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 Post subject: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:40 pm 
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Hello everyone! I purchased a box of hardwood flooring to "try-on" in my house to see if the color would fit but I am noticing that some of the planks are different widths... the difference is tiny, only about 1mm (or 1/12 of an inch) and you cannot tell by looking at just one, but when 3 or more are put together there is a visible gap or "crack" between them.
if it were tile, this "crack" would be where the grout is.. kind of hard to explain - when one plank is down and the second 1mm wider is put next to it, once the 3rd is put in place-- it lays nicely with the 1st but forms a gap or "crack" with the 2nd. does that make sense? am I crazy or is this floor defective?
I know 5% defect is allowed, but is it normal to have planks slightly different widths? it is brazillian redwood and I am getting it from Lumber Liquidators.


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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:56 pm 
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Well, you did say LL, so that usually explains alot.
No, you shouldn't have gaps. NOFMA standards allow for only .005" variance (1/20th") in width, so 1/12th is obviously larger than normal. Of course, you're looking at an import product that isn't necessarily milled to that standard...they may say that it is within their proprietary standards, so you're only recourse is to decide whether you can live with it or not, and take it back if you don't like it.

One other thing to consider....it is possible that some of the variation you are seeing is due to varying moisture content from board to board. Without using a meter and seeing if all the boards are at an equal content, you can't rule it out. If anything, you may want to lay all of the boards out and let them acclimate for a few days, then look at them again.


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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Thats why we use straps if gluing and why you buy extra wood. Also any nailer would pull that together.

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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:29 pm 
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A nailer isn't going to make the board narrower :wink:
If i understand correctly, I think what the O.P. was saying is if you lay the first row of boards end to end to end and one of them is 1/12" wider than the others, when you lay your second row, you're going to have a gap between rows where that wide board is...no matter how hard you whack it with the nailer. lol
I agree, tape or a nailer will work with crooked boards, but not different face widths.


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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:40 pm 
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bw wrote:
A nailer isn't going to make the board narrower :wink:
If i understand correctly, I think what the O.P. was saying is if you lay the first row of boards end to end to end and one of them is 1/12" wider than the others, when you lay your second row, you're going to have a gap between rows where that wide board is...no matter how hard you whack it with the nailer. lol
I agree, tape or a nailer will work with crooked boards, but not different face widths.



Ya just hit it harder bw. lol Better get out the measuing guage.

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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:34 pm 
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LL has different mills that perform their milling. When I was installing their Bellawood exclusively :roll: , I would never know what the milling was going to be like. I guess what I'm saying is if you like the specie, but have problems with the milling, you can try having them send out that specie,from a different mill. The problem is ... You pay for those "test cartons", then your stuck with them.
With LL Bellawood, if it's not milling, it's warped or twisted boards. You have to take great pains when intalling that product , to make it look good. It's a necessity to use strap clamps . Not becaue I sell them , but that product definetely got me going on the whole strap clamp thing.

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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:51 am 
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LOL you mean Bob Villa is not telling the whole truth about bellawood?

I have a little story related to the title of this thread to post about LL; I will wait until I finish up installing my LL Rustic White Oak this weekend then the story will be complete and you can hear my saga.


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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:29 am 
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variations in width is a defect.

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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:33 pm 
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Ray Darrah wrote:
variations in width is a defect.



You tell that to LL Ray. Does not your brokerage company cover LL inspections?

Do manufacturers set their own milling standards?

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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:26 pm 
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the planks should all be the same width if wood moisture content is between 6% and 9%.
variation to .05", as stated earlier.
.05 is difficult difference to measure, much less observe.

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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:19 am 
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different widths, are a defect.

Personal issues aside, check the MC of individual boards and their widths,

that will tell you what has happen...had one this summer, LL, 6 inch planks, tight when installed, now, there are gaps, and the widths are all different, ranging from 6" to 5 63/64" down to 5 60/64", and now, five months after installation, all are in the 8 to 10% range, which is normal for midlands SC. and last visit, are starting to cup but still gaps, same sizes,

Subfloor Osb ranges from 13 to 15%.

LL says, there are no drying irregularities. So, after fully acclimated, I have gaps and a whole range of different sized planks, and starting to cup.

they are blaming the installer saying he did not acclimate the wood but if he had, fully acclimated it, well, and this is the second order for this consumer, the first one had gaps as they were installing it.
took it back, got this batch, and now gaps and cupping,,,cupping happen much much later, after it gapped.

but, gaps, in SC, in the middle of a southern state, in the summer, AC on, but still, gapped in SC in the summer??? Rh was in the 40 to 45% range during inspection.

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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:35 pm 
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My contractor has installed hundreds of floors and is not affiliated with LL. After installing the flooring I got from LL (Virginia Mill Works handscraped 3/4" oak), he told me that all flooring, regardless of price or type, varies in width from board to board, but this wood - much to his surprise - had the least amount of variation in width of any flooring he's ever worked with.


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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:48 pm 
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Well thats great news. Makes me feel better about tackling the next LL job. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:25 pm 
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If variations are a defect every box of flooring I have ever installed from LL was defective. I do not think the standards are very strict and I always let the customers know they don't have to worry about shrinkage because the floors come pre-gapped.


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 Post subject: Re: planks slightly different widths - normal or defect?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:22 am 
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Mickey wrote:
If variations are a defect every box of flooring I have ever installed from LL was defective. I do not think the standards are very strict and I always let the customers know they don't have to worry about shrinkage because the floors come pre-gapped.



Mickey, makes me wonder what those inspectors say about LL's wood when they go out and inspect.....the brokerage firm that has the contract to inspect them all...I mean we've seen them quote above, course I doubt they have or will ever be NOFMA certified mill. So these experts schooled wood science say what? Normal? Do they have LL's standard on milling? Hmmm, how could they if LL boxes up close-outs from other manufacturers.

Is it the ole...blame the installer game....he shoulda thrown out half the shipment. I get it.

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