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Old 01-04-2012, 05:47 PM  
flummoxed2002
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Default Engineered Hardwood Floor Separating at Joint

Hello everyone,

I moved into my condo two months ago (condo is 2 years old) and found in the last two week my engineered hardwood floor started to separate at one of the joints between the kitchen and dining area. Majority of the separation occurred in one day (about 4mm) and over the course of 2 weeks it increased to 6mm. I have never seen this before and I am completely stumped as to how this could have happened and so quickly in only one location. It almost looks like the entire floor shifted. I doubt the building could have settled this much (I live on the 10th floor). I live in Toronto, Canada where it has gotten pretty dry in the last couple weeks, but again I find it hard to believe that this much separation would be caused by that loss of moisture.

I included a couple photos in this link:

Photo Album - Imgur

Does anyone have any idea what may have caused this and what I can do to repair it permanently?

Thanks in advance.



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Old 01-11-2012, 06:09 PM  
isola96
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The floor looks raised in that area? Could be installed incorrectly the condo wouldn't be moving unless you have cracks above the doorways.
If someone installs the floor and forgets to nail down the one section this could happen but to me the section looks raised? Try to see if it's not level in the section you will have to have a flooring guy come and tack it back in if it's just popped up engineered hardwood is more complicated then laminate.



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Old 01-12-2012, 12:30 PM  
flummoxed2002
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Thanks for the reply isola96. Ever since the two pieces came apart the floor has come off the ground a little, but by design there is no change in levels between the kitchen area and the living area. I did take the floor apart last weekend and found that it is engineered hardwood installed on a cushion layer. There is no nailing into the cement floor, I believe it was designed to be a floating installation. The pieces of wood attached to each other by interlocking (I think that is what it's called).

I went to the local hardware store where the staff indicated that it could have resulted from the fridge and stove anchoring the kitchen area floor while the rest of the condo is contracting and expanding due to moisture content in the air. This causes tension between the two areas and eventually one of the seems fail. Esentially they were saying that engineered hardwood should never be used in the kitchen. Does this make sense? The way they explain it seems to add up.

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Old 01-12-2012, 04:09 PM  
samfloor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isola96 View Post
The floor looks raised in that area? Could be installed incorrectly the condo wouldn't be moving unless you have cracks above the doorways.
If someone installs the floor and forgets to nail down the one section this could happen but to me the section looks raised? Try to see if it's not level in the section you will have to have a flooring guy come and tack it back in if it's just popped up engineered hardwood is more complicated then laminate.
Probably a floating floor.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:36 PM  
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Yeah This would be a floating floor a interlocking system to me it seemed too thick to be a laminate floor and the hardware place would be right "IF" the counters were installed on top of the floor that's a big no no the appliances don't effect the floors movement so the things to check Is see if the floor goes around the base cabinets take your base trim off to see if there is a 1/4" gap of space between wall and floor if not that will be a answer for you. And also you most certainly can install floating floor in kitchen but why is there a floating floor when the condo is still fairly new?..?

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Old 01-13-2012, 09:20 AM  
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If that's partical board I see where it opened up and not plywood as a base material then it's laminite not engineered.
The fact you stated it was installed over a cousion would also suggest a laminite not engineered floor.
A floating engineered floor would have been glued at the joints not just sliped together.
You also said you removed some of it. An engineered floor with the glued joints would not come apart without breaking the joints.
If someone did not give the floor at least 24 hours to acclimate to the rooms temp. and humity levels, nailed the flooring to the 1/4 round, put the flooring down and set the cabinets on top of it, it will pull the flooring apart.

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Old 01-13-2012, 12:03 PM  
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The Ontario New Home Warranty Plan
This would be covered under home warrenty until the building is two years old. Check the dates of competion.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:54 PM  
flummoxed2002
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Thanks again for all the great responses. It is definitely an engineered hardwood, but a very cheep one. I took out a couple pieces (the gap got that wide ~1cm now that I could remove it with no trouble) and found that the cross section is mainly a particle board type material and 2mm of hardwood on top, see linked images below. I removed some of the cabinet baseboards and 1/4 round and found that the cabinets are not installed on top of the floor and there is a 1/4 or more gap between the floor and the wall. However, there was no glue joining the pieces together. I did read up on this and found that gluing is not necessary, so could this all have happened due to potentially not letting it settle during installation? Also, I believe this is a floating floor because below the cushion layer the floor is concrete which would not allow nailing. So, is this occuring because the appliances are on top of the floor?

Photo Album - Imgur

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Old 01-16-2012, 08:58 PM  
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Quote:
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The Ontario New Home Warranty Plan
This would be covered under home warrenty until the building is two years old. Check the dates of competion.
Looks like I just missed it by two months.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:50 PM  
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Out here the warrentee starts the day the first home owner takes posession.



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