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help! 04-22-2011 03:34 PM

Bowed Engineered Flooring Planks
I just purchased 1500 square feet of 7 1/2" wide X 6' Long American Cherry Engineered flooring planks. They have a 1/2" substrate made of several layers and a finished layer made up of 1/4" (american cherry). I opened up the first two cartons and every panel was bowed the long way. On average approximately 1/2" from the end of the panel to the floor. The system is a tongue and groove. The manufacturer claims that this is not an issue?????????? Is this acceptable? Even if it is at a bear minimum the installation has become a lot harder. They claim that the longer the board the more common this is?????? Can someone knowledgable please let me know. I really appreciate your help.

woodman58 04-23-2011 06:37 AM

An engineered floor should not have a bow in it. That is the whole idea of engineered flooring. It is stable. With a bow it can still be installed. But, I have rarely found engineered floors that were bowed. Even up to 7 feet long. The layers of wood are cris crossed to stop the wood from bowing. If you think it is going to be to hard to install then see about taking it back.

help! 04-23-2011 07:17 AM

Thanks Woodman
I called the manufacturer and they said that the bow is common with these floors because of the 7 1/2 inch width and 6 foot length. They say as you install them staggered with a glue down application they will be fine. My installer is concerned and even if we install them it is a lot more work. The overall thickness is 3/4 of an inch. I told them that the reason I purchased an engineered floor in the first place was to avoid this problem. They told me that since they believed there is no defect they would not take the floor back as a return but would be willing to exchange for something that I would be more comfortable with????? They also said that because the finished top layer is american cherry it is a bit more susceptible to bowing????? If I new there would be no future problem I would have it installed because I really have no time but this was a significant investment. Should these planks have come out of the box perfectly straight????? Thanks so much for your help and advice.

woodman58 04-23-2011 08:45 AM

Yes, the planks should have been straight. The wider the boards the less they will bow. It is when you cut narrow boards that they will bow. Don't get me wrong, large boards can bow. But not as easily. I have been installing hardwood for 28 years. Just because it is cherry does not mean it will bow easier. I also am a wood worker and process my own lumber. (Cut the tree down, Have it cut at a mill, and dry the lumber in my kiln.) I dry cherry all the time. You do get some bowed boards on occation. But, if they are bowed you do not use them for long projects. It sound like the boards were not totally dry before they were glued together. Even if they used to much glue it would not have made the boards bow if they wre dried properly. These layers are glued together before they are milled to size. If they were dry they should not have bowed. It sounds like they used poor quality trees or milled large branches. Some loggers will try to pass large branches off as trunks. Branches are hanging out to the side of the trunk and are constantly under stress due to gravity. They will bow and split easily. If milled these should only be used for small projects, not flooring. I am making assumptions, but this is the only reasons I can think of for the problems.

DannyT 04-25-2011 10:01 PM

the flooring didnt come from LL did it?
I have read a lot of complaints about them not taking back defective material.
i ordered about 700 sq feet of 3/4 inch hardwood and very few had even a slight bow in them.
the manufacturer says it is common, maybe with their product it is but not with everyone elses product.
if i could id return the whole lot and buy from somewhere else.
the manufacturer is making excuses for an inferior product.
most people dont glue down the engineered floor unless installing over concrete

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