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Old 12-23-2011, 03:25 PM   #1
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


I hired an experienced hardwood installer to put in 525 s.f. of 1/2 in. x 3 in. pre-finished Brazilian cherry light (moabi) in 2 upstairs bedrooms.

When the installer came to measure, he took a piece of the wood with him saying he needed to test his staplers/nailers/fasteners on the wood before starting the work.

When he came to do the installation, he said he had not had a chance to do any testing but he would figure it out.

Well, the floor is now installed and the entire surface is covered with dimples. Everywhere a fastener was put in there is a bump. The bumps are not raised enough to be felt, but are VERY visible in bright light. Both rooms have large windows and get a lot of sun.

When I informed the installer about the dimples (I wasn't there when he finished) he got angry at me and said he wasn't coming back.

I believe a new installation COMPLETELY covered with dimpling is defective and unacceptable workmanship.

Do any pros have any advice on how this floor should be repaired?
Also, how I should deal with the installer?

Appreciated.

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Old 12-23-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


Do you have a picture or two?

What caused the 'dimples' and where are they exactly on the board?

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Old 12-23-2011, 04:13 PM   #3
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


I will post pictures as soon as I can.

The bumps are on the surface of each board, at the side edge and spaced out wherever a fastener went in.

The quick research I did to identify the problem lists the main causes of dimpling as a poorly seated nailing machine, using incorrect nailers, or using incorrect fasteners (thickness/gauge).
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:28 PM   #4
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


That is true---it is also caused by a poor quality product with a soft substrate--

Did the flooring installers recommend and supply the material?
Was it a high quality product or an inexpensive one?
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


The flooring is Bellawood which I purchased from Lumber Liquidators after the installer said his suppliers did not have a cherry lite (moabi).

All reviews and recommendations for the product I could find were very positive.

I've also read that exotics and bamboo are especially subject to dimpling if the installer doesn't use the proper equipment and fasteners.
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:51 PM   #6
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


Forgot to say, the price of the product is $5.00 s.f.

This is for 1/2 in. thickness. The 3/4 In. they sell is $6.50 s.f.

I don't consider this inexpensive.
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:59 PM   #7
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


This could be difficult to address. The installer owes you what your contract with them requires them to do. You did not state if you have a written contract with the installer, nor what the contract (if you have one) says. So you may or may not have a case.

For example, if the contract states that the contractor will follow manufacturers instructions for installation, and they did follow manufacturers instructions, you likely have no case. If the contract states that the installer will follow best practices, and you can show that best practices do not normally include dimpling, then you may have a case. It all comes down to what your contract says.
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:16 PM   #8
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


We had no written contract.

He sent me a bid by email and I emailed him back acceptance. No formal contract with all the fine print.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:11 AM   #9
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


Sounds like he may have used a finish nailer and not a floor nailer. These nailers are not proper flooring tools except for the starter boards and nailing the last row. This would leave a demple if he pushed hard to get the nail to the edge of the tounge. In some areas an e-mail is a binding contract. You would have to check.
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Old 12-24-2011, 06:35 AM   #10
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy99 View Post
We had no written contract.

He sent me a bid by email and I emailed him back acceptance. No formal contract with all the fine print.
This point right there, will make it difficult for you to acquire any satisfaction from the installer.

You could attempt to contact a Bellawood representative, to schedule a time for them to inspect the floor and offer their opinion. This is what I would recommend. The Supplier should be able to provide the contact information needed.

Now, they may come out and look at the floor and tell you that it was not installed properly, or the wrong fastener (and fastening tool) was used on it.

Then you would likely attempt to contact the installer, who will likely ignore your efforts (he has already stated that he is "not coming back").

I am sorry to say, that without anything in writing, you are essentially out of luck, and IMHO - may have no legal leg to stand on.

Now, I will say this; When we install pre-finished hardwood, engineered flooring, laminates, etc. - This is my standard policy & operating procedure:

1.) If I supply the flooring, I warranty that flooring material (I will intercede and deal with any floor manufacturer warranty related matters -as well as its installation). If the Home Owner has purchased the product, "they" will have to handle manufacturer defects, or other issues with the - person, store, or manufacturer - that they purchased it from (because they selected the product, they own the documentation for it, and are showing on the records/receipts as the purchaser = not me/not my Company).

2.) I draw up a detailed proposal with the pricing. Upon approval of the proposal, I draw up a state-required contract, with the points printed very clearly, as to how I will install the flooring, and with what type of fastener (this also serves as a written record of how the flooring was installed). The contract also stipulates that I will warranty my work against workmanship related issues and concerns....and I back that up.

3.) I review the flooring that has been selected and check with the manufacturer (usually online or though the Supplier), on the recommended type of nail, staple, or other fastener - that they stipulate should be used on their product (for installation).
If I don't own the nailer and fastener specified by the manufacturer, I either will buy one (if I feel there will be enough repeated use in the future for it), or I will locate an establishment that rents one.
We own a variety of flooring nailers. Each uses a specific fastener (dimension, length, gauge, etc). Each nailer has a no-marring face material attached to the head of the nailer (or stapler), that protects the flooring surface (from scratches and dimpling).

