I'm installing Bruce hardwood floor (5/16" x 2 1/4" solid oak) and
noticed that many strips are warped out of the box, although they've
been opened in the same room where they'll be installed for a few days.
The longer ones leave a gap up to 3/4" below them, although the floor
is required to be level within 1/8" over 10'.
It seems that as I'll be nailing them down upstairs, the warpage is
still manageable. However, I'll be gluing the same strips down on
concrete downstairs, when the warpage gets me concerned, for the glue
doesn't have much holding power until cured.
Is it normal or did I get a bad batch?
I recently installed about 600 sq ft. of the same product and didn't have
any boards that were warped the way yours are. I believe that you should let
the wood stand more than a few days in the room prior to installation. I
would give it at least a couple of weeks.
Check their website for an installation manual.
I installed about 400 sqft of Bruce prefinished boards and found that quite
a few boards were not straight. Some bowed, some twisted, some curved. I
don't remember having any 'crowned' or 'cupped' boards which would be a
bigger problem for prefinished boards. If unfinished that would be sanded
I had no problem making most of them behave and lay straight after nailing
down. Though on the worst ones (flat but curved) I had to nail a temporary
scrap piece of wood down and/or use a pry bar to hold them in place while I
nailed them. I also cut some of the longer bowed pieces for use on the
ends. Make sure you start and end with flat straight boards as much as
possible. I used almost every piece of board.
I am not sure if this product is recommended to be used on concrete and/or
glued. Moisture coming up from the concrete is a concern. Check with Bruce
Maybe install a wooden sub floor over the concrete?
If you do glue to concrete then bows or twists should not be a problem.
Curved board may not work as well.
I would suggest using one of the engineered/laminate wood flooring products
on the concrete instead of the Bruce. I would use floating vs. the glued
type. I have used TrafficMaster laminate flooring on concrete with good
I installed 500 square feet of Bruce Oak hardwood 3/4" X 2 1/4" last
year and had a similar issue. What I did was go back to the store and
buy several extra boxes. As I was laying the floor I threw the worst
of the planks into a pile, and when I was finished I repackaged all the
bad boards and returned two-three boxes of them, saying that the boards
were terrible (be sure to package them tightly exactly as they were
when you bought them. The instructions say to over buy by about 5-15%,
but I found with the Bruce stuff I bought it was more like 20-30% was
Kevin Ricks's advice in his post was good as well. I also had to use
scrap pieces of wood nailed to the floor combined with a wedge to place
many a board properly before stapling. Because of that I couldn't
imagine trying to lay the stuff on concrete. I'd sooner push bamboo
shoots under my fingernails.
Mine was a bear of a project that went from a weekend fixer up to a 10
day mammoth. Laying hardwood is no picnic, that's for sure.
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