Wood Floor Installation Troubles

mommyinzionFebruary 4, 2014

We just replaced our 800 sq. ft of solid wood floor with an engineered maple wood floor. The floor is beautiful and the installer did a great job with the layout and no noticeable gaps, but...

It's noisy!!! A few days after install we began noticing pops and crackles when we walk on the floor. Once you step on a spot, it sounds as if the board, "pops" into place and you don't get the sound again in that exact spot until hours later, when it pops back out and you step on it and it pops again. This occurs all over the floor.

After about a week, some of the pops turned into full blown squeaks. I would say we have about 5 spots that squeak all the time and about 50 spots that have made popping/crackling sounds.

As far as the install goes, we acclimated the wood for 1 week prior to install. The moisture on the subfloor was 2% and the moisture in the wood was 3% a few days before install. We did also make sure the installer put tar paper down.

Our house is only 7 years old, and our previous floor made absolutely no noise. So, I don't believe we have any issues with subfloor. This is either a product problem or an install problem, and my bet is on the install.

When I called the installer and asked him about the popping, he said, "In my 25 years of installing, I've never heard of that." After things turned into squeaks I've called and insisted he come and look at our floor. He's coming over in the next couple of days, and I'm curious about what others think that I should tell him and what I should reasonably expect him to do to resolve the problem.

I really can't stand the noise, and my fear is that he's going to tell me my only option is to face nail every board that makes noise. To leave me with a significant amount of face nailed boards, is not the installation I paid a ton of money for.

Am I being unreasonable to expect a 99.9% silent floor?

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I may be off-base here, because I can't inspect your floor, but I think the tar paper moisture retarder may be the cause of the noise problem. My guess is that the back of the flooring is momentarily sticking to the tacky surface of the tar paper.

I had seen the same phenomenon with 3/4" solid flooring nailed through tar paper. The noise did reduce over time with the solids. I have no idea if the noise will resolve in the case of an engineered product nailed or stapled over asphalt saturated felt. Who specified the tar paper?

As for the squeaks...anyone's guess. That all depends upon construction of the floor assembly itself, how the subfloor and the flooring were fastened and with what kind of fasteners.

No wood floor will be absolutely silent; squeaks which you notice now may disappear as the weather changes and different ones may appear. Wood expands and contracts continually.

Don't take this response as 'gospel'...just trying to give you a clue as to the possible reason for the snap, crackle and pop.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:08AM
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