We've just moved into our new home, most of which we built. We had hardwood
floors installed in most of the house. The floor company wanted the floors
to acclimate after the installation for two weeks before finishing. But we
had no choice with our move-in date, so they acclimated only one week before
the finishing work. However, the wood had been delivered to our house a
week before installation began.
The finished floors looked amazing--smooth, tight, beautiful. About two or
three weeks after finishing, the weather here (Southern California) took a
bit of a dip--lots of rain on several days and low temperatures that were
ten or fifteen degrees colder than at installation time (we're still only
talking about the low 40s and high 30s). Around that time, we began (a.)
hearing repeated loud pops and bangs during the night, and (b.) seeing
cracks emerge between boards. The flooring company says these cracks are
the normal results of cold(er) weather shrinkage and should close up again
somewhat as weather warms in the spring. But I'm concerned. The vast
majority of the cracks/separations are less than the thickness of a credit
card. But there are at least a dozen that two credit cards would fit into,
and two or three that I can pretty easily fit four credit cards into.
My questions: are these separations indeed normal, particularly in a mild
climate where nighttime temperatures don't get down much below 38? Can I
actually expect the cracks to close back up in the spring (and then,
presumably, open up again next winter)? Did I lose any right to complain by
not waiting the full two weeks between installation and finishing? What
options do I have, as regards the appearance of these floors?