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 Post subject: Maple Click Engineered Flooring - Cracking and Popping
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:13 am 
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Hi all,

I am new here. Thanks for your help regarding my flooring question.

I have purchased a 3 1/2 Maple Click Engineered Flooring @ 1/2 inch thick for floating installation in the basement. Manufacture is Golden Elite.

I like in Quebec, Canada and it is currently very cold (-5F @ -20C).

The floor was purchased one month ago and left in the basement to acclimated. There is about 1000 sqfeet to be installed. Temperature in the basement is 18-20C @ 35RH. Heating is forced air with baseboard as backup which rarely work.

Subfloor is dricore panels (OSB + Plastic membrane at bottom) that have been installed floating as intended but some tapcone screws have been used to flatten any high spots. Floor is pretty level but not 100%. I assume it is acceptable. I am definitely picky about my installation and did not see the need for additional plywood on top of dricore or need for self-leveling concrete. I might be wrong. Underlayment between dricore and engineering is the white foam with vapor barrier.

In any case, I finished the 1st room. It came out beautiful but a few hours after installation completed, walking over the floor gives a cracking and popping noise everywhere. The whole floor. I stopped the installation.

Made a video of the noise:

https://youtu.be/FMLDDZeWsUo

I assumed it was maybe the floor level but after further inspection and laying a 5x6 floor on the main level over a completely level surface, the noise is still there but slightly less. Still popping and cracking noise as you walk across the floor but maybe a bit less than the basement.

Now, early this morning in an attempt to troubleshoot this further I brought a larger portion of the floor upstairs and installed it over a perfectly level floor. Floor level was perfect under a 6 foot level. The floor is hardwood that was installed years ago and its in perfect condition. Here is the result:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXcflne1WGI

Now it seems the engineered floor is the issue here. Not sure if the manufacturer will easily agree. No matter how level the floor is, this makes noise. This was NOT a cheap floor cost wise. It was in fact more expensive than regular hardwood and I purchased over 1000 sq feet which concerns me quite a bit. At this moment the installation is completely at a standstill until I find some answers.

I assumed it could have been the underlayment but tying laying the floor over black tarp did the same noise.

So the conclusion I came to is that the flooring itself makes the noise which is accentuated by any possible difference is level. So it makes noise regardless but a less than perfect subfloor makes it worst.

Not sure what part of the floor makes the noise. Tong and groove? Maybe the engineering layers glue?

I called the manufacturer and send them a video and after a bit of back and forth I was told its normal since we had extremely cold temperatures and dry conditions.

I should give it a few weeks until the floor get more humidity and I should walk on the floor normally and it will get better and better and disappear eventually.

My only hope is that as humidity rises to above 45% this noise disappears but I am not sure I want to take the chance. Thoughts?

I was thinking next to add an additional humidifier and boost the humidity level to 50%. From the current 35%. Not sure if this cold weather dried the flooring in the warehouse to an extreme level. The other options would be to put some wax on the tong and groove and re-try the experiment. Not sure how much time should I really give this floor before returning it.

My question is: Have you seen this before? Any ideas or suggestions.

Thanks all.


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 Post subject: Re: Maple Click Engineered Flooring - Cracking and Popping
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:28 am 
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That is very weird. I can't say that I've heard something that bad after just being laid down. While 35% is pretty dry, you shouldn't get that kind of noise from shrinking wood - usually its when humidity goes up and expansion creates pressure between rubbing boards that you hear the squeaking. Or its the subfloor squeaking and not the hardwood. But in this case, it looks to me like an issue with the locking system being perhaps too loose and allowing movement and thus noise. The manufacturer is likely assuming your install has shrunk seasonally, which might cause the locks to shrink a bit and movement/noise to occur. If the humidity is brought up and those spaces close, the noise should go away. Typically we recommend waiting a full heating + cooling cycle to determine if any noises are seasonal or not, as noise isn't usually covered by warranty unless its obviously unreasonable.

Grab a couple planks and closely examine the locks. They should all be identical - if you notice variations, it could mean a bad lot from the manufacturer. When the floor is clicked together, does it feel flat or are there height differences between boards?

One last thing - installing at 35% RH isn't ideal as the floor will expand post installation as the winter turns to spring - it would be better to install at 45% and let it shrink a bit afterwards from the dry heat, so that it is closer to it's desired state when it returns to normal. If you have to install in 35% RH, leave a big expansion gap at the perimeter (1/2 inch minimum)


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 Post subject: Re: Maple Click Engineered Flooring - Cracking and Popping
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 3:45 pm
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Location: Tucson AZ
Is the locking mechanism design a drop lock? I stay away from those for that very reason, they are noisy. Are you willing to listen to that noise every time it gets dry?
I stick to regular old T&G with T&G adhesive in the grooves for floating installs. It is possible to use T&G adhesive on click syatems if the manufactrer will warranty it, or glue it down full spread.

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Top Floor Installation Co.
Tucson, Arizona
Floor Repairs and Installation in Tucson, Az
http://www.tucsonazflooring.com


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 Post subject: Re: Maple Click Engineered Flooring - Cracking and Popping
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:59 am
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Thanks for your responses.

Just an update. Took the flooring back. There was a defect in the floor during manufacturing. The top layer glue and the tong and groove mechanism were making this noise. It was a pain in the butt to remove the old floor, pack it, haul it back from the basement to the truck and bring it back to the store along with the other 27 unopened boxes of flooring. In retrospect I should have gotten some help. Your back can only take so much punishment.

Anyhow. All said and done I am super glad I got my money back. I was expecting to have to go through a lot more pain to recover my money but it was fairly smooth given the circumstances. I am glad I stopped install after the 1st room...

Now the question is what next?

I have a clean dricore subfloor. I was thinking to add 3/8 ply and nail down some 1/2 engineering floor on top. No more floating floor for me and glue down its messy.

Opinions?


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 Post subject: Re: Maple Click Engineered Flooring - Cracking and Popping
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:42 am 
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floormeintucson wrote:
Is the locking mechanism design a drop lock?


Yes. It was. Easier to install but no lock on the sides which probably added to the noise. Not sure how clear the video is but I tell you the noise was horrible and constant throughout.


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 Post subject: Re: Maple Click Engineered Flooring - Cracking and Popping
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:46 am 
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WestonKris wrote:
One last thing - installing at 35% RH isn't ideal as the floor will expand post installation as the winter turns to spring - it would be better to install at 45% and let it shrink a bit afterwards from the dry heat, so that it is closer to it's desired state when it returns to normal.


That is a very good point. I was thinking about that as well. My logic was that if I leave a good gap at the edges the floor will be fine and I would avoid possible gaps versus installing in 45-50% and then it dries in the winter down to 35%.

However your logic makes more sense since it's wiser to install at 45% and let it dry a bit in the winter if it comes to it.

Would you say this is as important with nail down engineering?


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 Post subject: Re: Maple Click Engineered Flooring - Cracking and Popping
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:02 am
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Are you going to glue the three-eighths ply down?


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 Post subject: Re: Maple Click Engineered Flooring - Cracking and Popping
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:32 am 
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Pete A. wrote:
Are you going to glue the three-eighths ply down?

Nope. I would not glue it to dricore OSB. I don't think its a good idea. I was thinking 18 gauge 7/8 staples with a bit of PL premium.


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 Post subject: Re: Maple Click Engineered Flooring - Cracking and Popping
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:19 pm 
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I recommend lots of premium glue, staples every 4 inches on the edges and 8 inches in the field.


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