engineered glue down wood floor not sticking

williemonOctober 28, 2012

This is a new constructed house. Had engineered hardwood floor glued down to concrete. Moved in last october. All was well until january. Wood floor started to come unglued in many places, making hollow sounds, moving when walked on, popping, ticking noises. Told builder and worked with them from then till this past september. They only would use the drytac as a repair for this. Problem is that they were out no less that 3 times, drilled about 30 holes each time in the wood floor to inject the glue and now I still cant walk more that two steps before a plank or two pops, ticks, creaks or lifts back up where I just picked my foot up from.

Now its hit the one year mark but at month 11 I asked that the entire floor be pulled up and redone. Builder turned it over to the subs insurance who said something about the subs policy would not cover material but will cover labor. We had the builder to buy the flooring where they told us we should and we purchased within their allowance cost.

How should I handle this? Isn't the builder or sub responsible for the total cost to pull up floor, buy new wood planks and install correctly?

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I know it doesnt seem right. But most insurances will only cover labor. You next option would dont accept any offer and hire a floor inspector (ceritified NWFA) and see if he can tell if there was a poor install done.

If he determines that then you take the contractor to court and sue.

If it is determined the install was done accordingly you may be out of luck

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 10:25PM
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Read the contract you made with the builder. It may tell you how long you have to make a claim for poor workmanship and tell you other important things. I certainly think that if you made your claim at month 11 (and can prove it), and get a certified NWFA inspector report that indicates a defective installation, then I agree with the previous poster that you may have a case to bring to court.

I think business people and customers come out ahead when they can come to satisfactory agreements out of court. However, should you go the suit route, then get the guidance of a savvy attorney.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 11:52PM
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Builder got a NWFA inspector to do an inspection. He said concrete slab is at 16% moisture with wood planks are at 10%. He indicates that issues show that moisture could have been high during curing phase affecting adhesive. Flooring contractor did not do any moisture checks prior to installation. Also I dont think HVAC war operational. They said it was. Slab is on grade on tight clay known to hold water on top. NWFA says that entire floor movement and noise would require tear out. Noises only in certain areas require injection. His conclusion is noise and says injection is approved repair and builder agrees. I have issue with this as the issue is movement and noise throughout entire floor. So I read it as tear out. I have contacted the inspector as I was told I could to go over the issues and seek clarification. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 1:00AM
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I'm not sure what 16% moisture means in the slab. Did they do a calcium chloride or other test? Moisture is usually expressed in pounds per 1000 square feet per 24 hours. There is a threshold above where a moisture barrier is required between the wood floor and concrete subfloor.
If the floor job is defective you shouldn't have to pay to replace but you may have to pay for the added moisture barrier upon replacement.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:29AM
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The only moisture test they have done was just during the visit from the NWFA inspector the other week. It was with a pin or probe style moisture meter. I believe the reading indicates it is above a threshold which would mean a CC test ought to be done, but they did not do any sort of moisture tests before install nor afterwards except for this one. I have not heard yet from the inspector.

How would someone use to define the terms "throughout the entire floor" and "within a certain area" ? Could a percentage be applied to those terms? Count of moving planks vs count of non moving? Thanks all for the advice so far. Is there any more advice that can be offered?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:21AM
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I'm not aware of the acceptable range of moisture from a pin type concrete meter.
My advice is to pay an NWFA inspector for your own inspection.
Moisture in concrete is tricky. The simple meters and even a C test might not always indicate that the concrete is going to have a problematic moisture condition after a floor is installed on top.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 2:18PM
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Update: I attempted to email the inspector with my questions and such but he did not respond. The builder had told me if I had questions, to ask the inspector, but upon calling an inspector myself to ask about fees and doing an inspection for me, he indicated that they are not supposed to talk to anyone about the issue that did not actually hire them. Since the builder hired them and I did not, then the inspector could only talk to the builder. Once I understood that, I got back with the builder to see where we would go with this issue. Thats when I found out that they had noticed another failure just like mine in a spec house that they did. Same sub did the work. They went in and discovered that the wood floor came back up easy so the planks could be reused, so they redid it using different glue. So now they are doing mine. As I suspected, all of the wood planks have come up very easy with no breakage. There are some spots where the dri tak had held that caused breakage of the planks, but lucky most all were in one confined area since I had previously told them to stop using the dri tak as it was not in my opinion the proper repair. They are using a glue called rocket 7000 i believe. It is a different glue than what he used before. When the planks are pulled up, there is squished glue on the plank and on the concrete, but it is tacky to the touch but does not come off unless you scrape it off, which then it does peel off to some degree. Maybe it is supposed to be that way. Not sure as I have not got into any deep discussion with the builder or the sub about it. I just stay out of their way and am glad they are doing this at no cost to me. Builder and sub have stepped up to the plate to correct this, but it did take some work on my part and some bull headedness on my part. Most of the planks are being reused with some being replaced with new since they can still get them. Any comments or advice?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 10:03AM
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We had the same issue as you in our new construction townhouse. After having the subcontractor return three times to drill holes to inject glue and counting a total of 90 holes, we said enough and hired an inspector ourselves. It wasn't cheap, but the issue he found was that our slab was not flat. There should be no more than 1/4" variance along a six foot run, and he found many areas in our home that that 1-1/2" variance. You can check this yourself by getting a 6-ft level or flat board and placing it on your floor. Check if it wobbles and measure the should be no more than 1/4". We sent the inspector's report to our builder via certified mail, and they sent the site manager, subcontractor and floor distributor to our home to inspect themselves. We had used painter's tape to tag the 90 holes, and also showed them the large variance throughout the floor that was the cause of the floor not sticking. They couldn't dispute that clear evidence, so the builder agreed to replace the worst areas of the floor. They removed the old floor, leveled the concrete and installed NEW planks at no cost to us. It was a mess, dust everywhere, but I'm glad it was done. Sorry about all your floor problems.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 11:59AM
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Im glad to hear you had the issue resolved.
And its also good to hear that your builder did the right thing. Even if it did take months. Shows that they are true professionals.

When ever i do glue down over slab i take as much precaution as needed in fear of having something like this.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 2:08PM
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We had ceramic tile installed in our kichen, and engineered wood glued to the slab everywhere else but baths. Our flooring contractor talked us out of laminate, and we fell for it. I love the engineered wood. But, he failed to level our floors. I have a raised ridge down the hall, and one in the DR.
I came home to him doing the ceramic himself, saying his employee couldn't handle it because there was a hump in our floor. He looked quite aggrivated. I told him I assumed he had check the floor for levelness.
And, in just a few places, I'm seeing that some of the edges of the engineered wood is sort of buckling. Not badly yet, but in a couple more years it could be bad. He glued them down with a really very very strong glue.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 8:02PM
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