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Faulty Flooring Install UPDATE

allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,365 ✭✭✭✭
edited September 2016 in General Discussion
In the new log cabin addition I recently built the fiancee was in charge of the finished floor.
She hired a reputable outfit. They installed 3 inch wide oak, this floor really looked great.

She explained to the boss that in summer we don't like to run a/c, we like to open the windows at night which brings in humidity.
He said that this might cause the flooring to "cup" a bit. He also said the installers had to leave a 3/8 inch space at the sides to allow for expansion.

The flooring guys did not leave a space.
About twice a week during the summer we have heard a loud "popping" sound. Don't know what it is, might be the flooring nails pulling out.
At one place the floor is buckled up about a half inch high. The high place is 8 inches wide and 2 feet long. All the flooring is cupped some, but it still looks good. The overall floor looks good and is not ruined by any means.

All the other carpentry on this addition is flawless. I hate it having a poor quality floor.
Fiancee went to talk to the installer today. She is not too forceful. The boss was not in but I think they will play dumb and blame her.

The floor still looks great! If the flooring company takes a hike like I think they will do, what can I do to fix this floor?
If I saw a 3/8 inch space along the sides will this fix it?
What kind of saw could I use? Can't use a 7 1/4 inch circular saw.
Sawzall would be difficult. Hand saw, I don't think so.

I busted my * to do top quality carpentry on this addition and now we have a s*** rigged floor that is not installed right, I am not happy.

Comments

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    CaptFunCaptFun Member Posts: 16,678 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sounds like they either did not leave enough side gap or did not let it acclimate long enough prior to installation. Did they put rosin paper (or tar paper) underneath? What is the sub floor?
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    NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 16,855 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That's too bad, Allen. I know you put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into that build, not to mention money!
    You do need to have an expansion space around the perimeter of the floor of at least 1/4" but larger in high humidity areas. You might be able to cut that in with an oscillating saw, but it would be a pain in the butt!
    Was the floor acclimated prior to installation? I try to let the flooring set on-site for as long as it takes to get the moisture content in the wood and the subfloor within 2% of each other.
    Did they use a vapor barrier such as Aquabar between the wood and subfloor?
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    select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 69,446 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You are on the right track. Ask them to come look at it. Obviously if it is buckled it was not done right. See what they will do. IF they turn a blind eye and start pointing fingers it is your fault.. go have another company come look at it and get an estimate of repair. Let the original installer know you mean business and send them a certified letter you want it repaired. Once they refuse get the other company to make it right.. take the other jokers to small claims with the repair bill.
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    jarjar Member Posts: 618 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    this is what I do. you can use a multi tool easier than any other tool. but if I were you I would make the seller and installer come to your house to see and fix it! have you paid in full? they should have sold you an engineered wood floor, it wont do this. your seller did not do you right!!! have them call manufacture and get an independent inspector to your house. don't do anything until then and only after they refuse your claim
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    montanajoemontanajoe Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 58,275 ******
    edited November -1
    Dangit!! Sorry you're having this trouble Allen. The Cpt. and NBD got this one. The got in too big of a hurry doing the install. It can be fixed and the installer needs to man up and take care of it
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    Marc1301Marc1301 Member Posts: 31,895 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Use a jamb/undercut saw flipped 90 degrees.
    "Beam me up Scotty, there's no intelligent life down here." - William Shatner
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    jarjar Member Posts: 618 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    you could but the undercut saw is a very dangerous way , no guard and very high rpms might grab and jump
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    SGSG Member Posts: 7,548
    edited November -1
    This is what you need. Hopefully the floor will settle down,no guarantee.https://www.amazon.com/CRAIN-775-Crain-Toe-Kick-Saw/dp/B005WL34PK
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    NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 16,855 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by SG
    This is what you need. Hopefully the floor will settle down,no guarantee.https://www.amazon.com/CRAIN-775-Crain-Toe-Kick-Saw/dp/B005WL34PK

    Bingo! But be careful! Them little suckers can be a handful if you don't pay attention!
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    LesWVaLesWVa Member Posts: 10,490 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Cupping (edges high) is caused by moister inside of a room.
    Capping (center high) is caused by moister reaching the flooring from underneath the room..

