Wood Floor Installation

I had 3/8" thick Bellawood installed today over concrete slab (with a skim coat of a prep material). There are many small gaps between boards side-by -side, plus a few length-wise. Is this simply poor workmanship or is the i nstaller correct when he says that these gaps are needed for future expansi on?
I am a bit dubious of his claim because we are in the middle of a hot and h umid summer in the Gulf South. It seems to me that the boards should be as expanded as they'll ever get right now. (Unless the levies are breached a nd New Orleans floods again.)
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Oren wrote:

I agree with the above.
Hopefully, the OP has not paid the contractor yet. He could also call the manufacturer and ask the same question to get their confirmation which could be used in dealing with the contractor.
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Not needed for expansion. What do you consider "small" and "many"?
My thoughts without seeing it. Couple of possibilities...
1. The gaps are because boards vary in width (easy to determine). That is a manufacturing problem but not necessarily a defect, depends on the specs. The gaps would be at the end joint where a thinner board meets a wider one; normally, those gaps decrease in width as they get farther from the end oint.
2. You said it was on slab. How was it fastened? Normally, wood floors are fastened to a subfloor or - on concrete - to panels nailed to the concrete. The boards are fastened to the panels or subfloor with cleats (sometimes staples) driven at a downward angle through the tongue. It is perfectly normal for some of the flooring boards to be less than perfectly straight but the force of the nailing should pull them tight; if it doesn't, the installer should take other steps (clamps, etc.) to get them in straight. I would say that gaps at end joints are definitely from sloppy work, maybe those parallel to the boards too..
Was your floor mechanically fastened? If so, I would say the installer cut corners. If not - if some sort of mastic was used - I'd say it wasn't holding well.
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dadiOH
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I had 3/8" thick Bellawood installed today over concrete slab (with a skim coat of a prep material). There are many small gaps between boards side-by-side, plus a few length-wise. Is this simply poor workmanship or is the installer correct when he says that these gaps are needed for future expansion?
I am a bit dubious of his claim because we are in the middle of a hot and humid summer in the Gulf South. It seems to me that the boards should be as expanded as they'll ever get right now. (Unless the levies are breached and New Orleans floods again.)
== Poor workmanship, no question.
Not the same thing, but I had a damaged hardwood floor about 3 ft x 3ft. The floor was 35 years old and that width of the stock slats was not available. The installer made custom pieces and they matched perfectly with no spaces. Now, after 20 years, you still cannot tell it had been patched. Cost was around $150 total.
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I'm the OP. Most of the replies confirm my opinion that the installers didn't do good work. And you've correctly surmised that the boards were glued down. Other than a discount, I don't think there is anything to be done at this point but live with it.
This little project has taught me that if I want the job done right, I need to learn about these details in advance and closely supervise the installers. This isn't what I had in mind when I pay someone who is supposed to be an expert to do work for me.
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On Thursday, July 25, 2013 8:12:09 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

That depends on how bad it is and if you want to do something about it. If you want to do something about it, first step is to get the owner or a manager of the company that installed it out to look at it. If they won't resolve it, next you could try the BBB. And there is always small claims court.
If you post some pics on one of the pic hosting websites with a link, we'd have a better idea of what it looks like. But having to put putty in gaps in a new floor doesn't sound right.

Sad, but true. When I'm planning to do something like this, I always find out a reasonable amount about what needs to be done, via manufacturer;s websites, install instructions, here, etc. It's very useful in determining which possible contractors are honest and know what they are doing from the skunks.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I don't think that you should just give up and take the hit on this one.
You bought the materials at Lumber Liquidators and I am guessing that you arranged for the installation through Lumber Liquidators. If that's the case, I would start with LL, especially if I paid LL for the materials and for the installation.
Personally, I think they can take the floor up and replace it at no cost to you even though it is already glued down to the concrete. Or, if you have enough room to add additional height to the new floor (meaning under doors, figuring in higher thresholds, the height up to the bottom step or down from the top step if you have stairs leading up or down from that room, etc) -- then they could just add a new floor on top of this one at no cost to you.
If you bought the materials at LL, but hired your own installer apart from LL and not through them, then I think LL would be off the hook regarding the cost of the materials. In that case, I think you would have to recover all of the replacement cost from the installer.
I think you said you are in Louisiana. If so, check out whatever home improvement license laws they may have etc. A very quick check on my part looks like those laws may not be very strong in terms of protecting the consumer, but check anyway. I doubt that the BBB would do anything.
If you paid by credit card, contest the charge or charges on your credit card while you are dealing with LL and/or the contractor.
The bottom line is that you did not get what you paid for -- a new hardwood floor that was installed on a workmanlike manner. You pointed out the problem while it was happening, both here and with the contractor, and the contractor did come out and saw the problem. They even told you first that the gaps were needed for expansion which is completely bogus.
Of course, keep good records of everything, and if you don't get full satisfaction check around for lawyers in your area that specialize in construction law. In some states, that laws are written in a way that would allow an attorney to take the case on a contingency basis and recover all of the legal fees and costs from the defendant(s).
Good luck.
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Under the circumstances, I think saying they did not do good work is way harsh. The fact is, not all the boards are going to be arrow straight; some of them are going to have crook. In order to get mating edges, crooked boards need to be bent and afixed in that position. I've never glued a floor but I can't see how doing so could keep a board bent to straight from returning to its former crook. ____________________

