Help! how to fix gaps in newly installed reclaimed flooring that
We have a bit of a nightmare on our hands. I purchased about 1,000 sq ft of reclaimed wood (mix of red and white oak, about 4 1/2" wide) flooring and had our regular flooring installer (provided by GC) install it. The manufacturer said the wood should acclimate for a couple weeks--I mentioned this to the installer--but didn't hold him to it. He installed it the next day (after delivery) and it looked great--very tight. 3 weeks later and gaps really developed. Some of them are the width of 2 quarters. At this point I'm not in the blame game--there is partial culpability all around. Manufacturer should have been sterner in warning, flooring guy should have tested the moisture content and compared with our old flooring, and I should have not been so naive.
Anyways... how to fix it?
We want to finish it with an Osmo hardwax oil or similar product.
I have had a few ideas suggested to me.
1) another installer who was recommended to me by a competing (more expensive--should have gone with them--flooring manufacturerer) as someone familiar with reclaimed wood took a look yesterday and measured the moisture content. 12% in this flooring currently versus 9% in other flooring in our house. So he says it still might shrink more. He said the only way to fix it is to remove it, dry it some more (either at our house or in his kiln) and re-install it. Luckily the flooring wasn't glued down--it was nailed down over a vapor barrier. Certainly some of the flooring will get trashed in the removal and de-nailing process. I am waiting for a quote on this. Sounds expensive; I am guessing on the order of $5,000.
2) architect had suggested having the installer make a filler by mixing sawdust from the wood with some sort of glue or epoxy. However some have said this may crumble in time, and there is some question as to how well it will take the hardwax oil finish.
3) cabinet maker friend suggested cutting slivers of wood--possibly a different species of wood, and glueing in place. The flooring installer who came out said this is dangerous because it will splinter easily.
Any thoughts on this? Has anyone else ever dealt with something like this? I haven't had much luck in finding before and after pictures.