Floating Wood Floor Problem - Question for Installers

ladoladiSeptember 22, 2011

About 9 months ago we installed stand-woven bamboo floors throughout our whole house. The floor is a click-lock system (which I would not recommend, but that's another post).

The problem we are currently trying to address is that in certain places the planks...give. I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but there is a certain bounce to the plank, or rather a hollow under the plank that allows the floor to move up and down. I am not talking about side-to-side, expansion movement. This is purely vertical. In some of the more extreme cases, you can even see the plank moving up and down, mostly from the way the light reflects off of the wood.

The problem is not due to expansion or contraction; it is purely due to what seems like an uneven subfloor and the floating, click-lock system combining for a poor floor in general.

The "company" (I use the term loosely) we paid to install the floor also leveled our concrete slab subfloor. We've since called them to address this vertical movement of some of the planks, and their solution is to drill into the wood (in an inconspicuous area, like in the cracks between planks) and inject glue under the plank to fill the hollows. They did one test spot, though I don't think they used enough glue. It's not quite as bad as it was, but it still gives some and squeaks.

My questions:

1. Does injecting glue under a floating floor have any reasonable expectations of success for such a problem? It seems a silly solution to us...

2. What would be a reasonable solution? We were thinking of pulling up the offending and surrounding planks, cutting out the underlayment, having them level out the hollows, and then replacing the underlayment and wood. This might be excessive... or is it?

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You do not want to glue(lock in) and section or place in a floating floor. Drilling and injecting adhesive is for hollow areas in a fully bonded gluedown wood floor, not a floating floor. Strike two (first strike was not prepping the substrate in the first place)

Removal and correcting the substrate, then reinstall if it can be saved. That is the only way to correct the most important part of a floating floor.... The floor prep!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 9:22PM
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a floating floor should never be anchored/glued to the substrate or anything else. It must float! If you allow them to make their suggested repair, your floor will have many more problems, like expansion and contraction issues because it can not freely move with the changes in temp and huimidity. Additionally, when enough pressure from expansion and contraction ocurr, it will buckle the flooring (tent or peak) and/or pop the adhesive, leaving you worse off than you are right now. Its improper and the flooring retailer knows it!

they are suggesting this improper quick fix in the hopes that it will satisfy you long enough so their installation guarantee expires, then when you call with problems later, and there will be the same plus more problems later, they will say, "sorry but your install guarantee has expired. We can fix it for a fee or sell you a new floor".

I recommend filing a claim with the manufacturer directly and immediately so the date of the filing is on record and they do not try to ream you with an installation guarantee expiration since its close to a year.

Once your claim has been opened, the retailr is on the hook, and you can request an independent certified inspection of the flooring.

You bought a floor that is not looking or performing as advertised, and you have not received what you paid for.

get the ball rolling on this ASAP.

I do not recommend negotiating with this retailer any more, because its quite obvious they are recommending improper remedies to save on a replacement.

Just curious - what retailer is it ?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 3:01AM
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The bounce that you describe can start to loosen the locking sytem. The first thing you would notice is end board gaps.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2011 at 7:10PM
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"You do not want to glue(lock in) and section or place in a floating floor. Drilling and injecting adhesive is for hollow areas in a fully bonded gluedown wood floor, not a floating floor. "

On a nail down t&g floor (3/8"), can areas be injected with glue to stop crackling and popping in areas? Would that be any different than face nailing those areas? What else would you suggest?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 9:08AM
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"On a nail down t&g floor (3/8")"

Most strip floors are 3/4 inches thick.

3/8 sounds like an engineered floor, and those can be either fastened or floating depending on their design.

It could also be parquet, and that is another item all together.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 5:03PM
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This just went down. It's engineered and was fastened poorly using finishing nails instead of cleats or staples. So it might have problems down the road. That's why I'm wondering if the high traffic areas get unpleasantly noisy down the road if they can have glue injected underneath to secure them better or if that would be a bad thing to do. I read above that mixing how a floor is installed is not a good idea.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 5:11PM
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I had locking bamboo flooring installed in December last year in San Diego. 6 months later when we had some rare hot humid weather, it buckled down the middle. Installer said they left gap and even removed some of the baseboards and showed me. He cut new boards thinner and replaced the boards that bulged and glued them in place. Looked fine until the weather got cold (for SD) this month and it SHRUNK, leaving a big gap in the middle of the floor. From what I've been reading here I don't think my installer knows what he's doing. He also used glue with the original installation. What now?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 10:58PM
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Gluing planks together on a floating floor is ok. It sometimes needs done when you go under a door or around an obstacle. Gluing planks to the subfloor is NEVER a good idea. The floor needs to move as one big piece.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 8:02AM
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When a bamboo floor buckles in front of the kitchen island and the length of the room, can you just replace the buckled boards? It looks like there was a gap around the island and the oposite wall. Thankyou

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 3:02PM
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Carbonized strand bamboo installed as a floating floor one year ago - 20 x 27 ft LR/DR open connection, and a hall. Currently there are gaps up to 5/8 inch on EACH side of the floor where the length of the boards abut the baseboard trim - ? horizontal ( not the cut board side), gaps where the trim/transition piece to a ceramic tile insert floor near the front door in one instance, to a gas fireplace trim and to a laundry room trim/transition. In addition, there are tiny gaps visible between some boards but this is not the major problem. Brand is Morning Star 1/2 in x 5 in. carbonized strand bamboo. Installer who has been installing floors for over 20 years said he has never seen anything like this much shrinkage - and he was astonished. But he has not done many floors with bamboo. Sealer was put between each board as I have 2 cats and a dog and did not want any "accidents" to leak through and leave odor.

Has anyone experienced this problem? We are just starting to investigate this problem and the installer is going to contact the company from which the bamboo was purchased. I won't name the company yet, until we see if they will be willing to stand by their product.
Would anyone suggest placing wider woodwork and wider quarter round trim?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 11:40PM
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Your problem seems to be with the product itself and not the supplier, although the supplier (dealer) acts as an agent of the manufacturer and, as such, is involved in any product defect or nonperformance claim.

As you say, if you keep the floor, then you will have to find a way to cover the gaps in a cosmetically acceptable way.

This winter has been hard on wood flooring and similar hygroscopic building materials.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 9:34AM
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We installed this carbonized & matte 1850x122mmx14mm Strandwoven Bamboo Flooring (click system - made in China) through most of the house about four years ago. We purchased the boards from Ultimate Flooring. Gaps are getting bigger (I worry I might get swallowed by the gap). This is our kitchen floor but gaps are also forming/getting wider in low traffic areas. I started googling looking for answers when I came across this forum. Not long after we installed the floor a visitor told me he had to rip his floor up as the floating boards started popping. We live in a mild to hot climate (in summer) in Australia. We are very unhappy with the floor now and wish we had known of this problem before installing it. The problem started within about six to twelve months of installation. We spent a lot of money on getting the floor levelled prior to installation. Any solutions would be gratefully received.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 8:40PM
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Bab2003 I have the very same issue with the very same floor. Morning star strand bamboo. 5". Shrinkage is so bad that I now have gaps along one walls' quarter round. We had s cold winter but we are talking Shrinkage of an inch. This goes beyond seasonal. floor has also bowed in some places and one end board completely warped. This is terrible! We don't know what to do as we installed ourselves and so the company likely won't replace it. I really think the floor is faulty.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:23PM
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