The Ten Books on Architecture, 7.1.2

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 7.1.1 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 7.1.3 ›››

Gwilt translation

2Care must also be taken that holm timber be not used with oak; for as soon as oak becomes damp, it warps, and causes cracks in the pavement. If, however, holm is not to be had, and on that account it be absolutely necessary to use oak, it should be cut very thin, by which means its power will be diminished, and it will be more easily fastened with the nails. Then through the edges of the boards two nails are to be driven into every joist, so that no part of the edges may warp. I do not mention the chestnut, beech, or the farnus, because neither of them are durable. The floor being prepared, fern, if at hand, and if not, straw, is to be spread over it, so that the timber may not be injured by the lime.

Morgan translation

2We must also be careful that no common oak gets in with the winter oak boards, for as soon as common oak boards get damp, they warp and cause cracks in floors. But if there is no winter oak, and necessity drives, for lack of this it seems advisable to use common oak boards cut pretty thin; for the less thick they are, the more easily they can be held in place by being nailed on. Then, at the ends of every joist, nail on two boards so that they shall not be able to warp and stick up at the edges. As for Turkey oak or beech or ash, none of them can last to a great age.

When the wooden planking is finished, cover it with fern, if there is any, otherwise with straw, to protect the wood from being hurt by the lime.