LESLIE: Michael in Texas is on the line with some flooring issues. What is going on?
MICHAEL: I have hardwood floors that we had installed – glued down – all throughout the home. And I’ve noticed that some of the boards – it was glued down on the slab and they’re coming apart in the front of the house. And we’re not sure how to resolve that issue. We’ve never seen that before. So we’re just curious on how to repair or fix that or address this issue.
TOM: So when you say they’re coming apart, you mean they’re loosening up and coming up or separating from the slab?
MICHAEL: No, not coming up. Well, they’re pulling apart.
TOM: Are you getting bigger gaps or are you telling me that they’re pressing together like they’re swelling?
MICHAEL: Bigger gaps.
TOM: Alright. Well, I was kind of concerned about the other – going the other way because typically, you don’t put hardwood floors on a slab. You put engineered floors on a slab but not solid hardwood, because they are very susceptible to dampness. So you’re getting more shrinkage than what you expected and that’s causing these gaps in engineered floor. Now, are the boards loose or are they just opening up these gaps?
MICHAEL: No, the boards are not loose. They’re glued down and this is not hardwood. Maybe I got that wrong. I think these are gaps in engineered floors.
MICHAEL: I mean it’s hardwood on the surface but I believe it’s gaps in engineered floors. It was from Lumber Liquidators. Forgot to mention that.
TOM: OK. Well, that’s certainly a good brand.
So, I suspect what has happened here is it probably has something to do with the installation. And unfortunately, there’s no way to repair the gaps in engineered floors. this kind of from the condition it is right now. You can’t – there’s no such thing as a board stretcher, OK? I can’t make it go back the way it was. What you are going to have to do is remove some of the tiles in the areas that’s affected and then replace them and try to figure out why this is occurring.
One of the things I suspect is that you may not have glued the seams together. And even if they’re locked together, engineered hardwood-flooring pieces, I always recommend that you glue those seams together because that helps prevent some of that tension where it pulls the board apart. So, you’re looking at a remove and replace for at least some of this lumber here.
But listen, if it’s not really obvious, you might just decide to live with it, too, you know? The gaps in engineered floors is not affecting the durability. It’s really going to be a cosmetic question for you, in terms of how much work you want to put into this. Area rugs can be very attractive.
MICHAEL: Yeah, yeah. I just thought that – I didn’t know if I was going to have to take the individual pieces up and put new …
TOM: Yeah, you will because by the time you take it up, you’re not going to be able to kind of get it back in place. And what I also find with the joining systems of the boards today, it’s kind of a one-and-done thing. A lot of these click together. If you try to put it together two or three times, it doesn’t work. I would tell you the next time you put it down is to make sure you’re gluing those seams together, as well.
MICHAEL: Alright. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate your help.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT and let us know how you make out.