Hardwood Flooring: Wear and Tear
LESLIE: Now we’re going to chat with Kelly in Texas who has a flooring issue. Tell us what’s going on?KELLY: My wife had some bamboo floors installed in a new house. And they’re dark, about three-inch-wide slats, they’re real long. And they’ve been in about two years and we’ve noticed that on the edges – they seem to be forming a ridge along the edge. This is throughout the house; not in one location. My wife is very concerned that there’s water under the house. And I think maybe it was something – maybe the installation, the glue is not holding. But we’re just looking for ideas.TOM: So these three-inch-wide boards are solid bamboo; they’re not engineered?LESLIE: It’s not a bamboo veneer on top or something?KELLY: No, they are solid bamboo because they actually had some slats out in the garage; some extra ones.TOM: (overlapping voices) Right. And when you say the edges are curling, I mean wood doesn’t usually curl; it’ll cut.KELLY: It’s not – they’re just like ridges where they’re – you know, side by side you can just see where they’ve kind of – they’re just – it’s very subtle.TOM: (overlapping voices) Right.KELLY: I’m thinking if you run your hand across it, you can just feel this little edge. And also, it’s starting to wear. You know, that’s where it’s starting to – you can see some wear there where it’s in the middle (inaudible at 0:14:10.4).TOM: (overlapping voices) Well, Kelly, you’re going to get some wear and tear on the floor now that it’s a couple of years old and you’re also going to get expansion and contraction. So I wonder if what you’re seeing here is the normal gaps that form in any type of a plank floor. When they put it in, it looks nice and tight; but then, as it starts to shrink and expand and shrink and expand, eventually the boards separate and you get spaces and then you get dirt in the spaces and – you know, it can …LESLIE: Things become more obvious.TOM: Yeah, exactly. I wouldn’t expect bamboo to do any curling whatsoever because you can’t really get a more moisture-resistant piece of wood than bamboo. That’s very tough stuff.KELLY: OK.TOM: I mean you could soak that in a bathtub for a week and it probably won’t change its shape whatsoever.KELLY: So we can just call this patina and not worry about it.LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm. I mean you might …TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. It’s charm.KELLY: That sounds great.LESLIE: Kelly, you might also want to just reach out to the manufacturer and perhaps shoot them a photo of what’s going on with the floor. They’ll probably confirm that it’s the same issue going on but who knows? Perhaps the year that you bought the flooring there was a manufacturer defect and …TOM: Or with the finish.LESLIE: Yes, something that could warrant replacement or they’ll say, “Nope, that’s just natural wear and tear” or “You’ve got an installation issue and you should seek out some sort of recourse with that person.”TOM: But I definitely think your wife is spending too much time staring at the floor.LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Looking at the floor.KELLY: OK, yeah. (Tom chuckles) It is subtle.LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Maybe she wants new shoes.TOM: OK. Kelly, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.