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Old 01-10-2012, 01:59 PM   #1
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Wood floors separating?


Hi All,

It's been a few months since we got our new hardwood floors put in. Now, some of the floor boards seem to be separating. What can be causing this? We had our contractor install the new floor on the original subfloors which is not large pieces of plywood but the long skinny pieces of wood. The new hardwood floors are 3/4" tongue/groove solid wood and he did use a floor nail gun. In the beginning all the floors were nice and tight but now there are some areas that are separated by as much as 1/8". I'm thinking the old subfloor is moving? Because the new hardwood floor cannot move even though it's separated. SOme of the hardwood floors are even cracking.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:03 PM   #2
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Wood floors separating?


Sounds like he didn't let the product "acclimate" before installing.
And going over the old tongue and groove probably wasn't a very good idea either. Makes for an unstable underlayment.

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Old 01-10-2012, 02:07 PM   #3
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Wood floors separating?


True, he didn't let it acclimate. But I also heard this is normal because the air is dry in the colder months. I'll wait and see if they go back to normal in the spring and summer.

What do you mean go over the old tongue and groove? This is new hardwood floor. Old hardwood was ripped out.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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Wood floors separating?


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Originally Posted by llckll
True, he didn't let it acclimate. But I also heard this is normal because the air is dry in the colder months. I'll wait and see if they go back to normal in the spring and summer.

What do you mean go over the old tongue and groove? This is new hardwood floor. Old hardwood was ripped out.
Oh. You mean the original floor is planking, probably run on a diagonal?
Still not good as the planking can expand and contract, as plywood can't.

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Old 01-10-2012, 02:18 PM   #5
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Wood floors separating?


Yeah, oh well. It is what it is.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:21 PM   #6
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Wood floors separating?


First off, you said that the installer, per your direction, installed the hardwood above the original subfloor, which you said was "long skinny pieces of wood". Perhaps the original subfloor was tongue and groove subfloor, maybe just 1x4 boards. In any case, it is more common to install hardwood above sheathing, which is typically plywood. Plywood is somewhat more dimensionally stable than softwood dimensional lumber.

That said, hardwood certainly moves dimensionally with changes in relative humidity in the air. My hardwood floors are oak, and in the winter there are commonly gaps up to 1/8 inch between some of the boards, which disappears in the summer when the relative humidity is higher. This is pretty common, depending on where you live, and if your house is conditioned (mine is not).
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:24 PM   #7
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Wood floors separating?


Yes, I meant the original sub floor. It was planking and 1x4. It wasn't tongue and groove sub floor. I believe the house was built in the early 1920's and it's probably the original sub floor and hardwood floors. I'll wait and see in the summer time to see if the gaps disappear. I read on the web that this is normal so I'm not that upset about it.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:55 PM   #8
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Wood floors separating?


What type of wood is your hardwood?
Also constant temp and humidity are good for wood floors. If your temp swings and your humidity goes up and down you will likely have problems.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:56 PM   #9
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Wood floors separating?


3/4" solid acacia wood.
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