Strategies for storing, selling wood structural panels for installation under hardwood.
Wood structural panels—OSB and plywood—are commonly used for subfloors and are proven to perform well under a range of finished flooring, including 3/4″ hardwood. However, both the subfloor and finished flooring may be susceptible to moisture, so care should be taken in both storage and installation to prevent problems down the road.
Dealers play an increasingly important role in ensuring long-term performance of the subfloor and hardwood flooring. Consider how the following best practices at the yard and during the sale can reduce callbacks and increase customer satisfaction.
• Whenever possible, store panels in a covered area. Use pieces of lumber to weigh down the top panel in the stack to reduce warpage from humidity. If moisture absorption is expected, cut steel bands on bundles to prevent edge damage.
• If panels must be stored outside, stack them on a level platform supported by at least three 4x4s to keep them off the ground. Place one 4×4 in the center and the other two 12″ to 16″ from the ends. Never leave panels in direct contact with the ground. Cover the stack loosely with plastic sheets or tarps. Anchor the covering at the top of the stack, but keep it open and away from the sides and bottom to ensure good ventilation. (See figure above).