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tooharsh

New Engineered Floor install problems / questions

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Hello. I am new to the forum, I found the forum while looking for help trying to decide how to proceed. End of April I had new floors installed. I bought very expensive ($10.09 sq ft) Anderson Conservatory Plank, 1/2" engineered 5" planks. It is 5 plys of oak, and top ply of Maple which is hand scraped.

Although I am very handy, and I used to be a cabinetmaker, I decided to pay the professionals to install my new flooring thinking they could do a better job than me. I am afraid I was wring, and I was hoping to give you some information to get your opinions on it.

My house was built in 2005, is a ranch and has a walk out unfinished basement. The flooring was installed on the main level on top of sub floor. The installers did not install any type of paper between the sub floor and the new engineered flooring. There are neighborhood of 15 spots where the head joints are within 2" - 5" of each other.

When I read through the installation manual provided with the flooring it specifically states to install 15# Felt Paper for moisture barrier, and it says head joints should be no closer than 6" from each other.

My question is, woudl you be concerned about the installation? I am concerned one because of the warranty of this floor since it was not installed per manufacture requirements. The rep from Anderson has assured me they will stand behind the warranty in my case, and he has offered to supply me with paperwork stating the same. My concern is if I have a claim later they still could decide the flooring was not installed correctly and deny my claim.

Secondly, the head joints are some what of a structural issue as well as an appearance issue. I think the flooring just does not look right with those joints being close together, and there is one place where 4 planks in a row are within 2" - 4" of each other.

Would you be concerned about these issues? Please address each separately. I appreciate your time and opinions.

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Hi,

I guess if I were to pay that kind of money for engineered flooring, I'd want it installed correctly. I don't care if they're standing behind it or not.

Hand scraped plywood flooring? Who does that? The last thing I hand scraped, was the last thing I'll ever hand scrape. Damn.

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Joints placed close together is most likely a cosmetic issue for finish flooring.

Not installing felt was dumb.

Should it be repaired? You paid a professional to install it, assuming it would be installed properly. Should it be repaired/ replaced-- that's your call.

Will the improper installation lead to problems down the road? Time will tell.

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Hi,

I guess if I were to pay that kind of money for engineered flooring, I'd want it installed correctly. I don't care if they're standing behind it or not.

Hand scraped plywood flooring? Who does that? The last thing I hand scraped, was the last thing I'll ever hand scrape. Damn.

Hand scraped and hand sanded, according to their website.

http://www.andersonfloors.com/FloorResu ... aped+Maple

I would be upset about both the lack of underlay and the poorly staggered joints. I think I would ask for rework. Was the flooring nailed down?

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If I paid >$90 a yard for flooring, and someone screwed it up, I'd be upset, and I wouldn't pay the guy.

I'd also call the mfg. and tell them they have a rep that's contradicting their installation instructions.

As far as it actually being a functional problem.......extremely unlikely. Extremely.

The problem comes from you staring @ your improperly installed floor every day and night, and scrunching up your shoulders and being pissed.

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Yes, they are actually hand scraped. There is a division of Anderson Flooring Co. in the South Carolina prison system. The prisoners are paid to hand scrape and stain the flooring. It looks amazing, but it is expensive.

I agree, I think i will most likely never have a problem, but that is no guarantee. But i will be upset every time I pass by those joint and since they are in the Master Bedroom and living room, that will be many times daily.

thanks for your comments, and I welcome any others who would like to provide their input.

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I'd absolutely insist on both...an installation in compliance with the manufacturer's specs and a valid warranty...BUT...I would've been there watching him install it with the installation instructions in my hands. I wouldn't part with my hard earned dollars for anything less. That's just me.

Marc

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Reply to John Kogel

Was the flooring nailed down?

Yes, it is nailed down. Why do you ask?

I was picturing the flooring contractor trying to repair the improper installation. It may be possible to pull the planks up, you say it is oak under the maple. I would ask for new planks.

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My opinion:

I've never installed engineered flooring, but I've installed tons of solid hardwood flooring. The lack of paper under the product won't hurt a thing, especially since the house has finished space below this floor; there's no humidity gradient.

The inadequate offset of the butt joints is unlikely to ever cause a physical problem with the floor.

That said, you should make the bastards do it over. Here's why: the engineered floor isn't a structural component of the house. It serves no practical purpose. You could install sheets of tempered masonite on the floor, coat them with urethane and have a perfectly serviceable floor surface. You don't spend $10.09 per foot for a perfectly serviceable floor. You spend it for a really good looking floor. That's what you're buying: good looking. Not crappy looking.

Stop enabling crappy workmanship.

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Sounds like you guys are pretty much on the same page I am. I honestly do not think I will ever have a problem with the floor, but then again if I thought I would I would have never put it down. That being said, I paid a lot of extra dollars for a nice looking floor opposed to the alternative of a cheaper floor. Further I paid even more extra for a professional install from the flooring dealer I bought the materials from. Although they are beating around the bush and trying to get me to see there will not be any issues, I think it is time for me to get them to see that I am not going to accept the install without the felt as required by the manufacturer not to mention the head joint alignment which does not look nice and is also not installed per manufacturer instructions.

Thanks for your time.

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They are not all the same length. I would say 95% of them are within 5 " of each other, there were a scattered number of very short pieces, maybe 10 or so out of the 800 + or - square foot.

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I have seen a situation or two where someone bought engineered flooring for a job that was all the same length, and they didn't buy any extra for cutting waste. They then hired an installer for a per-foot price to come in and install it. Seeing that there was no extra to allow for varying the course pattern, he did the best he could, and kicked himself for doing a job where he didn't order the material himself.

Last floor I installed myself was prefinished wood. The packages each included a handful of very short pieces, 10-16" or so. I tossed almost all of those out. Most of the rest was around 36-42" long, with lots and lots of pieces nearly the same length. There were some ranging up to 60". It was a real chore to try to get joints scattered, and a lot of those 36-42" pieces got tossed too. Without any extra I would have had to install a very ugly floor. As it is, it's marginal compared to a random-length wood floor.

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I have seen a situation or two where someone bought engineered flooring for a job that was all the same length, and they didn't buy any extra for cutting waste. They then hired an installer for a per-foot price to come in and install it. Seeing that there was no extra to allow for varying the course pattern, he did the best he could, and kicked himself for doing a job where he didn't order the material himself.

Last floor I installed myself was prefinished wood. The packages each included a handful of very short pieces, 10-16" or so. I tossed almost all of those out. Most of the rest was around 36-42" long, with lots and lots of pieces nearly the same length. There were some ranging up to 60". It was a real chore to try to get joints scattered, and a lot of those 36-42" pieces got tossed too. Without any extra I would have had to install a very ugly floor. As it is, it's marginal compared to a random-length wood floor.

Equal length - You start by cutting to produce a pattern. The instructions may be supplied, they were with the last batch I installed. I chose a random pattern and used the offcuts to start rows going the other way. Minimal waste.

Unequal lengths - toss aside the shorts and use them in the closets and on the ends. The last floor I did, we had to open several boxes at a time to get a random mix

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