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Old 11-08-2008, 04:45 PM   #1
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


I'm a home owner who is in the process of having a general contractor complete a remodel job on my home. The reason I'm posting here is to understand how much damage to the floors is considered normal during the construction process. My GC had new pre-finished wood floors installed (glue-down) during the early stages of the remodel. The floors were then covered with paper during the remainder of the construction. Now that the paper is up, I've noticed several deep scratches throughout which are extremely visible. I don't want to be a pain in the butt to my GC, so I'd like to know if this kind of damage is normal and to be expected on pre-finished floors? Should I insist that all the damaged boards be replaced? I'm also concerned that the replaced boards will not fit as tight as the originals. The planks have beveled edges and it seems that replacing boards would require cutting/trimming of new planks in order to get them to fit.. this would mean that the beveled edges on the ends of the plank would be cut off. If you guys have any advice, I'm all ears.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:07 PM   #2
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


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Now that the paper is up, I've noticed several deep scratches throughout which are extremely visible.
Simple. Did you contract for new flooring, or for new scratched flooring?

Things like that are regrettable, but accidents do happen even on the best-run jobs. If he's a reputable, conscientious contractor, chances are he already has plans to repair it prior to declaring that he's finished.

On the other hand, not knowing you personally and precisely what "extremely visible" means to you, I could see the problem being overlooked/not noticed until the very end. It can certainly do no harm to tactfully call it to his attention, just to make sure that he's aware of it.

If he is aware of it and tries to wiggle out of doing anything about it, that's when the gloves should come off.
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Old 11-08-2008, 09:20 PM   #3
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


Oh boy, that sounds bad...
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Old 11-09-2008, 01:42 AM   #4
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


pre-finished floors are very sensitive,usually it gets scratches while walking on it with your shoes on.I wouldn't recomand pre-finished floors to anyone.
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:45 AM   #5
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


There is nothing wrong with pre-finished floors but they should go down at the end of the job not the beginning. I have seen contractors have carpet installed before the walls are doped and painted. How crazy is that. Make him fix it and fix it properly.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:14 AM   #6
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


tazin's right, the floor should have been the LAST thing he did.....

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Old 11-09-2008, 09:04 AM   #7
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


We install the flooring absolutely last in any project: new or remodel.

Any GC with half a brain, would not install flooring first, or early in a remodeling project. That is just wrong. = You are asking for damage. Strike 1.

Even if there were a situation, where there was new, or newer flooring installed, with more work to be performed on a project, "paper" is not going to protect a dang thing. That is strike 2, for that "GC".

It's a new floor, it should be in new condition, when the completed project is turned over to the owner or Client.
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:45 AM   #8
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


Thanks guys for the advice. I did ask him why he chose to install the flooring before trim & cabinets and he said that it's done that way so all the door casings sit flush with the floor. But I will address this with the GC.

I've attached a picture to show you my definition of 'extremely visible'. I've counted probably a dozen or more of these types of scratches and maybe a handful of large dents where heavy items may have been dropped. The floors are still quite dusty, so its a bit scary to imagine what else I'll find once everything has been cleaned up.
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?-img_0508.jpg  

Last edited by zzman; 11-09-2008 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:36 AM   #9
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


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The floors were then covered with paper during the remainder of the construction. Now that the paper is up, I've noticed several deep scratches throughout which are extremely visible
Too bad about that nice floor. Not to change the subject but this may help other folks: What kind of paper was used by the GC? I usually tape down 2 sheets of underlayment paper recommended for Bruce hardwood floors to protect existing floors during remodels. This has prevented minor scratches but not impacts. Depending on the job I use a 2' x3' tacky sheet to catch debri from shoes or "booties" at the entrance. What do you guys recommend to prevent headaches at the end of the job for existing floors?
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:21 PM   #10
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


Paper covering was a stupid choice for this application. He should have covered it with something like homosote board OVER the paper or installed the floor last.
He should replace it or refinish it on his dime.
As far as I'm concerned ,there is no acceptable excuse for that.
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Old 11-11-2008, 05:43 PM   #11
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


We would have used, at a miniumum, 1/8" Luan to cover a floor during work. Underlayment paper is not a material that will protect any floor's finish during a remodeling project.
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:03 AM   #12
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


As a contractor, I would NOT allow the new floors to be covered with anything LESS than a layer of rosin paper (seams taped with blue tape), layer of cardboard (seams taped with duct tape) and then a layer of luan (seams taped with duct tape).
If we don't use at least that, we're asking for trouble. I think your contractor tried to cut corners and screwed up. That would not be acceptable to me if that happened with one of my jobs.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:25 PM   #13
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


the contractor has replaced the damaged planks, however, it still feels like a patch up job. They had to cut out the damaged planks individually, then trim off the tongues on the new planks in order to drop them into place. Because of the soft cork underlayment and the fact that the replaced planks don't interlock into the surrounding planks, there's some movement & creaking when you walk over the replaced boards.The movement isn't noticeable with shoes, but it is with bare feet. Also some of the replaced planks stick up just slightly higher than the surrounding original boards - again because there was no way to interlock them. Its not very noticeable, but its easy to see if you are looking for it. On top of all this, there is some slight chipping of the surrounding boards that occurred as they chiseled out the damaged planks.

What should I do at this point? I don't know if I'm being over critical...should I just learn to accept it? The floors have already been entirely replaced once before during this project (due to quality issues with previous product) and it now feels like I might have to go through that again. I don't want my GC to lose money, but on the other hand, I'm paying $175k+ for this job.

Last edited by zzman; 12-04-2008 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:59 PM   #14
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


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Originally Posted by zzman View Post
the contractor has replaced the damaged planks, however, it still feels like a patch up job. They had to cut out the damaged planks individually, then trim off the tongues on the new planks in order to drop them into place. Because of the soft cork underlayment and the fact that the replaced planks don't interlock into the surrounding planks, there's some movement & creaking when you walk over the replaced boards.The movement isn't noticeable with shoes, but it is with bare feet. Also some of the replaced planks stick up just slightly higher than the surrounding original boards - again because there was no way to interlock them. Its not very noticeable, but its easy to see if you are looking for it. On top of all this, there is some slight chipping of the surrounding boards that occurred as they chiseled out the damaged planks.

What should I do at this point? I don't know if I'm being over critical...should I just learn to accept it? The floors have already been entirely replaced once before during this project (due to quality issues with previous product) and it now feels like I might have to go through that again. I don't want my GC to lose money, but on the other hand, I'm paying $175k+ for this job.
When I installed my Bruce floor, I remember reading in the instructions, the method for replacing damaged planks.
Two saw cuts are made lengthwise, and then the center section is removed.
Then, the tongue edge and the groove edge are removed.
The replacement plank (the same length will have the lower edge of the grooves removed, to allow the plank to drop in.
Before, the plank is placed, the grooves will have glue applied so as to bond the plank to the adjacent tongue.
Is this the method tha was used in your case? If so, why were adjacent boards damaged?
On a new floor, no damage is acceptable!
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:09 PM   #15
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damage to prefinished floors normal during a remodel?


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pre-finished floors are very sensitive,usually it gets scratches while walking on it with your shoes on.I wouldn't recomand pre-finished floors to anyone.
How is a finish that is applied in a factory in controlled conditions not as good as one that is applied on-site? I think you're way off on this one.
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