    Get them back to look at it. If it comes down to you having to repair it yourself. You have two good tool choices to cut along the wall with. Blade Toe-Kick saw and a Jam Saw. Myself I prefer the Blade Toe kick saw over the Jam saw simply due to it being easier to operate when cutting reliefs along a wall for flooring.

    The buckled part of the floor.. You can use an Oscillating saw with metal cutting blades to cut along and between the joints where they butt together (tongues & groves). 8" = 3 +/- boards. With an Oscillating saw blade that would be 2.5 to 3mm you will be removing and the floor should have enough room to lay down it if has not dried in the bucked state that it is in..

    Oscillating Tool or Multi tool. On Oak flooring to cut a full length relief with. You will either spend more money on just on blades alone that you could have bought a good tool or burn the tool up trying to cut the full length of a wall with one.

    When you hear wood making a popping or creaking sound. It normally means that it is contracting. You will mainly hear it at night when the wood starts to cool down. Your being a newly built cabin could be the entire structure is settling and the wood shrinking.
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    Franz?Franz? Member Posts: 2,628 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You haven't heard the BIG Bang yet.

    You will, and it will sound like an AK when it lets go.

    The floor will have a hill in the middle where it lets go, mine was 8" high and 6 feet long. It was caused by pulling the boards too tight when the floor was nailed down and humidity.

    The cupping you are seeing is caused by moisture getting to the underside of the boards and penetrating which causes swelling from one side only. It also happens with wainscoting that wasn't coated on the back of the board.
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    pwilliepwillie Member Posts: 20,253 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I put in 1x6 T&G pine flooring ,glued and nailed...no barrier...My folks home was built in 1940 with 1x4 pine nailed only over 1x10 full cut pine cross straddled over the floor joist...that floor is still good today...only place I have any problems is where the maid puts too much water down when mopping..
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    mogley98mogley98 Member Posts: 18,291 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That sucks.

    I am no flooring guy but you mention maybe nails popping, I wonder even if you have a 3/8 gap at the edges if the floor is nailed how will it be able to shift into that gap/ I would think unless it was a floating floor with just the tongue and grove locking it that it wouldn't be able to expand much?
    Why don't we go to school and work on the weekends and take the week off!
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    GuvamintCheeseGuvamintCheese Member Posts: 38,932
    edited November -1
    Let me know if you want me to have a banner made for you too! [8D]
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    select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 69,446 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by GuvamintCheese
    Let me know if you want me to have a banner made for you too! [8D]


    Do they cost as much as a toilet seat ?
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    allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,365 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Well, damn, SG, the Crain toe-kick saw, for $320. I thought I knew all about tools but I never heard of that one.

    If it gets down to it I will buy that saw and fix it myself.
    These guys are highly recommended floor installers in the Asheville NC area.
    The boss had told us that they would leave a 1/4 inch space all around. But the installers did not leave a space.
    They did install a plastic vapor barrier.
    The subfloor is 2x10 yellow pine with expensive 3/4 t and g osb. Very sturdy subfloor.

    They brought the wood inside and began to install on that same day.
    The guy had an expensive moisture meter and after I asked him to do so, he shot a reading on this white oak.
    It was 8.5 percent, extremely dry wood.

    Obviously they should have left the wood inside to acclimate to moisture level of the house, the oak would have absorbed some moisture from the air in a week.

    I think the boss "Larry" is going to come out and take a look, we shall see what happens.
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    select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 69,446 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I bet you didn't go screaming and shouting to make it right to get him to come out. I bet they do you right.
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    mogley98mogley98 Member Posts: 18,291 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yeah like getting Hysterical at Lowes or something :) quote:Originally posted by select-fire
    I bet you didn't go screaming and shouting to make it right to get him to come out. I bet they do you right.
    Why don't we go to school and work on the weekends and take the week off!
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    SGSG Member Posts: 7,548
    edited November -1
    Good to hear the boss is coming out to look at it. If they're a quality company they'll fix it. Installer's fault,no doubt. If it's in a log home I'd of stayed atleast 1/2" back from any exterior walls.

