you’re after quality finishes that don’t have major integrity issues when exposed to water exposure during installation. Plus, solid wood provides better resale value too–so learn from others’ mistakes and be sure to take this extra step during your next installation!
- Use a dedicated moisture meter to determine wood flooring quality
Whoever said you can’t buy a moisture meter for under $150 was wrong–so go ahead and invest in one of these devices if you want an accurate reading regarding how humid/dry the air is around any hardwood floors, including yellow tongue varieties! Moisture meters are usually used by contractors during installations to avoid moist subfloors that might cause swelling or even mildew later on; since most people don’t know where to find these tools, they’re not as common as other types of home improvement equipment like drills.
- Consider refinishing old before laying new boards down
Oftentimes it’s cheaper to refinish an old floor before laying down new boards, especially if these existing floors are made from yellow tongue. After all, why buy new wood when you can save yourself hundreds of dollars? There are other benefits too since you’ll know how to install the rest of your floors without worrying about the quality of your work should you opt for this alternative instead.
- Be wary of cheap moisture meters
It might take some time but finding a decent moisture meter isn’t nearly as hard as finding an adjustable cold-fusion welder–especially given the fact that manufacturers will often include them in larger tool kit bundles! Keep in mind though that not every model costs over $100 so do your research beforehand and decide which style is right for your needs.
- Get a welder if you plan on using waterproofed boards
Even though it might sound like overkill to purchase a welder just for flooring installation, it’ll come in handy since yellow tongue flooring isn’t the only type that comes with water-resistant features; fiber cement and laminate styles also benefit from this added feature too! You could try renting one of these tools but keep in mind that they’re not always covered by rental agreements so make sure you know what you’re dealing with before agreeing to any terms or conditions.
- Don’t forget about temporary bracing systems while installing yellow tongue floors
You’ll need to drill into studs while adding fasteners and temporary bracing systems for support, which means you’ll need to attach a variety of boards on the ground first before adding any long-term accessories. Try using plywood and lumber scraps for this task–you can even recycle some scrap lumber and pallets if they’re in decent condition too!
- Avoid using visible fasteners during installation
Fasteners shouldn’t be noticeable with yellow tongue flooring so always try to install them behind visible areas whenever possible. Plus, most visible nails require wood putty or caulk to hide them anyway, so keep that in mind when browsing through your local home improvement store.
- Don’t ever install yellow tongue floors over radiant heat systems
Yellow tongue flooring is highly susceptible to moisture damage since it expands and contracts easily; this factor makes the installation of radiant heat systems very difficult, if not impossible. You’ll need to block off these areas with insulation or drywall before you ever think about installing yellow tongue flooring–or look into other alternatives like laminate instead!
- Use a red cedar finish (if possible)
Red cedar might be more expensive than other forms of wood but it’s definitely worth the money since it doesn’t contain too many tannins that react poorly with stains. Keep in mind that certain types of outdoor furniture are made from cedar so ask your local home improvement store salesperson for advice if you’re unsure which type is right for you!
- Use nails during installations whenever possible
Nails will help keep your tongue and groove boards together so always use nails instead of screws whenever possible–especially if you’re laying hardwood flooring like yellow tongue. Sure, you might need to purchase that expensive nail gun but it’ll save you plenty of time in the long run too!
- Think about adding an extra subfloor layer for support
You don’t want this level to flex since tongues and grooves are known to expand or contract (depending on humidity levels) which means you should treat them like any other type of wood floor by adding another subfloor layer for support during installation. This step greatly depends on your personal preferences though; some homeowners simply prefer to ignore this common tip even if their floors twist every now and then!
- Only use water-based stains and finishes
Oil stains used with yellow tongue flooring will often leave behind unwanted yellows since they can’t be removed once applied–plus, this factor could make your floors look older than they really are too! Try using a high-quality water-based stain instead, or simply avoid these types of stains altogether if you want to keep them looking as bright as the day you installed them.
- Don’t ever remove old boards without wearing gloves first
Whoever owned that floor before you probably didn’t own any pets either which means the boards are covered in urine deposits throughout most of their length; try removing these by hand but always wear gloves to keep your hands clean! If this process is too difficult for you, just keep in mind that the boards aren’t “yellow tongue” anymore and remove them with a crowbar instead.