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homade82 11-02-2007 05:21 PM

Prefinished Hardwood Flooring Problem
 
I recently installed about 1100 sq. ft. of 2 1/4 in. wide 3/4 in. prefinished hardwood (red oak) flooring. The sub-floor seemed quite level and smooth, I used 15 lb. felt paper and I tried to be very careful during installation.

However, I am rather disappointed at the lack of uniformity of the boards and the resulting surface. The board thickness seems to vary so the surface is occasionally uneven and the width sometimes varies resulting in some wide seams. By the time I would notice a problem, considerable destruction would be required to rectify it.

With an unfinished floor, I assume many of my problems would be eliminated by sanding. Is it too much to expect a really smooth floor using the prefinished flooring?

One bright note - I bought a cheap pneumatic nailer on E-Bay which operated faultlessly.

poppameth 11-02-2007 05:43 PM

I've seen a lot of issues the last few years with prefinished hardwood. Even with the decent grades from reputable companies. We've put down Hartco/Armstrong, and some Shaw wood as well and run into similar problems. With Armstrong we have to replace several cartons multiple times to get one job corrected. All prefinished is going to have some uneven areas though they should be minimal. That is why the microbevel the edges, to help hide that. With an unfinished floor you can sand it all level after installation. That isn't possible with prefinished. As far as the board width issues, that is what we ran into with Armstrong. The problem is they don't seem to want to stop production long enough to calibrate their machines. Even since these companies started paying their workers by how much quantity they run through quality has gone out the door. Why stop to calibrate the machine when you can get paid more if you keep on running and produce a few more pallets that day? Carpet has gotten just as bad with quality issues.

homade82 11-03-2007 01:55 PM

Poppameth, Thanks for your response. It was what I suspected but I thought maybe I had made a bad choice of flooring. (I guess I did when all is said and done) But how does an amateur know all this stuff?

poppameth 11-04-2007 11:55 AM

We've sold flooring for 30 years and you still don't know until you start having issues and take the time to track down the problems. You have to take into consideration that some of the cheaper floors are now imported from China and who knows what conditions that is manufactured under. The engineered floors are getting more attractive by the day. Tolerances are tighter on those. If you want a floor that looks good and smooth I'd recommend Kahrs. It's engineered but has a layer of real wood on top. The way their locking system works it draws the edges very tight and smooth. It looks far more uniform than a microbeveled prefinished.

Floorwizard 11-06-2007 11:39 PM

Quote:

If you want a floor that looks good and smooth I'd recommend Kahrs. It's engineered but has a layer of real wood on top. The way their locking system works it draws the edges very tight and smooth.
I will second that. Good brand that has worked great for me and my clients for over 11 years. Solid advice....



Quote:

Carpet has gotten just as bad with quality issues.

Interesting...I agree that massive output can cause loss of Q.C. like any other product really. But there are still some rock solid stuff out there.


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