Prefinished hardwood floor splintering

lisajacFebruary 4, 2011

I had a prefinished hardwood floor installed in my small apartment in October. (I live in Brooklyn.) It is made by Fuse Flooring; it is a very hard tropical wood (I think sucupira). The floor has been splintering. I contacted the architect who managed my renovation. He said he'd used flooring from this company many times and never experienced this (or any other) problem. He inspected the floor and after a week or 10 days had passed informed me that the splintering is caused by dryness. He says that the solution is for me to use a humidifier. I am not a fan of humidifiers. I use a motorized wheelchair, and maintaining a humidifier anywhere but the kitchen or bathroom (which have tile floors) is going to be hard on me. In my experience, too, humidifiers are leak-prone, hard to clean, high-maintenance. Has anyone experienced this kind of issue? Do you agree that a humidifier is the solution? Any advice? Thanks so much.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fuse Flooring

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maintaining the right humidity is a requirement of any wood flooring. No mfctr will warrant against improper environmental issues. Its standard in the hardwood industry. Do a little research on humidity requirements for hardwoods. It goes with the product.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 1:54AM
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It is very likely that the floor does not like the environmental conditions in your home. Also, the rolling load of your motorized wheelchair may also be adversely affecting the flooring.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 9:13AM
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I agree with glennsfc. Get a humidity meter and see where the humidity stands. The manufacturer of the wood will state where they want the climate, but I do not believe humidity is causing the splintering.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 10:41PM
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Thanks for your replies, which I just discovered (need to check my settings). A single humidifier did not help much; this winter I will try using two. I contacted the distributor who recommended using very little water to clean the floor, along with a special soap (; Fuse now produces its own version). The architect and contractor had recommended water and Murphy's Oil Soap, which apparently are too drying. I'm also going to mop less often, especially in winter. But I do believe that sucupira, which is notably brittle, and tropical woods in general, require a higher level of moisture than woods from temperate regions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Woca soap

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 6:26PM
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"But I do believe that sucupira, which is notably brittle, and tropical woods in general, require a higher level of moisture than woods from temperate regions."

If the wood was dried correctly before being cut to size and shaped it does not "require" a higher humidity.

The link below is to Chapter 3 of the Wood Engineering Handbook.
This chapter covers wood movement with moisture levels.

Changes in moisture content are what causes wood to change size and shape.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wood Handbook, Chapter 3

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 5:00PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I had never heard of this brand so I went searching for the website. It has this wierd sentence structure like it was translated from another language. It's similar to a lot of Chinese products that are hawked by folks tying to pretend they didn't come from China. Then, there is ZERO information on the website. It's all about the sell. No description of the finish topcoat. No info about the thickness layers of each component. No info on exactly what the substrate might be. No info on the length of time the company has been in business or it's warranty. It's all fluff, and weirdly written fluff.

All in all, I got a very bad feeling about the product, based on nothing but their website. I would hope that the specific product information was shared with you prior to you choosing this for your reno and that you did not choose it on cosmetics alone.

There are very few floors that will withstand the hard wear of wheelchair usage. Most homeowner grade wood floors cannot be used in that situation, and it concerns me that someone who calls themselves an architect would even present the choice to you. VCT or ceramic tile are the most often used flooring in ADA compliant designs. The vinyl impregnated wood used in commercial situations is the only type of wood product that can really stand up to daily wheelchair use without readily showing wear.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 1:17AM
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Thanks to both of you. (Hollysprings, I see that you raise money for MS; thank you!) It does seem to be true that power wheelchairs will shorten the life of a hardwood floor; apparently using a very hard wood offers some advantages. I will enjoy the floor for now, and try not to fret over ever scratch.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 2:33PM
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