buckling bamboo floor

The house I bought last winter has a bamboo floor in the kitchen (and radiant heat in the floors). The bamboo is natural-colored and grained like a wood floor (lines visible, not dots of endgrain). It sat fine through the winter, but the humidity of summer has caused the boards to swell, buckling the center of the floor upwards. The middle 6-7 of the 3-1/2" (x 5/8" thick) boards are humped over most of the 13-foot length of the kitchen, as much as 2" high in the middle of the hump. In addition to being trecherous walking if one (visitors) are not expecting it, I am concerned that further floor or cabinet damage can occur if a heavy friend steps on it (forcing the adjacent boards outwards and/or upwards, against wall and under cabinets).
As far as I can tell, the flooring goes all the way to the walls under the cabinets. The floor was laid about 5 years ago, and the prior owner simply lived with the fact that it popped up every summer here in north NJ. He tells me the installer is out of business.
Any suggestions? Will a typical homeowners' insurance plan cover repair of a problem like this? Is there a solution short of pulling the cabinets and appliances from one wall, reducing the width of a board to allow for expansion, and replacing everything? Thoughts?
Regards, Teo
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Oy. I don't know about hte fix, but the folly of the installer/prior owner perhaps was that wood floors should be installed in the summertime, and the wood should be allowed to sit and acclimate in the house for a good period of time to prevent this stuff from happening.
Short of reinstallation, I'm not sure what can be done. Sorry to hear of this problem!
Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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On 26 Sep 2006 07:46:21 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Running a dehumidifier to keep the humidity down will work. If you can get under the toe-kick and or up against the far wall with a saw, you can cut a kerf anywhere to allow for expansion, but if you want the cut concealed, you'll have to move whatever is going to be covering the cut.
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I started a dehumidifier in the basement area below/behind the kitchen in mid-August, with no apparent change. I suspect I need to set the humidity lower or run it upstairs in the room itself.
You are exactly right - I am very reluctant to try to move the cabinets (fancy, cherry-veneer, granite tops, on both sides of room). I have called several flooring places to come give me their opinions.
Regards, Teo
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On 26 Sep 2006 07:46:21 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Insurance agents have a great deal of power to deny or approve your claim. Give them a call.
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If its floating floor (probably) it shouldn't have been installed under the cabinets. The floor needs to be able to move. It also sounds like there isn't enough clearance around the base boards. I think you are going to have to pull the base boards to see. Fixing this is not going to be easy.
As for insurance, I doubt it covers improperly installed finishes. Maybe a home warranty?

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

just humidity, there has got to be water there somewhere. If it is on a slab, maybe it is condensing
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The house is on a boulder - no joke. A narrow (6' wide) basement spans the width of the back of the house, and hatches lead to the crawl space under the main part of the house which is supported by pilings resting on the rock.
The reason I suspect summer humidity is that there were some minor signs of the same problem when I looked at the house last fall (boards slightly buckled, but sat flat if stepped on), they were fully flat when I bought in Dec, and they popped up as they currently look in early summer. Previous owner confirms that the floor cycles with seasons (put in 5 years ago).
Regards, Teo
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On 26 Sep 2006 07:46:21 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

There was not enough space for the wood to expand or possibly the floor was fixed down in some areas. Seek legal channels against the installer if the installer won't make it right.
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