    Also,you are correct on acclimating the product for atleast 48 hrs before installing.
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    select-fireselect-fire Member Posts: 69,446 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by mogley98
    Yeah like getting Hysterical at Lowes or something :) quote:Originally posted by select-fire
    I bet you didn't go screaming and shouting to make it right to get him to come out. I bet they do you right.



    Headed that way in a few to speak again to the manager and give them the bill. Read bad stuff about Lowes on this forum. Never had one issue with them.
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    Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 66,368 ******
    edited November -1
    You've gotten some great advice in this thread thus far. Cupping is humidity caused. Barrier is a must. If there isn't one, you can possibly spray the underside of the floor (assuming you have a crawl space) with a vapor barrier paint. Cut the edge (and that saw looks like it will do the job) because expansion space is a must as well.

    Make the company fix it, like SelectFire says.
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    And fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    While sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life
    And drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche
    Coming down the mountain
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    84Bravo184Bravo1 Member Posts: 10,461 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by select-fire
    You are on the right track. Ask them to come look at it. Obviously if it is buckled it was not done right. See what they will do. IF they turn a blind eye and start pointing fingers it is your fault.. go have another company come look at it and get an estimate of repair. Let the original installer know you mean business and send them a certified letter you want it repaired. Once they refuse get the other company to make it right.. take the other jokers to small claims with the repair bill.


    +1. Did high-end finish Carpentry for years. Primarily with a "Remediation Company." We would come in and solve "Problems," other Contractors had left behind. Was pretty rewarding.
    Best of luck Allen. -Ken-
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    84Bravo184Bravo1 Member Posts: 10,461 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Having read through the posts following the one I quoted, You are indeed getting some good advice here. I would most definitely hold the installers "feet to the fire." It is a good sign "the Owner," is coming out. He does not want, unsatisfied Customers.
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    OakieOakie Member Posts: 40,512 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You got a lot of great advice Allen. I bet the owner and installer come out. Give them a chance to rectify the situation. I am sure if they are reputable, they did something wrong and will fix it. We are all human and we all make mistakes and have chit just happen, even when we think things are perfect. Keep us updated. Good luck and if you get a chance, I would love to see the floor, to get ideas for my place. Oakie
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    bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,657 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I hope you get it fixed soon. Flooring doing what yours is doing now will not correct itself over time.
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    allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,365 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The boss Larry is coming out Thursday. I will be in Texas but, as I said, the fiancee has handled the entire flooring project so it is her deal anyway.
    That is the only carpentry in the entire addition that I did not do.
    I must say, my work gets 5 gold stars and the floor is a screw up.

    There is a vapor barrier. It is plastic that is designed for the flooring industry.
    There is a full basement below this room. The basement may be humid but it is dry, that is, no water leaks in.
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    LesWVaLesWVa Member Posts: 10,490 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Allen you being in NC a few hours from Charlotte. For future reference if you or know someone that wants floor installed, repaired or cleaned. I would keep these guys in mind. I know Charlie (the guy that owns the company) and have saw some of his work he did here in WV.

    The photos he has on his web site and Facebook page does not do him justice. For the guy is a master and can do wood floors that will blow your mind.

    Classic Hardwood Flooring

    http://www.classichardwoodflooringinc.com/
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    notnownotnow Member Posts: 1,825 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    My guess on this is they didn't let it acclimate long enough. I did a fairly large room here at home a few years back and let the wood sit for 3 weeks, open in the room it was going in. I left a 1/2" gap at the edges. Now the flooring I used was pre-finished but the under-side wasn't. With a plastic barrier, you can't blame it on moisture from the basement. I wonder if you ran an A/C and lowered the humidity for a month or so, that it would go back down. And no one has suggested a nice rug and one of those big coffee tables. I have respect for your issue so I won't either.
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    allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,365 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Well, that is Plan B. Just run the a/c all summer and the problem will go away.
    Problem is we usually have cool nights up in the NC mountains and we like to open the windows at night.
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    pwilliepwillie Member Posts: 20,253 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by allen griggs
    Well, that is Plan B. Just run the a/c all summer and the problem will go away.
    Problem is we usually have cool nights up in the NC mountains and we like to open the windows at night.
    Does your basement have ventilation?Part of my understory has AC and the other has outside vents...
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    allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 35,365 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    UPDATE

    Larry the boss came out today at 10am.
    He said that, yes, the problem was caused by humidity.

