Installed planks with uneven height

homeownermvAugust 25, 2011

I am concerned about our newly installed hardwood flooring having uneven heights between planks such that the flooring surface isn't completely smooth. The difference in height is slight, so not enough to cause someone to trip over, but enough to notice. I was told that this is due to the planks being more natural and laid individually that this kind of height variance is unavoidable.

FYI - the flooring is made by Richard Marshall:

Since this is the first time I've installed flooring that looks less like laminate wood, I have no idea whether this type of variation is normal, or whether it's due to installation quality issue that I should raise with the installer.

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I'm not familiar with this manufacturer, but if this was a pre-finished product, I understand this is typical. The height differences between plans should be minimal and there shouldn't be cupping or buckling, but height variations nonetheless will exist.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 8:52AM
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Thanks Marc. By pre-finished product do you mean that there's more work to be done on the floors once they're installed? If so, what kind of finishing? Would it help smooth out the surface to further minimize the height variations?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 4:09PM
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Pre-finished as the stain (optional) and top coat (usually polyurethane or similar) was applied in the factory. The job is done once the wood is stapled/glued down.

Site-finish is when the wood is stained and finished in the home after installation, When you do this, before applying stain/poly the floor is sanded smooth.

So in a site-finish job I would expect smooth floors. But with pre-finished, they don't get sanded down on-site so there can be slight variations between planks.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 5:30PM
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