Amish made hardwood

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 Post subject: Repairing Floating Hardwood Floors
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2022 12:08 pm 
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Hey Guys, this April, we had 1000 sq ft of hardwood floors installed on our main floor (technically second floor, wood joist construction with 3/4" ply). We fell in love with a particular prefinished wood from Impressions Flooring
(https://www.impressionsflooring.com/pro ... ity-honey/) and shopped around for installers in our area that carried it. We negotiated with a retailer and settled on price and paid the materials down payment, after which things fell apart.

It took an act of god to get the installation scheduled, at which point the wood was delivered, the home was cleared out, and the local retailer then said his normal installers were not available, but he could do the job himself. He then attempted several times to significantly increase the price we had agreed upon, settling eventually for an additional $300.

After he completed the job, we noticed he seemed to generally do pretty sloppy work. Trim undercuts were haphazard, but we also noticed a few isolated areas of flooring that seemed to be floating above the subfloor. We identified these areas including some other trim related issues, and he solved it by face-nailing the boards. I assumed he had just missed these couple areas.

Fast forward 5 months later, we started really becoming aware of more areas of the floor that were lifting. Here's a video of one of the areas: https://youtu.be/Egrzh-EtbEM
Its hard to tell, but it appears to be an area of floor approximately 6-7' long where 5 boards were skipped between nailing. This similar issue is present throughout the kitchen, and we have identified at least 3 other areas in the house where this is prevalent.

Unfortunately, our relationship with the installer broke down further towards the end of the installation and the latest communication from him has been pretty contentious and intimidating.

We have had two other wood flooring installers recently come and take a look, with the intent on getting quotes to spot fix the floors. So far, they have all recommended full tear-out and reinstallation because of the number of areas showing issues.

Barring some sort of refund from the installer (which I do not expect at this point but I have requested), shelling out an additional 7-10 thousand dollars is not ideal. I am a handy guy, and was considering trying to face-nail the boards in an X pattern as a temporary fix until we can save up enough to have this fixed properly. I know its not ideal, but I had read about this as a possible remedy.

I'd love any advice you guys can give on any of this situation. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Floating Hardwood Floors
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2022 3:16 pm 
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I would not touch the floor until you have a contract to remove and replace the flooring if that is what you are hoping for from another contractor. Sounds like this is not just a small claims court case. Keep the contract from the original contractor handy, if you made one, also the instructions that came in the boxes of flooring.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Floating Hardwood Floors
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2022 4:22 pm 
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What's the reason not to touch it? Due to the grand total of the repair and lead times, we may need to live with this for a while and its pretty annoying to walk on. Are you thinking legal action may be necessary?

Somewhat luckily, the owner would never answer the phone, so just about all of our communication and the contracts have been via email.

The installer did not leave any leftover wood or boxes, but I did get the flooring manufacturer to send the installation instructions my way. I don't see a way to attach that to this post. Is there something in particular I should be looking for in the instructions document?

We really don't want to deal with him anymore. For example, here's a direct copy/paste from his last email after I requested a refund. (I have not been slandering his name.)

Quote:
I don’t care what other installers say. James you go from the kitchen to dining and living room. Now all of it. So I know one of those installers and he told me about it and you how you slander my name.

We will be by to look at it in 2 weeks and give you my opinion on it or what to do with it.

Just think to your self is this gonna be worth it.
Just think. That’s all I’m saying THINK


I'm trying to figure out how to read this guy.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Floating Hardwood Floors
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2022 1:24 am 
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What state are living in? Is there any Consumer Affairs office in your State?
As far as the floor, can you put some furniture on it to hold it down?
You need to wait for a solution from the contractor, because they get to try to fix it before anyone.
Do you understand the instructions for your floor's installation?


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Floating Hardwood Floors
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2022 9:24 am 
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I'm in Virginia. The closest thing would be the attorneys general, but they refer you to the DPOR for contractor issues, but it appears this guy doesn't have a contractors license, so we seem to be in limbo.

The instructions seem pretty clear on nailing. I recently obtained a rare earth magnet and was able to go row by row locating nails. It's very clear that many many rows were skipped.

Quote:
Continue installing several rows at a time, fastening
each board with at least 2 fasteners 8”-10” apart and 4”-6” from the ends (to avoid splitting or creating
excessive overwood on the end joints). Tighten boards as necessary to reduce gaps before
fastening. Be sure to stagger the end joints of adjacent boards to ensure a more overall favorable
appearance.


We really do not trust this contractor, and frankly don't want him back in our house. I assume his "fix" will be to face nail everything down again, like he did the first time.

The most noticable areas are in main walkways, so adding furniture won't work.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Floating Hardwood Floors
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2022 8:43 pm 
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You say that the floors were installed as floating floors. Floating floors do no have any nails used in the installation. Did the person say he was making a floating installation? Using nails after the installation is not part of instructions for floating.
If he is not a Licensed Contractor you may contact the state department that helps with this type of problem. https://www.dpor.virginia.gov/Report-Licensee.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Floating Hardwood Floors
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2022 8:16 am 
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I don't think he meant floating install just that it is loose and buckling. it is a solid floor and clear that whole patch in the video is not nailed.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Floating Hardwood Floors
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2022 9:05 am 
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We're likely going to be hiring a flooring inspector (didn't know that was a thing) to fully document the issues.

Any recommendation of what to look for or how much is appropriate to spend? We got a quote from one inspector for $1000, which seems crazy.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Floating Hardwood Floors
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2022 3:57 pm 
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Is the inspector qualified as an expert witness? Will they appear in court with their findings? What does the inspection entail? A thousand dollars is not outrageous for some evaluations. Does it need to be destructive? Another contractor who has a license may be able to give an evaluation along with their proposed contract. You may be able to work out a solution if both the original installation contractor and a local installation contractor agree on a solution to repair/replace made even using some of the material.
You do not want to go to court if at all possible to work this out!


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Floating Hardwood Floors
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2022 9:17 am 
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We found a local FCITS inspector that is charging less. He's fully certified, just a different certification than the original guy, and more local. It sounds like many of the manufacturers require a NWFA inspector, but since this is not a manufacturer issue, I don't think thats an issue here. I think this is a clear cut case of an installer not using enough nails, and I just need it documented.


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