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  • Wood Floor Problem

    I have an engineered wood floor that has developed cracks running with the grain due to low humidity. These cracks seem to follow into the supporting layers of ply. I tried to sand a sample that had the same defect with a portable orbital sander and I was not pleased with the results. Anyone know if the floor can be sanded and refinished?

  • #2
    Re: Wood Floor Problem

    Are the cracks at the seams? If so, you *MAY* be able to pull the floor together using the clamp and strap method. If they are not...I don't know what to say.

    It worries me that you say these cracks flow down into the underlayment plywood. That's indicitave of a severe problem, at least in my experience. It sounds to me like the floor wasn't put down properly to begin with. It'd be in your best interest to get an expert out to have a look at the situation. A home inspector may be able to help you figure out what's going on and point you towards a solution.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Wood Floor Problem

      S S

      If you can, try to post a few pictures showing the floor problem.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Wood Floor Problem

        Sorry, I do not own a digital camera, so no photos.
        The floor is about 18 months old, so it has seen two winters and one summer season. We had a very cold February so my heat was on most all the time, without a humidifier and this is when the problem occurred.
        The floor is glued to an OSB sub floor. All of the seams are tight and there is no trouble with warping and /or buckling. The ends are relieved from the walls and ajoining flooring to allow for expansion. The cracks I am sure are a result of lack of moisture, due to high dry heat, my fault. The manufacturer sent an inspector, and they denied me coverage under warranty.
        The cracks seem to exist below the top layer, into the supporting ply. The flooring is 3" wide by 1/2" thick.
        So, before I rip it up I am wondering if the is anything else I can do to save what I have.
        Steve.

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        • #5
          Re: Wood Floor Problem

          I've never heard of the level of problem you're describing. There is typically some movement in an engineered floor, but this seems a bit much! In the installations I've seen, the flooring is not glued to the subfloor. Was that in the directions for the flooring installation?
          I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Wood Floor Problem

            Never heard of an engineered floor that had to be glued down and never glue to the sub floor. If you glue anything (like vinyl) 1/4" must be stapled to the sub floor so that if it has to come out the 1/4" can be removed and the sub floor remains untouched (there are other reasons for the 1/4" as well). If you have to rip this stuff out you will need to replace the sub floor or fill in the tears and re-sheet over top. I would get a second opinion on that floor, engineered is designed to be stable even at low humidity (way more so than solid wood) I had similar stuff to what you are describing and there were many days where the RH was around 20% with no effect on the floor. The Oak layer is sealed between poly and plywood so there should be no effect on the hardwood layer, if the plywood split then there is a serious issue that was not caused by dry air alone

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Wood Floor Problem

              To be clear about this, the cracks are similar to a blistering situation. Additionally, I had boxes of new flooring (same material as the floor) in the room with existing floor and the new, uninstalled wood has also sufferd the same cracking situation. So I am convinced the problem has nothing to do with the installation, it has to be the enviroment. I can solve the moisture problem, I could even live with the floor as is, but if I try to sand and refinish I am committed to either a potentially unsatisfactory result or replacement.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Wood Floor Problem

                Some engineered flooring can be sanded. If your's is made with a 1/4" of oak over the ply, you can sand up to 1/16" and still have enough of the oak surface to provide a decent floor. 1/16" isn't much of a surface to be left with, however. Sanding engineered flooring is always tricky, since the wood "money" surface is so thin. Even a tiny bit of oversanding will leave you with thin to none of the oak! If you decide to go that route, try sanding in a small, out-of-view area and see if you can sand enough to fix what's wrong.

                From your description of the problem, I rather doubt you'll be able to sand enough to fix the problem. Unfortunately, you'll probably end up having to pull up the floor, the underlayment, and start over.

                I still don't understand why the flooring was glued to the underlayment. Everything I've ever read or heard about engineered or real hardwood flooring states NOT to attach it in any way to the actual underlayment sheething.

                If what you're saying about blistering is indeed the case, it could have been the moisture in the glue that actually caused the problem. Either that or the underlayment plywood was moist when the engineered was put on top. With the real dry atmosphere, that'd pull the moisture out and cause all kinds of problems.
                I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Wood Floor Problem

                  "Never heard of an engineered floor that had to be glued down and never glue to the sub floor. "

                  As Wayne said, I have been looking into putting down an engineered floor in our kitchen and am have not as yet come across a floor system that says to glue or otherwise fasten directly to the sub-floor. All the ones I have looked at are floating floors. The difference in expansion of the flooring and the OSB sub-floor may be leading to the problem you have. You said blistering but maybe it is the result of tearing and/or compression caused by this difference in expansion between the two materials. Since they are bonded together there is no 'give' between them and one is going to loose. It is amazing the forces that can be generated by temperature differentials.

                  Totally unrelated but I remember starting up a unit and the engineers have not calculated the expansion of the piping correctly. When the pipe was heated up to operating temperature (about 300 °F), pipe hangers were being ripped right off the walls, are these were welded hangers made of 6" tube steel welded to 3/4" plate embeds in the concrete. Ripped the TS right off the plate next to the weld. Pipe grew about 2" along that run of roughly 150 ft. Without an expansion loop there was no place for the force to be compensated for, and destruction was the result.
                  Back to the drawing board they went. And we got to fix it all on OT because we were now behind schedule. $$$
                  ---------------
                  Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                  ---------------
                  “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                  ---------
                  "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                  ---------
                  sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Wood Floor Problem

                    Sweeney, was this flooring by any chance from Lumber Liquidators? My neighbor had the same problem (not with humidity, but with the flooring) and is currently fighting them for replacement. Of course, they say it isn't their fault.

                    Jim

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Wood Floor Problem

                      Good question PK. I bet they're not named Lumber Liquidators for nothing.
                      They probably buy seconds or beginning/end of production runs or batches where something went wrong in the production process (color slightly off, thickness or width not within spec, etc.).
                      ---------------
                      Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                      ---------------
                      “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                      ---------
                      "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                      ---------
                      sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Wood Floor Problem

                        Jim,
                        Negitive. Vendor is Worldwide Flooring. As far as I know a local two store operation. Product is Columbia engineered wood "Chase Pecan Natural". Product was sold to me as nail or glue down. I complained, but was denied coverage.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Wood Floor Problem

                          Is this the place? They have three locations in NJ.

                          http://www.worldwidefloors.com/home.cfm

                          I couldn't find the floor you listed on their site. Which doesn't mean anything other than I couldn't find it. It may be a product they carry which does not currently appear on their site. Just means we can't look at it from there.

                          But it can be found here:

                          http://www.columbiaflooring.com/prod...ines.php?cid=5
                          Last edited by Bob D.; 05-18-2007, 09:59 PM.
                          ---------------
                          Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                          ---------------
                          “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                          ---------
                          "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                          ---------
                          sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Wood Floor Problem

                            Bob D,
                            Yep. That is the vendor. I bought the last box they had in February.
                            Steve.

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