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Vlade Divac 03-05-2008 11:45 AM

New Hardwood Floors = Strange Natural Gas Odor
Hi -

I had 3/8Ē engineered Alston Cocoa Cherry hardwood floors installed last week, and ever since then, I've experienced a strange kerosene-like odor whenever my dryer or oven operates. Both the dryer and oven are gas operated (and both generate heat), so I had a local gas company tech come by for the FOURTH time last night. And all four times, they've been unable to detect a gas leak. But when I mentioned that we had hardwood floors recently installed, a lightbulb went off in the last tech's head. I guess his supervisor had run into the same problem last year. Somehow the chemicals or fumes had been attracted to heat sources (like my stove and dryer) and would emit a kerosene-like odor. So having ruled out any gas leak, and the fact that the odor started right after the floors were installed, we donít think itís a coincidence. Has anyone out there experienced a similar phenomenon?

For the time being, Iím just going to keep my windows open and hope that the floors air out.

LawnGuyLandSparky 03-05-2008 02:23 PM

If the installation of the flooring caused a gas leak, you would smell it all the time, not just when you're using the range or dryer.

Vlade Divac 03-05-2008 02:34 PM


Originally Posted by LawnGuyLandSparky (Post 104554)
If the installation of the flooring caused a gas leak, you would smell it all the time, not just when you're using the range or dryer.

Right. The first time the gas tech came out, he found a small leak behind the oven. But it wasn't strong enough to smell. I'm wondering if there's a phenomenon of fumes/chemicals being attracted to extreme heat sources and causing that kerosene-like smell.

fierysun 03-06-2008 09:36 AM

Did the installers use the urethane glue method of installation or nail down? If they used the glue method it could be the off-gassing of the glue that you smell. I went to the Alston website but there was no materials sheet for their adhesive.

jcalvin 03-06-2008 02:42 PM

We see a lot or reclaimed wood installed in WNC and it is common for the mills to "gas" the lumber before resale. Some of the lumber has been outside in free ranges of bugs for years. They do this to kill the bugs.

Kris ti 03-09-2008 02:54 PM

Strange gas/kersene odor
Hi, I'm also having the same problem. I had my floors finished 2 days ago and have had a strange kerosene like smell when I use my gas stove and dryer. Has your problem resolved itself. I'm very nervous because I'm pregnant and have a toddler in the house. What did your gas company say?

Barnbldr78 03-31-2008 06:49 PM

same thing here too. found out on another site that it has to do with the burning off of the fumes from staining & finishing.

mrsbanke 07-16-2008 10:38 PM

we just re-did our wood floors and now the dryer is smelling like lighter fluid. i see i'm not the only one.. but never saw if its still okay to use it... it doesnt smell to good... but my clothes our dirty!!

cbosleeds 07-17-2008 05:56 AM

Reclaimed Woods
I did some work with a railway sleeper company recently, and apparently this is a well-known problem with reclaimed treated woods for indoor use. I would have expected this to happen with treated sleepers (especially those treated with creosote), but its a surprise to hear it happening for woods specifically bought for indoor flooring.

rjordan392 07-17-2008 07:12 AM

The smell is coming from the heat source. When the undetectable fumes from the flooring reach the heat source flame, then a change takes place and then they are detectable. All who noticed these fumes should first open some windows and use an exhaust fan whenever cooking or using any gas fired appliance. I don't know if these fumes are toxic but open the windows to be safe. I first noticed these fumes when I changed over to a newer model gas stove more then 20 years ago and after I applied urethane to a nearby door. The weather was humid and it took a few days for the urathane to cure. After the cure, no fumes were detectable. So whenever I do uratnane work, these fumes re-appear. My home originally had a 50's type gas range and I did not have a problem with fumes. Like others, I thought the appliance was faulty and I learned from the gas company that the new appliance burns gas more efficiently and so it will also burn fumes more efficiently; thus we have detectable fumes because of the chemical change.

