"The moisture content of wood below the fiber saturation point is a function of both relative humidity and temperature of the surrounding air. Wood will absorb moisture from its environment
or lose moisture to its environment
until the wood reaches a point of equilibrium. The equilibrium moisture content (EMC) is defined as the moisture content at which the wood is neither gaining nor losing moisture; an equilibrium condition has been reached.
Wood in service
usually is exposed to both long-term (seasonal) and short-term (daily) changes in the relative humidity and temperature of the surrounding air. Thus, wood virtually always is undergoing at least slight changes in moisture content. These changes usually are gradual, and short-term fluctuations tend to influence only the wood surface." (source - The Wood Flooring
When you use oak flooring in your home, it resides in a controlled environment (HVAC). The problem with using oak on a boat is that it will not be in a controlled environment. It will undergo SEVERE changes in the EMC due to the changes in the relative humidity aboard your boat, in addition to DIRECT CONTACT with water
. Wood does NOT shrink or swell equally in all directions, nor does it accept moisture in a uniform manner. Oak is one of the more unstable woods in this regard. It dries very easily and accepts moisture rapidly.
The reason that teak
is used in the marine
enviro is that it's natural oil
content prevents the introduction
of moisture back into the wood. When we run teak
through our wide belt sander, the natural oils causes the saw dust to stick to the surface of the board and is not carried off by our dust collection system. It also causes a "gum" buid-up on our sanding
belts. In contrast, oak produces a very fine dry dust that is easily removed by the dust collection system.