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Old 05-04-2009, 03:47 PM   #1
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Wood floors gapping


We have a two year old house, and the wood floors are gapping everywhere. I understand moisture and lack of it will cause the wood to contract and expand, however, at what point does it become and issue?

Also, when I look down I can see the floor board below, it does not appear to be a tounge and groove floor. ( My knowledge is very limited, so I am hoping my terminology is correct). It would appear if the wood was glued together. I was told this was a 'high end' floor, although I have no idea what that means.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:38 PM   #2
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Wood floors gapping


can you take some close ups and post them here?

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Old 05-04-2009, 09:08 PM   #3
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Wood floors gapping


The image size limits prevent me from uploading the pics... even zipped up, they are too large.

Gapping is about 1/8 of an inch with jagged edges where the planks seperated. In certain areas you can see the baseboard seem.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:39 AM   #4
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you can use paintshop pro, photoshop, or similar to resize pics to post. i use photofiltre 'cause it's free. www.photofiltre.com

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Old 05-05-2009, 06:42 AM   #5
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Wood floors gapping


OK.. got it. I posted 2 pics... they are prevelant throughout the house...

Thanks again.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:28 AM   #6
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Wood floors gapping


so... if you stick a toothpick down the hole, it goes down 3/4"?
it looks as someone has already used putty to fill gaps.
makes me think they did not allow time for the flooring to acclimate before they put it down.

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Old 05-05-2009, 08:02 AM   #7
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Wood floors gapping


3/8" deep. Definitely not 3/4". We're the first owners so I know for sure that putty was not used. Is this an issue where the builder would need to replace the floor? Any ideas on how these issues are remedied? I had the builder and the guy that installed the floors last year, and they blamed it on the moisture, and said it could take years before the floor acclimated and stops, which sounds unreasonable.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:04 AM   #8
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Wood floors gapping


Very common but this time of the year the gaps should be closing up unless you live in a constant dry climate. It's apparent it's a site finished 3/4" tongue and groove floor where common procedures are to fill in gapping after the floor has been sanded. Lack of acclimation could be largely responsible, but another thought could be the quality of the material used as it could have been difficult to install tightly. A good way to remedy is force moisture (increase the relative humidity) into the environment and keep it at constant level if at all possible.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:30 AM   #9
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Wood floors gapping


3/8" tells me tongue and groove, and this stuff is either putty or varnished sawdust?

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Old 05-05-2009, 02:08 PM   #10
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I really appreciate you taken the time to answer my questions. Thank you.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:26 PM   #11
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Wood floors gapping


Just my 2 but I'd find a couple reputable local flooring contractors to take a look and get some "independent" opinions. Ask them for a quote to do the floor right and take that info to the builder/contractor. You'll know where you stand and what the cost is to fix it as well as have a feeling for who you want to do it.

This is one of those issues that very easily could end up in litigation. Any reasonable builder should find a resolution that both works and meets your expectations. The statement "could take years before the floor acclimated", unless you were under water or in an extreme humidity situation is, in my opinion, pure BS.

If this first appeared after the first year they really should have made it right back then.

Where are you located?
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:36 PM   #12
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Wood floors gapping


That is bad for your floor to do this. The statement that it will take years to acculmate is false. Find out what brand of flooring was used, call the manfucter, send them pics and see what they say. They are going to tell you bad install work. Then get the builder back and let him read the letter the manfucter sent you. If you go to your nearby h/d or l's and read instructions on a box of flooring you will find the recommended acclumation time is 24 to 48 hours for most. Goodluck with your problem be nice but forceful.
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:20 PM   #13
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Wood floors gapping


I agree with an above response. This looks to be 3/4" oak flooring that was unfinished and finished on site.

It would of needed to be placed in the home for at least 3- 5 days to acclimate to the homes humidity before being nailed down, sanded, then finished.

From the looks of the pics this looks like a poor install. As dangermouse pointed out. It is either putty or filled wilth sawdust and poly-urethaned over. You should not need to do that in open area. The nailing/stapling should of closed the gaps and should of been a nice tight floor before the 1st coat of poly went on.

Are these gaps all over or just near the walls where it is more difficult to nail?
These may of even been skip-nailed where some contractors only nail every other course of flooring "skipping" every other row.
From the pics it looks like a poor install ...sorry good luck
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:55 AM   #14
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Wood floors gapping


Appreciate everyone's response(s).

The gaps are throughout the house. The pic was taken from the center of our kitchen.

Is there any way to determine the type of floor I have without going back to the builder. I would prefer to get all the information first and then approach.

The floor have already started to come back together, however it still doesn't look to be acceptable.



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Originally Posted by What have I done View Post
I agree with an above response. This looks to be 3/4" oak flooring that was unfinished and finished on site.

It would of needed to be placed in the home for at least 3- 5 days to acclimate to the homes humidity before being nailed down, sanded, then finished.

From the looks of the pics this looks like a poor install. As dangermouse pointed out. It is either putty or filled wilth sawdust and poly-urethaned over. You should not need to do that in open area. The nailing/stapling should of closed the gaps and should of been a nice tight floor before the 1st coat of poly went on.

Are these gaps all over or just near the walls where it is more difficult to nail?
These may of even been skip-nailed where some contractors only nail every other course of flooring "skipping" every other row.
From the pics it looks like a poor install ...sorry good luck
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:08 AM   #15
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Wood floors gapping


It is definately OAK. I suspect it was unfinished and finished on site. This type of flooring does not have a namebrand. It can be purchased at Lowes, menards, home depot or direct from a Lumber Mill. The finish is applied on site. I would contact the builder and see who put the floor in and go from there. Good luck
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