It is vital that this last procedure be followed by ANY and ALL Installers. Not all may do so.

It is possible that your installer may not have used the proper type of nailer/fastener/stapler - when installing the specific flooring that was selected or provided by you.

It is also possible that he may have had (used) a defective, or damaged nailer, or that the nailer may not have had its protective no-marring faceplate installed (I have seen both factors affect an install (none were mine).

Unfortunately, some of these points may never be found out, as I pretty much guarantee that he will never be in contact with you again.

Now this last point: If my company installed such a floor, with such visible consistent dimpling, and such could not be repaired = I would tell the Home Owner (My Client), that we are responsible for the issue (if that is the case), that we will tear-up, and replace the flooring - with no cost to them. No further discussions needed.

That is how I do business. Unfortunately, about 75 % of other companies and about 99% of the 1-man operations out there, are neither inclined, nor in a position - to do the same.

Best of luck and I hope that some of this information helps.
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Old 12-24-2011, 11:58 AM   #11
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


AtlanticWBConst and others:

THANK YOU for your thorough info. and advice. I am learning a great deal...the hard way.

I hired this installer in a casual way without thinking about contracts and warranties (stupidly) because he had done a floor for me two years ago and there were no issues. It was a glue-down engineered cherry lite floor on the first floor (slab). I had confidence in his abilities and he seemed meticulous.

This time he asked for half of the money when he started and half at completion. I gave him half the first day but I wasn't here when he finished to pay him the other half. So he's only been paid half.

When I told him about the dimpling on the phone the next day, and that it was not acceptable, he got angry AT ME. He said, "I'm not coming back. I"m going to send you back the money you paid me and that's all I'm going to do. That will be the end of it." I told him the floor would have to be repaired or replaced and I didn't know how much that was going to cost. So I wasn't about to agree that a refund would necessarily be "the end of it". Then he said,, "Now I'm not sending back the money because you're getting "greedy."" I told him all that I want is a floor that is properly installed and if he wasn't coming back to fix the floor I had no idea what it was going to cost for the repairs. So I would not agree that returning the money was "the end of it". End of phone call.

I'm thinking that the bid and acceptance done by email establishes a basic contract relationship. But even if we only had an oral agreement, hopefully the idea of "implied warranty " applies. This is the legal concept that when services are performed, "certain assurances are presumed to be made which are characterized as warranties irrespective of whether the seller has expressly promised them orally or in writing. They include workmanlike quality for services"

"Workmanlike quality" means work that is up to the accepted standards of the industry. Generally," the standard is that the workmanship must pass without objection in the trade." In other words, the work must be done "the way work is customarily done by other contractors in the community." It seems pretty clear that flooring contractors around here (Colorado), and I'll bet everywhere else, bend over backwards to prevent dimpling.

So I am thinking that when I have the floor inspected by the Bellawood rep. and other flooring companies, and if it is determined and documented by them that it is not up to "workmanlike quality," that I have a case. But I'll need to get legal advice on that.

The installer pretty much has already admitted liability. He did not defend his work, tell me it was normal and OK, tell me the dimples are an illusion , tell me they would go away in six months, etc. He just lashed out at me as if I had wronged HIM. If he thought his work was acceptable I think he would have demanded full payment rather than offer to be paid nothing for his two days work.

Last edited by tommy99; 12-26-2011 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 12-25-2011, 02:03 AM   #12
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


sounds like he either used a very cheap flooring nailer or he used the wrong pad on the bottom, which is used to determine the height of the wood flooring being installed. It could also be that he was simply hitting it too hard or he did not have the nailer close enough to the wood when hitting it. Or....(I know it seems like it could be a lot of things) it most likely is that he had the air pressure on the nailer set too high. This can cause the nailer to drive the nail in with too much force, causing the hammering pin to bump the edge of the top and front face of the board being installed. Hope this helps. Doubt thou will get him to do anything about it as in my opinion the only recourse is to re-do the entire job with new flooring.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:19 PM   #13
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


Picture of floor with dimples (you can click on picture to enlarge it):
Attached Thumbnails
Dimples in New Hardwood Installation-102_3489.jpg   Dimples in New Hardwood Installation-resized-102_3483.jpg  

Last edited by tommy99; 12-26-2011 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:20 PM   #14
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


That looks awful---I'm with you--that is disappointing--Looks like staples crushed the substrate--

Wrong fastener? Weak product? What was used and what did the manufacturer recommend?
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:30 PM   #15
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Dimples in New Hardwood Installation


I don't know what staple or stapler was used.

Here are the detailed install instructions from the LL website which includes special tool and technique instructions for 1/2 inch thick and exotic woods.

Obviously, the installer didn't know any of this. More incredible is how he just kept going once he had to have seen what was happening.

http://blog.lumberliquidators.com/lu...od-floors.html

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