Jatoba wooden floor problems


Hi There,
I have not used this group before, but am looking for some advice if possible? Any help would be most appreciated...
Two and a half years ago I had a 30sq metre engineered board wooden floor laid in my lounger/diner by a local professional flooring centre (I am based in Brighton, UK). The plank consists of a 8mm layer of solid Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry) wood on top of a 18mm engineered multiplex board. The brand is Multigarant (www.multigarant.co.uk) and purports to be of the very highest quality (it wan't cheap!).
The floor is laid over a thin fibrous insulation layer on top of concrete sub-floor. The plank is finished with oil.
Within only a couple of days of the floor being laid, we would hear loud 'snaps' and very fine hairline cracks were appearing across the floor (barely visible to the human eye). We were told that this was normal - that the wood was just acclimatising and that the cracks wouldn't worsen.
A year on in 2005, more and more hairline cracks had appeared and in a few planks, had developed into open cracks of approximately 1mm in width. The manufacturer was called to our house, assessed the floor and told us that Jatoba is a very hard and therefore brittle wood and that such cracking is normal, but was unlikely to get any worse.
Again, we have waited another year and the splitting is getting progressively worse. On some planks it actually looks as if the Jatoba layer is coming up from the board to which it is glued. Many cracks run the entire length of the board.
I am now concerned that my floor is in a permanent and unstoppable decline!
Does anyone have experience with Jatoba flooring? Is this usual behaviour for this wood? My understanding was that an engineered board should be extremely stable and that, regardless of the wood, this should not happen.
Any advice or tales of similar experiences would be greatly appreciated.
Regards,
Tom
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I did not hear you say that they brought the material to the site and left it there for a few days before beginning the installation.
Our installers failed to do this on a Pergo flooring installation and we had issues as a result.
So much for a possible "improper" installation.
It would seem that the installation is failing apace. I would suspect that you need turn to the advertising and sales information provided at and before your purchase and to the warranty information to see if what you are experiencing was anticipated in these documents.
This with the idea of a further discussion with your solicitor should you find the product falsely advertised.

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No experience here, but (I'm in the US) I'd say that what you have is clearly not what you ordered, not what you expected, not what you contracted for, and that it has completely failed all of your positive expectations. As such it is subject to liability. Time to react. Start taking pictures if you haven't already.
Pop

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As Tarballs points out above all wood products should be stabilized on site before installation and that might be part of the problem. But, frankly, it sounds as if the Jatoba was not dried properly before mfg'ing. Considering that such a long time has passed and the probelm is progressive, that would be my first guess. Mistakes can occur in mfg'ing - lots *can* get mixed up. The product you describe above should be fairly stable. Question: Does the room(s) use Radiant Heating (within the slab)?
J
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Thank you all for your feedback and advice.
The plank was not left to acclimatise for any more than one or two days (at most) - although the manufacturer has said that pre-installation acclimatisation is not necessary with this product. There is no under-floor heating installed.
With regards Joe's comments, around 30% of planks are completely split-free so maybe the lots did get mixed up??
Thanks again,
Tom
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Hi Tom,
I'm also based here in the UK and have spent some of my working life in a Trading Standards environment with local authorities.
You've quite a tricky problem here, in that the manufacturer http://www.multigarant.co.uk/ may not have been your retailer or installer (I note they use dealerships at the retail end). As you can imagine, this leads to all sorts of difficulties with all parts of the 'transaction tree' able to blame each other, for either bad workmanship at the installation stage or poor quality manufacture. As is usually always the case in these scenarios', no-one seems to want to accept blame or responsibility for what you see as the demise of the product.
I've little choice than to recommend you contact your local Citizens' Advice Bureau or Advice/Law centre, if you're lucky enough to have one? Making necessary initial appointments will ensure a smooth and speedy response to your query. If visiting, ensure you take all documents, including financial ones if the product was paid for on 'finance'.
secondly, as the flooring just may be out of it's gaurantee period (laid in 2005? over 12 months ago?), if you paid by credit card at any stage, you may be able and better to pursue a claim to your credit card company, as they may be 'jointly and severally' liable and responsible for the sale (Consumer Credit Act 1974) if this method was used. Again, seek the advice of CAB or Law Centre/Advice Centre?
Long winded I know, but, I hope a fairly comprehensive reply to your enquiry.
Best wishes and regards John -- Remove 'spamfree' to reply
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John (aka wheelzuk) wrote:

http://www.multigarant.co.uk/ may not have been your retailer or installer (I note they use dealerships at the retail end). As you can imagine, this leads to all sorts of difficulties with all parts of the 'transaction tree' able to blame each other, for either bad workmanship at the installation stage or poor quality manufacture. As is usually always the case in these scenarios', no-one seems to want to accept blame or responsibility for what you see as the demise of the product.

Bureau or Advice/Law centre, if you're lucky enough to have one? Making necessary initial appointments will ensure a smooth and speedy response to your query. If visiting, ensure you take all documents, including financial ones if the product was paid for on 'finance'.

2005? over 12 months ago?), if you paid by credit card at any stage, you may be able and better to pursue a claim to your credit card company, as they may be 'jointly and severally' liable and responsible for the sale (Consumer Credit Act 1974) if this method was used. Again, seek the advice of CAB or Law Centre/Advice Centre?

Do the legals in the UK have a concept of third-party privity? Put 'em all on the dock. :)
er
--
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Thank you all, again, for your advice.
I have dug-out the original complaint correspondence from 2004 when the problem first mainifested iteself and am now re-approaching all parties to try and get this resolved once and for all.
Best regards,
Tom
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