Are my expectations unreasonable? (x-post)

blackchamoisSeptember 22, 2012

I recently had an engineered maple floor put down in my condo. The wood is beautiful, but I am disappointed with the installation and don't know if I am being too picky.

Because I am in an upper unit, they glued down 1/4" cork, then glued the 1/2" floor on top of that. The floor is made by Mohawk, so I feel that it's a pretty decent quality product.

After day one of installation there were noticeable gaps between the ends of the boards to the point that I could stand a credit card up in the cracks. They also installed a few boards that were either chipped on the side and thus had a sharp edge, or cracked at the end.

I pointed these issues out when the came back on day 2 and they ended up pulling up everything they had put down in the hall, and chipped out the individual boards that had issues, and reinstalled the cork and the wood.

I asked them to make the joints tight, and to examine the boards for noticeable defects and pick another if necessary. (I thought this was standard practice for a professional floor installer.)

On day two there were a few more issues which resulted in them having to chip out another board or two in the middle of the floor and reinstall. Also. as they were about to install the transition molding I noticed that there was a 1-2" chip in it, which they tried to cover up with wood stain and hope I wouldn't notice. I asked for another piece which they did not have enough of on hand so would have to order more and come back later in the week.

I looked over everything, I thought, pretty closely and it all seemed to look good.

After they had gone I noticed that they got wood stain on the limestone hearth that I just had them install. Of course they just wiped it up and didn't tell me, again hoping I would not notice. I called the sales gal and she said they could get it out. When he came back I asked what he was going to use to get it out. He said he'd use the same thing that they used to clean the floors ... which was mineral spirits! I am no tile expert, but I am pretty certain mineral spirits will not lift a stain out of a porous surface!

So some other things I have noticed which I have concerns about.

- Where the floors meet the wall, there is a 1/2" gap in some places. I know that they can't butt it right up to the wall, but their cuts seem to be really sloppy. The baseboards will just barely cover.

- There are scratches here and there because I think they set there tools down without protecting the floors.

- The majority of the floor sounds good and solid, but there are several board that creek, and it seems to me that they shouldn't with glued down floors.

- Where they chipped out individual boards, will this cause and issue down the road? In order to fit the piece in, in most cases, they had to cut off the tongue in order to fit the board in.

Not sure if I am just too picky. Please tell me what is reasonable to expect and/or if I should have concerns. And what would you do? Thanks!

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chibimimi

When they cut the tongue off, did they put a piece of spline in the groove? If not, the top part of the groove side will be weak.

Are you going to have toe molding as well as baseboards? If yes or as long as the baseboards cover the ends, you should be okay. The end cuts don't have to be perfect since they're covered.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 6:43PM
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blackchamois

@Chibimimmi - Excellent question. I don't know but I don't think so. And I guess that would apply not only to the ends, but to the sides as well.

I will have 4 1/4" high baseboards. They should cover the gaps. Thank you. Would you suggest caulking the gap before putting in the baseboards?

And how much "creeking" is expected with glued down floors. It's not excessive, just here and there. I just don't know what is reasonable.

Thank you!!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 3:11PM
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Gina_W

Tell the contractor where the creaks or squeaks are and ask him to fix them. Here are some helpful articles that you can bring to his attention:

Stop the Squeaks: How to Handle Squeaky Hardwood Floors

Fixing a Squeaky Floor

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 5:10PM
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blackchamois

I now realize that "creaks" may not have been the best description. It is more like a crackling sound under some of the boards. Sort of like crinkly Saran wrap. Not sure if they did not use enough glue in certain places ???

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 12:12AM
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Gina_W

Call the company and have them come back to address all your concerns. I would not accept that kind of sound coming out of my newly-installed floor, that's for sure.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 6:15PM
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renovator8

Engineered floating floors are usually installed over a foam pad and the joints are glued together. I haven't heard of gluing the flooring to cork underlayment and would be surprised if that was recommended by the manufacturer since the joints would open up.

What brand did you use and what installation specification was submitted?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 7:42PM
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