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Engineered oak floor problems


ChrisM85
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Hi all, we recently installed a herringbone engineered oak floor in the downstairs of our home. We primed and levelled sub-base and glued it down with appropriate fixable glue.

 

In the last week two joints have popped up and the hardwood has delaminated from the engineered base.

 

Can anyone advise what's going on? The rest of the floor is great and I'm sure we have done a good of installation, even checked all instructions numerous times abd YouTube tutorials to ensure we havnt missed anything.

 

Thanks in advance.

20210815_201652.jpg

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Did you leave an expansion gap around the edge?

was the flooring left in the room for a couple of days before fitting?

do you have UFH?

what is the floor build underneath?

was this supplied as herringbone? Did you maintain the tongue and groove joint at the ends?

Edited by markc
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Even though it is engineered and stuck down you can still get a lot of expansion and shrinkage.

 

I have replaced planks of stuck down engineered floor in the past by using a plunge circular saw and a series of cuts to remove and cutting the tongue off either the new or existing plank.

 

Leave it a month or so and see how extensive the issue is.  If it is pre-finished you will struggle to sand down and refinish any pieces to an acceptable standard.

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6 hours ago, markc said:

Did you leave an expansion gap around the edge?

was the flooring left in the room for a couple of days before fitting?

do you have UFH?

what is the floor build underneath?

was this supplied as herringbone? Did you maintain the tongue and groove joint at the ends?

Hi Mark

 

Yes I left a circa 20mm gap around the room. The flooring was in the room for around a week and we have UFH in the adjacent room but have a expansion gap between the two rooms and the floors is suitable for UFH.

 

Its concrete underneath which we primed with a grit primer and self levelled with mapi.

 

The floor was sold as herringbone and we used the T&G when fitting.

 

Thanks

 

Am stumped.

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3 hours ago, Mr Punter said:

Even though it is engineered and stuck down you can still get a lot of expansion and shrinkage.

 

I have replaced planks of stuck down engineered floor in the past by using a plunge circular saw and a series of cuts to remove and cutting the tongue off either the new or existing plank.

 

Leave it a month or so and see how extensive the issue is.  If it is pre-finished you will struggle to sand down and refinish any pieces to an acceptable standard.

Not the response I was hoping for. Its been down around 1-2 months at present I hope these two areas are the total damage. Sickening when you pay so much for a floor and this is happening.

 

Thought I would trim the wood with a knife on the tight edge and inject wood glue to try and re fix the hardwood that's delaminated.

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3 minutes ago, ChrisM85 said:

Thought I would trim the wood with a knife on the tight edge and inject wood glue to try and re fix the hardwood that's delaminated.

 

That sounds a reasonable plan.  I had Magicman repair some of ours where it was dented and the repair was far worse than the damage.

 

Is there any coating going on top of yours or is it already finished?

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44 minutes ago, ChrisM85 said:

Hi Mark

 

Yes I left a circa 20mm gap around the room. The flooring was in the room for around a week and we have UFH in the adjacent room but have a expansion gap between the two rooms and the floors is suitable for UFH.

 

Its concrete underneath which we primed with a grit primer and self levelled with mapi.

 

The floor was sold as herringbone and we used the T&G when fitting.

 

Thanks

 

Am stumped.

In that case you have done everything correctly.

looking again at the pic is does appear heather hump is a result of expansion.

not a great deal you can do, although it may cure itself in a few months. Get some glue into the de-laminated bit and plenty of weight while it cures

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1 hour ago, Mr Punter said:

 

That sounds a reasonable plan.  I had Magicman repair some of ours where it was dented and the repair was far worse than the damage.

 

Is there any coating going on top of yours or is it already finished?

That was next on my list. Had the magic man to repair some veneer fire doors at work and he did a grand job tbf. It's called invisible oil finish so can't see any and it acts like it hasn't been treated probably just seen me coming haha 

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1 hour ago, markc said:

In that case you have done everything correctly.

looking again at the pic is does appear heather hump is a result of expansion.

not a great deal you can do, although it may cure itself in a few months. Get some glue into the de-laminated bit and plenty of weight while it cures

I hope your right its stressful not knowing to what extent this may manifest itself. 

 

Thanks for your help 

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8 minutes ago, Temp said:

In my area we have had quite high humidity recently and that's when wood expands. 

Same here approaching 70% in the house but my understanding of glued engineered wood is that all movement should be negligible hence safe for UFH and kitchens. Should have put cheap laminate down never had issues with it in the past lol 

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We have an engineered wood floor over UFH and had a joint open up over our first winter. It's true that Engineered Wood is much more stable and safer than solid but it does still move a bit with the weather.

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2 hours ago, Dave Jones said:

mistake was glueing it down.

My oak flooring is glued down with no probs, I hate floating floors, most sound hollow. If you have fitted the floor correctly I would contact the supplier and get their take on it (faulty goods)?.?

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3 hours ago, Dave Jones said:

mistake was glueing it down.

 

Should be left floating with a decent underlay to stop it sucking moisture from the slab/screed.

Nothing wrong with gluing a floor down. You shouldn't be doing any kind of flooring unless the slab has dried out as well. With ufh a wooden floor glued down will transfer the heat through to the room quicker as well. 

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This looks to me like a failure of the flooring, the top, Oak layer has warped and separated from the structural layers.  I bet the manufacturer will blame you or the installer, excessive moisture, not enough moisture, to hot etc etc etc rather than admit a failure like that could happen.

 

Ours has been down 3 years, no problems like that, UFH on, and the floor even gets carefully mopped once in a while.