Now a flooring job is much bigger and may need a longer time to cure. If all can keep the humidity low, 50% or less, this will help speed curing. Keep track of the day to day indoor humidity, it may take up to two weeks or more to cure. But those who still notice fumes after a few weeks should contact the installer and manufacturer for further assistance.
Also take note if the fumes seem weaker. This tells you the curing is taken its good ole time curing.
Hopefully for all, the cure process will complete or you and the flooring industry have a problem.
On the contractors forum, there is a flooring installer shown using a respirator. So if the fumes are objectable while he applies the stain and finish coats, you are experiencing the same when a heat source is being used. I believe the directions for stain and finish coats indicate to open windows when applying.

doosea 07-27-2008 08:03 AM

gas smell
I don't mean to high jack this thread but I have the gas smell too. I am going to put down an engineered floor next week but I have the kerosene/unburned natural gas smell from my gas stove and gas dryer now.
The morning after my wife painted a door, and closet with enamel paint with out opening any windows we had the very bad smells from both of our appliances. We could smell the paint for at least 36 hours. I'm just wondering if the first person had done any painting with enamel prior to getting a new floor?

mdgrover 08-03-2008 11:02 AM

seems there is a correlation
We just had almost our entire first floor replaced over the past three weeks. Unfinished hardwood was installed (glued and nailed), then it was sanded, stained, and polyurethane applied - all in the house during pretty hot and humid weather. We have had a lot of staining and painting done inside the house over the past week as well. Since then we have noted the same kerosene smell in both the clothes coming out of the dryer as well as from the dryer vent outside. One of the only rooms that did not have the new floor installed is the laundry room, but it is on the same floor, and the fumes from the various stages of the flooring process have certainly been exposed to the dryer. We don't have a gas stove, and the only other gas appliances we have are the furnace (unused as the moment) and water heater - and we haven't noticed any strange smells coming from the water heater.

We have done a lot of painting in this house in the past (almost all interior latex - not enamel) and have never noticed the smell from the dryer, but this is the first time we have had staining, gluing, and polyurethane used in the house (and we've used a lot!). We will wait a couple weeks and see if the smell starts to subside. In the meantime we're keeping the windows open as much as possible.

acobb 08-17-2008 12:55 PM

Hey Vlade, We just had hurricane windows put in our home and have had a strong odor in our home since installation on Tuesday---I am having the same problem with my dryer and the kerosene like odor going into the clothes and being very intense in the dryer. Did you get any answers as to how long it will last?? It is so strong. ac

hellhouse 10-12-2009 10:16 PM

Kerosene/Propane smell in appliances after finishing floors
PLEASE HELP! I am experiencing the same problems with a gas smell coming from my dryer after installing hardwood floors. I am also concerned because this smell is also in my refrigerator/freezer. It also emits the same smell when I turn on my electric range and oven.

I am wondering how long this will end up taking to go away and if it's toxic. I have small children and am concerned that it could make us sick. I am keeping the windows open as much as possible, however it has rained most every day. Does anyone have any advice/thoughts on getting the smell out of my appliances and home.

rjordan392 10-13-2009 06:11 AM

When I purchased my home, the existing gas range served me well and for about 10 years and during this time I did some painting and polyurathane work throughout the house. During these years I never had a gas like smell coming from my range. But when I decided to upgrade to a new one, all was well until I decided to put another coat of polyurathane on the kitchen door. I took the door outside to do this. When it was dry to the touch, I reinstalled the door. Within minutes, I noticed a strong odor coming from the range. I thought the gas company added something to the gas. When their serviceman arrived, he noticed the smell and asked if I did any painting and I pointed to the door.
His explanation was that the newer appliances burn fuel more efficiantly and this is what causes the smell. But I think its really the formula's used in the stain and polyurathane products.
When my kitchen door was fully dry, the odor ceased.

So I believe this applys to your new hardwood floors because of the stain and finish coats that need time to cure. Your best coarse I believe would be to keep the house as dry as possible (low humidity) and use fans in the rooms where harwood flooring was installed. In dry weather, I think your floors should be fully cured in about a week. If not, then call your contractor and ask for a solution.

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