    He said they will repair the floor. Said they want to wait until winter when we are running the wood stove.
    They will pull the board on the edge and saw it so as to leave a 1/2 or 3/4 inch space.

    That suits me I don't want to repair that floor.
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    Ditch-RunnerDitch-Runner Member Posts: 24,813 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    good to hear
    glad they going to do the repairs for you ,
    that speaks a lot even if they messed up to start they are willing to come back and work it out
    you have a wonderful beautiful, place you built I am sure the floor was a burr under your saddle
    glad it worked out

    quote:Originally posted by allen griggs
    UPDATE

    Larry the boss came out today at 10am.
    He said that, yes, the problem was caused by humidity.

    He said they will repair the floor. Said they want to wait until winter when we are running the wood stove.
    They will pull the board on the edge and saw it so as to leave a 1/2 or 3/4 inch space.

    That suits me I don't want to repair that floor.
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    CaptFunCaptFun Member Posts: 16,678 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    My floors have a fair amount of movement. Right now everything is pretty tight. In the winter when the heat is on and humidity is pretty low they gap open a bit. The prefinished stuff I put in the downstairs office is not as prone to it as the rest of downstairs. I'm thinking about putting some floating laminate down in the basement. The last house I did some glue down on the slab and was not happy with the results.

    We have had a few door leaks and one dishwasher leak that caused some cupping, but as soon as the water problem was fixed the wood went back to flat.
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    NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 16,855 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Allen, I hate to sound like I'm raining on your parade but solid wood floors, large humidity fluctuations, and wood stoves do not make a good combination. You pretty much have the trifecta for future floor problems. I would encourage you to look into a nail down engineered floor instead of solid wood. You can still get a very similar look to what you have now but you should get a lot less movement. Many of the engineered floors even have a thick enough wear layer (solid wood) that you can refinish them a time or two.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
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    GuvamintCheeseGuvamintCheese Member Posts: 38,932
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by CaptFun
    My floors have a fair amount of movement. Right now everything is pretty tight. In the winter when the heat is on and humidity is pretty low they gap open a bit. The prefinished stuff I put in the downstairs office is not as prone to it as the rest of downstairs. I'm thinking about putting some floating laminate down in the basement. The last house I did some glue down on the slab and was not happy with the results.

    We have had a few door leaks and one dishwasher leak that caused some cupping, but as soon as the water problem was fixed the wood went back to flat.
    Over concrete I think a floating floor is the best of what there is right now. I have seen vinyl planks put right on top of concrete and it also look very good. Flooring keeps on evolving, almost as slow as us humans.
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    CaptFunCaptFun Member Posts: 16,678 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by GuvamintCheese
    Over concrete I think a floating floor is the best of what there is right now. I have seen vinyl planks put right on top of concrete and it also look very good. Flooring keeps on evolving, almost as slow as us humans.


    That's what I'm thinking. But I also saw some ceramic tile recently that you really had to look at to tell it was not hardwood. My kids are in college so in the not too distant future I will be able to spend some money on ME projects instead of them, but I'm guessing about then there will be some weddings to pay for....
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    pwilliepwillie Member Posts: 20,253 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by CaptFun
    quote:Originally posted by GuvamintCheese
    Over concrete I think a floating floor is the best of what there is right now. I have seen vinyl planks put right on top of concrete and it also look very good. Flooring keeps on evolving, almost as slow as us humans.


    That's what I'm thinking. But I also saw some ceramic tile recently that you really had to look at to tell it was not hardwood. My kids are in college so in the not too distant future I will be able to spend some money on ME projects instead of them, but I'm guessing about then there will be some weddings to pay for....
    ...no end to the childrens ATM....you will pay to you die...[:o)]
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