hello there, “project”


Posted by Michael, January 24th, 2011

We are about to embark on a rather large “project.”  And by “project” and we, I really mean they (the builders) are ripping up our existing hardwood floors and laying down new wood.

Earlier today, the builder dropped off several large boxes of wood flooring and it is currently sitting in our living room.  It’s enough hardwood to replace our entire downstairs.  I know, I know, we just moved into a new house with new floors, how could this be?  Well, pick your jaw up off the floor and I’ll tell you.

During the first few weeks of living here, we noticed some areas of the wood floors “popped” and “cracked” while we were walking.  We shrugged it off thinking it was just the wood settling into place.  Several weeks went by and it started getting worse.  A lot worse.  And then we noticed the floor was slightly raised towards the front of our living room.  You can slightly see the wood slanting and pushing towards the wall in the photo below.  This rise in the floor also exists in our dining room.

On top of the bulging up at the walls, the floors also didn’t lay complete flat.  As time went on, they began to bulge and “ripple” throughout in various locations.  You can kind of see a “ripple” in the photo below.

Oh but it gets worse.  Every which way, little cracks and chips started to appear.  Before we knew it, we had several of these guys.

And finally, planks started to pull apart from one another.  We have quite a few of these “gaps” downstairs.  I understand hardwood can swell, contract and what not, but these are now permanent.  These gaps aren’t a result of humidity or anything like that.

Growing tired of our new floors acting as if they’re hundreds of years old, we filed a complaint with our builder.  They came out to check everything out and confirmed everything we were experiencing.  A few days later, a floor company was sent out to further inspect.

As we met with the floor company, they explained the humidity was a bit high in our house and the builder should have installed a dehumidifier in our basement or at least told us to do so.  To them, our issues were a direct result of the humidity.  They explained they could fix our bulging floors and our popping wood planks by driving some hundred tiny nails in various locations.  They proceeded to do so and for a few days, all was well with our floors.  We also immediately purchased a dehumidifier and proceeded to run that puppy 24/7.

And then they started to pop.  And then bulge.  And our issue was alive again.  We filed another complaint with the builder and they asked if they could put an industrial sized dehumidifier in our basement to see if that would resolve anything.  We said sure and for three weeks, we heard an annoying humming noise coming from the basement.  And you know what happened after three weeks?  Absolutely nothing.  Looking back, we had a much larger issue than just the humidity.  This was a bad install job with bad flooring.

At this point, I’m ready to start war.  In my head, I’m drafting letters and going over what I’m going to say to the builder.  When the builder came to pick up the industrial sized dehumidifier, my heart was pounding and I was incredibly nervous over how the “I want new floors” conversation would work out.

Much to my surprise, the builder informed us that they’ll be working everything out to have new floors delivered and installed for us completely under warranty.

Later next week, we’ll have a company ripping up our floors and installing new hardwood.  While we’re happy these issues will be completely resolved (cross your fingers), we’re not exactly looking forward to the mess this will create nor the stress it will cause our precious Macky (we’re pretty sure he suffers from stress induced seizures).

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12 Responses to “hello there, “project””

  1. Crossing my fingers that it fixes the issue for good and that Macky is seizure-free!

    Also, I’m glad you didn’t have to go to war with the builders (although I’d have wanted to, too!)

    Are the new floors the same color? (Please don’t take that in a “I don’t like the color way”, because I love them!)

    • Michael says:

      Nope, exactly the same floors. Since we recently did upstairs, we had to keep them matching. 🙂

      • Cait @ Hernando House says:

        D’oh! I always forget about things like having an upstairs… Even though I have seen your entryway so many times, and you mentioned it in the post… I guess maybe I am too used to my one-story? Or blame the fact that I was Monday? Le sigh.

        Anyway, good! I love y’alls floors, so I’m glad they are going to be the exact same!

  2. Wow – what a pain! I’m glad they didn’t give you a hassle though, and are just going to pull those puppies right up. Hardwood floors are tricky with the humidity, though it’s clear that wasn’t the issue here. Keep that dehumidifier running, though. When we our wood floors this spring we’ll actually have to install a humidifier for the exact opposite problem – we never get any moisture!

  3. Oh thank goodness its under warranty!!! phew! I was scared for you for a minute!!!!

  4. ps: take pictures of your food for my link party on Wednesday =) doo it! I never get to see your food! (yes my arms are cross and and I am pouting like a 4 year old!)


  5. Kerry says:

    WHAT A NIGHTMARE! OMG! I am so glad they will be fixing the floors for you guys and hopefully it will be the end of that mess! Fingers are crossed for you two!

  6. Woah. Did they not leave the expansion space around the edges of the rooms? I had a friend who put in their own floors and learned the hard way how important the gap is. They replaced their snapping floors too. Ugh. So glad you guys have a warranty and someone else doing this for you!

    Thanks for stopping by our blog. Go Sox 😉

  7. I could not imagine the you guys ever had sleep while the dehumidifier was on. I think that they just did a poor job and bad floors combined.

  8. Dhanya says:

    Dear Betsy,Elastilon is a free floating iolsaliattnn membrane that requires an expansion gap around all walls and any solid obstacles. In a basement environment it is especially important to allow the floor to expand with the increased potential for changes in moisture levels. The recommended expansion gap is 5/8” but if this is not possible then additional expansion must be added to the opposite wall. Therefore if only bc” is left on the one wall, the expansion gap on the opposite wall must be 3/8” plus the original 5/8” for a total of 1”. To help accommodate the 1”, the drywall along this wall can be undercut to allow the flooring extra expansion space. This can add up to bd” additional expansion space.Depending on the environment, it might be necessary to use a humidifier or dehumidifier to control the moisture. It is also important to use a moisture barrier under the Elastilon in any below grade application.

  9. wood texture says:

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  10. If your floor is actually a laminate, NEVER NEVER NEVER come anywhere near it with rubbing alcohol! The smallest amount will strip the finish right off!

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