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 Post subject: Cupping and Hollow spots in engineered hardwood - new build
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2023 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2023 12:49 pm
Posts: 1
Location - Dallas Metro, Texas

Flooring - Engineered Hardwood , (Glued down)

Time - new built Home by one of the production builder, flooring installation done around 4-6 months ago.

1.) After closing of new home, I noticed few cupping of wood floor(3 joints = 6 planks) and some delaminated hollow spots(8-10) so I registered for warranty claim with builder.

2.) They replaced those few planks and did epoxy by drilling 6-7 holes at different parts of floor where flooring was hollow. Builder sent flooring company to check and they found moisture level of wood floor about 13-16% (ideally it should be less than 10-12%).

3.) But due to hammering to remove the cupped wood planks and due to drilling for epoxy, it affected neighboring wood planks at 5 different places and they started moving or making squeaking noise. So I raised another complaint to builder.

4.) Meanwhile I found 3 more hollow spots which were roughly of 1 sqft in area and 6-7 hollow spots which were 3-6 inches in diameter or length

5.) Builder's Construction manager and flooring contractor came again and removed few planks and they found surface moisture content (MC%) of concrete floor around 5.5%-6%+ (Normally it should be 3%-4.5% ;Reference - Tramex). They found this higher moisture levels at 3 different places which are 8-10 feet's apart.

6.) possibly by this time they knew that something was not done correctly during floor installation or concrete was not dry enough or concrete evaporation is higher than normal.

7.) So now they are saying that they will replace the few wood planks where damage happened due to previous replacement (no 2 above) and epoxy remaining damages but started blaming me that all this happened due to our negligence while mopping or spilling. He said that they are doing us favor by replacing or fixing flooring because its not their fault as moisture readings of planks and concrete floors were higher than ideal. They are legally nor liable to help us in this case.

8.) Also they said that because manufacturer is not making this design/color wood so in case if they have to replace more planks(moving, hollow, cupping) they won't be able to do it and only option would be to epoxy it.

No I am worried that as concrete moisture content (MC%) were higher, it will create problems again in the future and builder will decline any warranty claim though chances of their fault during installation is higher but they are not accepting it.

Question for experts here:

- Please suggest and independent floor inspector who can inspect wood floor and concrete underneath it to pin point root cause.

- How to deal with builder/their flooring vendor to check the moisture content at different places and if needed make them replace whole flooring?

- Should I ask builder to do Relative Humidity test of concrete flooring (ASTM F2170)? what if he denies?

- when i asked him to state that in how many homes he sees 20-30 hollow spots within first few months of closing? - he replied that its common in production houses.

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 Post subject: Re: Cupping and Hollow spots in engineered hardwood - new build
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2023 1:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:02 am
Posts: 1748
Production work does not always ensure that the floor was checked for flatness. High and low spots can cause hollow sounding floors.
If a combination glue and moisture barrier type adhesive was used, there may not be a moisture problem from the slab. Engineered flooring is very stable so I think expansion would not be a problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Cupping and Hollow spots in engineered hardwood - new build
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2023 9:59 pm 
Prized Contributor

Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 3:45 pm
Posts: 3357
Location: Tucson AZ
My bet is they didn't perform a moisture test on the concrete as required by the wood manufacturer or the adhesive manufacturer PRIOR TO INSTALLATION!
Could also be higher moisture than the glue can handle as there are varying degrees of moisture protection by adhesives from like 85% rh to 100% for some higher end adhesives.
And then there's the common mistake of using the wrong trowel size.
You need to hire a certified inspector who has experience with wood and concrete.

Try looking on

Stephen Perrera
Top Floor Installation Co.
Tucson, Arizona
IFCII Certified Inspector
Floor Repairs and Installation in Tucson, Az

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