 

One question though, that has occurred at a change of direction.  Are ALL the faults at a change of direction, i.e. where very likely the boards do not interlock with a tongue and groove?

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After fitting it I belive it isn't possible to fit this floor floating the glue is defo required. 

 

There's two areas have popped. One as pictured and the other halfway down a board.

 

The supplied has said either too much moisture or over hammered into place at installation, both wrong I feel.

 

Any suggestions on repair would be apprecate.

 

Thanks all for your input 

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How long was flooring installed before the issue arose?

 

For it to be moisture related, it would need a while, perhaps a few weeks at least before it's really going to be able to pick up "that much" excess moisture to "swell" like that. Besides, if it was moisture, there would be more widespread evidence than two rogue spots surely.

 

The relative humidity at 70% is high. Is the house newly built, and has it had much in the way of "wet" work done recently? The indoor environment in most houses would possibly mean a relative humidity of approx 30% to 50% (drifting outside those upper and lower limits occasionally, when conditions are more extreme) So, 70% is very high, and over a protracted period would not be good for interior joinery.

 

The makeup of this type of flooring would need a fairly long spell to take up excessive atmospheric moisture. Furthermore, you need to keep in mind that engineered flooring has a totally different makeup and behaviour to solid timber, and is far more reliable in varying temps and humidity.

 

From looking at the problem, I'd say it's almost certainly from installation, where it's been stressed by impact on knocking boards into place. Over the time it's been down, the delamination has become more apparent and has shown itself to you.

If it were mine, I'd try to put pressure on it to at least see if it moves back into place. If it does, then it can be repaired I'd say. You would need to get some good adhesive (maybe a UF type like cascamite), that does not expand or creep once cured, dries clear and hard, and also, where the excess can be wiped off while wet with a damp cloth. Of course, you’ll need to keep pressure applied while it goes off, which will be tricky. A great deal of weight may be required to achieve that, but whatever you do, don’t use any kind of ferrous metal, as combined with the moisture from adhesive, it’ll stain the flooring black, due to tannin in oaks..  

 

 

  

Edited by Makeitstop
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Its been down around 1 month in the dining room with the fault pictured and 2 months in the lounge where the other similar issue is. Banging did cross my mind but the delamination are in an area away from where installation stress would be applied. The instructions say to hammer into place when fitting although with it being wood there's only do much hammering one dare do so shouldn't imagine I was overzealous. 

 

They won't push back down as it feels like it's expanded slightly so slightly overlaps the next plank. 

 

I've orded some cascamite for thrus/Fri delivery with a view to shave excess hardwood off the side dbthe swollen plank using a fresh blade, then injecting some cascamite and weighing down using a 3x3" square of wood with a few breeze blocks on.

 

Wish me luck, and any opinions or direction is welcome. 

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1 hour ago, ChrisM85 said:

Its been down around 1 month in the dining room with the fault pictured and 2 months in the lounge where the other similar issue is. Banging did cross my mind but the delamination are in an area away from where installation stress would be applied. The instructions say to hammer into place when fitting although with it being wood there's only do much hammering one dare do so shouldn't imagine I was overzealous. 

 

They won't push back down as it feels like it's expanded slightly so slightly overlaps the next plank. 

 

I've orded some cascamite for thrus/Fri delivery with a view to shave excess hardwood off the side dbthe swollen plank using a fresh blade, then injecting some cascamite and weighing down using a 3x3" square of wood with a few breeze blocks on.

 

Wish me luck, and any opinions or direction is welcome. 

 

If you are able to slice into any thickness of the board to be able to allow the oak veneer to press back into place, then that would be good. Cascamite will certainly hold it once it's set and will be rock hard. What you'll need to make sure of is that you don't bond the wooden block to the floor..ha. That'll be more of a problem than you have now. Perhaps use a piece of polythene or suchlike as a barrier to bonding. 

 

you may find you need to refinish part of that board once its all set, but that's not overly tricky. Try to keep glue to a minimum and in the joint. If you can get some in there, and can press it closed, then do that and wipe of excess glue. Then place your poly barrier over the area and weigh down and leave for a day..ish. 

 

for mixing cascamite, use very little water and add powder to mix into a fairly stiff paste, then add a little more water to a runny creamy texture. it's ready to go then.

 

Good luck with it. 

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8 hours ago, ChrisM85 said:

Could anyone advise what temp they have their UFH set to? Floor instructions say max wood surface temp of 29° so was going to gradually ramp it up week on week and use thermography to check. 

UFH generally runs around 25 degrees and gives a fairly even floor temperature.

electric heating mats can result in much higher hot spots if a towel or something is left on the floor 

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9 hours ago, Makeitstop said:

 

If you are able to slice into any thickness of the board to be able to allow the oak veneer to press back into place, then that would be good. Cascamite will certainly hold it once it's set and will be rock hard. What you'll need to make sure of is that you don't bond the wooden block to the floor..ha. That'll be more of a problem than you have now. Perhaps use a piece of polythene or suchlike as a barrier to bonding. 

 

you may find you need to refinish part of that board once its all set, but that's not overly tricky. Try to keep glue to a minimum and in the joint. If you can get some in there, and can press it closed, then do that and wipe of excess glue. Then place your poly barrier over the area and weigh down and leave for a day..ish. 

 

for mixing cascamite, use very little water and add powder to mix into a fairly stiff paste, then add a little more water to a runny creamy texture. it's ready to go then.

 

Good luck with it. 

Noted! Thanks for your advice. I'll report back at the weekend. 

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