If they did nothing wrong, you are not entitled to a discount. :( _____________________

*THAT* I agree with :) Not so sure about the supervising though...ask questions/express concerns, yes; nit pick/look over their shoulders, no...you want them to like you, not consider you a PITA. _______________________

I agree with that too. I would expect them to advise me of any potential problems. In this case, asking, "Will there be any gaps between the boards?" would have been a good question to ask before commiting to the work. Depending on the answer, then you might be entitled to a new floor; especially if the answer had been written into the contract.
Your problems reinforce my belief that the only wood floor I would ever want is 3/4 solid wood, sanded and finished on site.
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dadiOH
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On 7/25/2013 9:33 AM, dadiOH wrote:

i've had a glued on concrete hardwood floor. it came out without any cracks and didn't need filling anywhere. i would say that now-a-days, most all machine made hardwood floor planks are arrow straight. an installer should know enough to work around them, on the rare board that wasn't.

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I have no doubt that they start out straight but that doesn't mean they will stay that way in the time from mill to laying.
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On Thursday, July 25, 2013 2:15:16 PM UTC-4, dadiOH wrote:

They should if it's quality flooring from a reputable manufacturer. When you buy God knows what, from God knows who, then maybe not. I haven't seen a new floor installed that needed putty to fill in gaps. Seems there would be a lot of pissed off consumers if that were typical.
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wrote:

Engineered hardwood generally will - and I would not use anything BUT engineered hardwood on a concrete slab. Using solisd hardwood on a concrete slab, glued down, is just asking for more trouble than it's worth.
Just my opinion.
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In

That is also the opinion of anyone that knows anything about flooring. You CANNOT put solid wood on a slab without a plywood subfloor, period
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On Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 1:35:14 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

m coat of a prep material). There are many small gaps between boards side- by-side, plus a few length-wise. Is this simply poor workmanship or is the installer correct when he says that these gaps are needed for future expan sion?

humid summer in the Gulf South. It seems to me that the boards should be as expanded as they'll ever get right now. (Unless the levies are breached and New Orleans floods again.)
Dear alt.home.repair colleagues, Nine months ago, I posted here asking for advice regarding what I suspected was a poor installation of solid wood plank flooring purchased from Lumber Liquidators. Based on your comments, I decided to file a claim in Small C laims Court for original materials plus estimated costs to re-install with new materials.
The agent for Lumber Liquidators contacted us and offered to settle our cas e out of court for the entire amount of our claim. So I want to thank you all for your support and suggestions. If anyone else purchased what they b elieve are inferior materials from Lumber Liquidators (or from any other ma jor vendor), I recommend you do what I did and seek compensation. My wife and I are both pleased with the outcome. Bob Simon
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On Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 10:20:41 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote :
e:

kim coat of a prep material). There are many small gaps between boards sid e-by-side, plus a few length-wise. Is this simply poor workmanship or is t he installer correct when he says that these gaps are needed for future exp ansion?

nd humid summer in the Gulf South. It seems to me that the boards should b e as expanded as they'll ever get right now. (Unless the levies are breach ed and New Orleans floods again.)

ed was a poor installation of solid wood plank flooring purchased from Lumb er Liquidators. Based on your comments, I decided to file a claim in Small Claims Court for original materials plus estimated costs to re-install wit h new materials.

ase out of court for the entire amount of our claim. So I want to thank yo u all for your support and suggestions. If anyone else purchased what they believe are inferior materials from Lumber Liquidators (or from any other major vendor), I recommend you do what I did and seek compensation. My wif e and I are both pleased with the outcome.

Good to hear it worked for you. I was the one who suggested small claims court. Please send the case of beer here.
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In

It's great to hear that it all worked out and your were able to get the problem resolved to you satisfaction. You had to put forth some effort and go through the correct process, but at least you got it solved. And, it is good to hear that Lumber Liquidators honored what they were supposed to do.
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