The newly installed engineered hickory may be ruined

S1ephSeptember 19, 2013

One of the last jobs to be done on our new build was the engineered hickory flooring and it may be ruined. The floor was hazy with whitish smears all over it.
After the floor was laid, the developer ordered paper to be placed over the new floor in an effort to protect it. After the painters finished, the paper was removed. The installers then used and reused cloths to clean up adhesive.
The floor looked dirty so the developer had a cleaner come in and damp mop it.
The floor looked terrible still.
Then the flooring folks came in and wiped stuff all over the floor and it looks great;however, the next day when I touched it with my white socked toe, it colored my sock.
We are supposed to close on this house in a few days and walk through tomorrow. From reading the flooring manufacturer's installation guidelines, mistakes have been made that ruined the finish and voided the warranty.
Any advice?

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So, was the whitish smears on the new flooring when it was delivered? Do you have any unused pieces that show the haze? If so, call the manufacturer and request a rep come out and view the flooring. Even if you don't have any unused pieces I would still have a rep come out and determine if the warranty is truly voided. The fact you started with hazy boards may be in your favor, but it's too bad they didn't question the quality before it was installed.

Where did the adhesive come from? Did they tape directly to the floor when they put the paper down? That in itself is a big no-no and for that damage I would hold the developer/GC responsible.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 7:10PM
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The flooring looked perfect before installation and the extra flooring we have is perfect. A this point, the retailer's cleaning man was there yesterday, spraying something on the floor in an attempt to clean up the dark stuff. The dark stuff in my opinion is a wood stain mixture that wasnt drying or bonding to the factory finish.
I walk through today and even if nothing appears on my white socks, I am not accepting the floor, which has obviously been compromised. My attorney suggests the developer secure money in an escrow account to cover replacement if I go ahead and close. The developer also mentioned he had not yet paid for the flooring. If he doesn't and i close, the retailer will file a mechanic's lien against me, forcing me to pay for it again. Wha ta mess.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:25AM
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The mistake here is wrong order of operations. Paint BEFORE flooring. Who decided to lay the floor before having the walls and ceiling painted?

And why were the installers cleaning up the adhesive at any time after they had finished laying the floor? Glue has to be cleaned up promptly, as in right away!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 11:45AM
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The manufacturer says the stain will never dry and be tack free due to the adhesive haze underneath. Great. Hopefully, the developer will demand a new floor.
Yes, we thought painting afterward was a lame brain idea, too.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 2:29PM
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"Yes, we thought painting afterward was a lame brain idea, too."

Exactly my point. The person who decided on laying the floor before the walls were finished is the one who is to blame for this. Factory finished flooring should be treated like fine furniture. If the developer decided to order the flooring installers before the painters, this is his mistake. He should eat the cost, and hopefully learn from the experience.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 5:48PM
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Today, the floor is dry; however, when rubbed with a white cloth, stain appears on the cloth. The flooring retailer is meeting with me at the house tomorrow. Poor guy is going to hear I that I want replacement. This will be interesting.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 7:21PM
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I'm confused - who applied stain to a factory-finished floor? And why? That sounds like a much bigger problem than painting after flooring.

I didn't see anything about spilled/spattered paint on the new floor, so while it was dumb, it seems they got away with it (as in nothing terrible happened as a result).

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 5:30PM
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I refused to close on the new build until all the ruined engineered wood floors that were glued to the slab foundation were removed and replaced. It took an enormous amount of patience on my part, but it paid off. After laying all the damning evidence--a timeline, highlighted emails from the manufacturer, photos, and highlighted excerpts from the manufacturer's installation manual--in front of the developer, he finally agreed. The 200 square feet of flooring was replaced, and after waiting several frustrating months, I closed and I moved in.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:24PM
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persistence pays off!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:29PM
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Several MONTHS for 200 square feet of flooring? Yikes!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:25AM
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