Amish made hardwood

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 Post subject: Entire floor sounds like rice krispies
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:19 am
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Our engineered hardwood floor (Laurentian Hardwood by Shnier Flooring) sounds like walking on rice krispies (new construction).

Here is a video of me walking around the kitchen island
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlPNhFYahyg

Despite the floor being installed almost 1.5 years before moving in, we're experiencing creaking, popping, snapping on the floor. It's progressively getting worse.

It was not present 3 months ago when we inspected the home and the first 2 weeks of living in it.

The rice krispies effect is worse in high traffic areas (hallways, around kitchen island). Places with little to no traffic occasionally creak, but not as consistently as high traffic.

Installation details

Floor was installed Oct 2017
We took possession late-March 2019
Floor started having issues mid-April 2019

Wax paper underlay
OSB subfloor (says "subfloor" stamped on OSB)
Flooring attached with staples (unsure of gauge)

Temp and Humidity

From Oct 2017 - March 2019
No data for humidity, apparently kept at 19°C / 66°F

From March '19 - April '19
29% to 36% @ 19-21°C / 66-70°F, 33% avg

From April '19 - Present (whole-house humidifier installed)
38%-45% @ 19-21°C / 66-70°F, 42% avg

Using a wood moisture meter (pin) on May 22 gave 6%.


House details and HVAC

Nova Scotia, Canada. Coastal, dry winters, humid summers.
Ducted forced air, tri-zone
House approx 5500sqft, 3 levels
HRV is running on low fan speed (however for April '19 it might have been set to 20-40% humidity)


Builder and flooring contractor's comments

They're pointing to a humidity issue. They claim 6% EMC (equilibrium moisture content) of the floor is too low and the staples have lost their snugness. It will eventually resolve itself as moisture is added back into the floor.

They're also saying that for the month of April the HRV shouldn't have been set below 60% humidity and caused the floor to dry up.

This doesn't make sense to me for 3 reasons

1) Our HRV isn't a dehumidifier
2) Outside air temp is humid enough for the month of April (average 7°C / 44°F at 65% humidity).
3) The humidistat never read less than 29% and averaged 33% for April.


Appreciate any insight! This is my first engineered hardwood floor and I'm new to this.


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 Post subject: Re: Entire floor sounds like rice krispies
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:02 am
Posts: 118
Sorry for the late reply - fellow Canuck here, based in Toronto.

I have to agree with the builders assessment, it sounds like it got too dry in there, and may still be a bit dry. This year we had a longer winter, I know my heat was still on in May. Keep in mind that the recommended RH for most floors is 40-55% and you are having trouble getting up above 45 it looks like.

Since you have a humidifier, crank it up to 55% and let it run for a few days and see if that helps. From the video, its not subfloor related, its definitely the hardwood itself - just have to experiment until you find the sweet spot for the humidity.


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