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Engineered Hardwood Floor is Buckling

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    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Todd in Mississippi on the line who’s got a wood floor that was installed after Katrina. So, what is that, like seven years ago? And it’s starting to buckle.

    Welcome, Todd. How can we help you?

    TODD: Hey. Yes, that’s exactly right. I had a hardwood floor installed in my home after Katrina. My home was flooded by Katrina, so we had – it was completely gutted. And my home is on a concrete slab and we actually had professionals come in and install the hardwood floors after Katrina, probably – it was probably about – actually, it’s probably close to a year after Katrina had hit.

    And so – but anyway, we had moved into the house after the – well, after the flooring had been installed. Probably November of ’06 we had moved in and started living in the house. And about a year into it, after moving back into the house, the floors just started buckling in several different places. And I was unsure of why it was doing that.

    TOM: So this is solid hardwood that was installed on top of a concrete slab?

    TODD: It’s engineered hardwood. It’s over a concrete slab. And of course, before they installed it over the slab, they had put down – they had used Bostik’s Best Adhesive and put all of that down. And it’s supposed to have the moisture barrier and what-have-you built into the adhesive.

    But after a year of probably living in the house, we noticed in different areas it started buckling. Actually, some were worse than others and it’s just only gotten worse.

    TOM: Do we know that this is swelling and not any movement of the floor that’s causing this?

    TODD: I think it’s just swelling. I don’t think there’s any moving of the floor. In most areas, it seems pretty intact and tight. And a friend of mine had said, “Well, maybe they didn’t leave enough space in between the walls.” And we checked that and of course, there’s enough gap in between the walls for natural expansion and what-have-you with levels of humidity. But it’s just actually buckled in quite a few places. In some areas, you almost trip over it, it’s buckled so bad.

    TOM: Yeah, I’m surprised to hear that because engineered hardwood is supposed to be dimensionally stable. It’s not supposed to do what it’s doing. Did you, by any chance, reach out to the manufacturer for any suggestions as to why this might be happening?

    TODD: No, I have not. Actually, I have not done that. And I didn’t know if I should reach out to them or also, I didn’t know, as far as on the Bostik’s Best because it was supposed to have the built-in moisture barrier, as well. And so I didn’t really know who to reach out to but …

    TOM: I would start with the floor manufacturer. Look, the answer I’m going to give you is the answer you don’t want to hear and that is it’s not repairable. This is a situation where you’re going to have to cut the floor out and start again.

    TODD: OK. Well, that’s not necessarily the news I wanted to hear but I can start there and I can – like I said, I can get with the manufacturer and check on that.

    TOM: Todd, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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