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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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the Musigician
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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.

DM
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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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Still Learning
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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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the Musigician
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3/8" tells me tongue and groove, and this stuff is either putty or varnished sawdust?

DM
 

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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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Wow

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.:thumbup:
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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.



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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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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Wood Floors Gapping

Yikes. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is one bad installation! Couple of questions to help narrow down the floor:

1. Do you see evidence that the floor was "face nailed" ? It would look like little nail holes, many of which would have been covered by the filler.
2. Can you confirm that the floor was job site finished....any unfinished board left over to confirm that?
3. What's under the floor? Plywood, particle board, etc?

I'm 99% sure that the floor was an unfininished product called Lebanon Strip. This is a 5/16" or 3/8" unfinished Oak without tongue and grooves, and the normal installation method was either face nailing or sometimes direct glue down. This is far from a high end product..sorry to say it's a basic, cheap, bulder product which is rarely used for new construction anymore. That beind said, there's nothing wrong with the wood...it's the jobsite or the installation which is bad.

I'm also sorry to tell you that the floor will NEVER look better. The filler that they used will continue to chip out as the summer comes and humidity picks up. Then next winter you'll have huge gaps.

Unless you'v got a wet basement wich is causing major moisture level swings in the floor, your problems are installation related. Either way, the entire floor needs to be replaced.

Contact the National Wood Floring Association (www.nwfa.org ) for an independent inspector in your area. His inspection will cost you $300-500.00 , but it will give you solid information to go after your builder with. There's no way you'll convince the builder (or a court) that they're at fault without a professional report.

Good luck!

Wood Floor Guy:thumbup:

www.woodfloorsforyou.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If it is proven to be a bad install... is this something that the standard warranty would cover? I agree with your assessement complety.

We bought the house in May 2007.
 

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Warranty question

I believe it would cover it. But that's why you need the independent inspector who can write a professional report that you can use. Without that, the builder will just give you the run around in hopes that you'll go away!

If it is proven to be a bad install... is this something that the standard warranty would cover? I agree with your assessement complety.

We bought the house in May 2007.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks..When I had the builder over last time he had brought the person that did the install... he had mentioned that any inspection of the floor should e done through ( and I cant remeber the organization, I would probably know it if I heard it again), however I wasn't comfortable with them setting up that meeting. My question is, does it matter what independent, service I have come in, or based on the floor or some other issue, do I need to have a particular service come in.

Thank you again.
 
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