engineered floor not lying flat

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  #1  
Old 10-13-05, 07:24 PM
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engineered floor not lying flat

I had a top quality Bruce engineered oak floor installed in a hallway and family room. It's a floating floor with glued tongue and groove. I used a vapor barrier and thin foam. In one area near the door, the floor seems to flop down about a quarter inch when you walk on it. I have a hunch that the concrete subfloor is not even there. Here's my question: will the wood eventually conform to the concrete? I don't think this is a moisture problem, because it existed the day the floor was installed. There is a half inch expansion space at the wall just a foot away.

Second question: I admit I do have moisture problems under my slab. Some areas of my slab are quite wet, though it doesn't make any sense to me. I live in SoCal and it hasn't rained in six months. I am thinking of putting perimeter drains along the footing, but that could be a big waste of effort. I want to do something to control the problem before it destroys my flooring, which includes ceramic tile, laminate and engineered wood. Any ideas?
 
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Old 10-13-05, 08:13 PM
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Lack of enough floor prep to bring the foundation up to the strict flatness specifications of 1/8 inch in 6 feet radius. The floor will not conform. It will eventually separate at those joints to accomadate the flex.

Moisture issues needed to be addressed well before the installation of the wood flooring. Lots of things can contribute to high moisture vapor emissions. Water on the concrete, is not a good sign.
 
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Old 10-13-05, 10:50 PM
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I seriously doubt it is possible to level a floor to .125 inches over six feet and that kind of specification is not practical in the real world. Second, I don't think the boards will separate with modest amounts of deflection. The planks themselves are three ply with about 5/32 of oak on top. The glue joints are set with PVA Type 2, which is stronger than the wood. The question I had is whether the whole structure will eventually settle to conform to the contour of the floor. It already seems to be adjusting anyway.

On the issue of the moisture, this is a problem I have been working on for five years. The situation is improving, though I doubt it will never be "solved." And I don't intend to abandon my house. Lots of slabs put in place 40 years ago have moisture problems. Back then, it wasn't typical to put vapor barriers under slabs. The question I have is what steps experts would recommend in addressing it. Any ideas anybody?
 
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Old 10-14-05, 07:25 AM
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1. The floor should have been leveled and yes it can be done to the specs required we do it evry day.
2. If you have moisture problems under or around your slab the floor will cup no doubt about it.

You should have leveled the floor and use a sealer on the concrete to stop moisture intrusion.

Phil
 
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Old 10-14-05, 09:38 AM
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steve 6162 wrote:
"There were no personal attacks. Reread."

Moderator comment:
As a matter of fact, this one was and after reviewing some of your other posts, two others were found to be in violation of our policies and were edited.
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Please refrain from doing this in the future.
 

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Old 10-14-05, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by thelonghike
I seriously doubt it is possible to level a floor to .125 inches over six feet and that kind of specification is not practical in the real world.



Really...


<img src="http://i-boards.com/bnp/fci/images/messages/MVC-025S_4.JPG"/>



<img src="http://i-boards.com/bnp/fci/images/messages/MVC-031S.JPG"/>
 
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Old 10-14-05, 06:29 PM
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Continued...



<img src="http://i-boards.com/bnp/fci/images/messages/MVC-034S_1.JPG"/>



<img src="http://i-boards.com/bnp/fci/images/messages/MVC-039S.JPG"/>
 
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Old 10-14-05, 08:33 PM
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Perry, why wouldn't you have taken the BBds off? Now you need 1/4 round which mujst be painted unless you buy the matching 1/4 round.
I'm just curious.
You really take levelling serious. Is that self levelling stuff? Does it need to be finsished sanded? How long did it take you to do all that levelling prep?
How would you ever take out a 1 in hump?

I wonder why the people chose laminate over hardwood or carpet?
 
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Old 10-14-05, 09:13 PM
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This was a brand new home that had carpet in that area. The home owners closed on the home, ordered engineered wood and pulled the carpet up.

They did buy round and painted it to match the baseboards and I installed it.


That is not self leveler. That is Mapei PlaniPatch. Mixed by the 5 gallon bucket and screeded it on with the 10 foot aluminum screed in the top picture.

Scraping the floor with a 4" razor scraper took 2 hours. The first pour took about an hour. You see it in the first picture of the 3 spots with mud on the floor. Let that sit up and dry so you don't drag back through wet mud and mess it up. I left for the day after that, but I also had a dining room and a study to prep also.

I came back the second day and scraped any lumps or chatter marks from dragging the screed. Got another couple of pours and let it sit up while I worked prepping the other 2 rooms I had going also.

Repeated the lumps and chatter marks scraping and got the last screed on to get it withing 1/8" in 6', and went and did the same in the other rooms. Right before I left for the day, I scraped those areas and then skimcoated the entire floor with a 2' flat finishing trowel, to encapsulate any soaked in paint and wall mud and fill any little imperfections in my screeds.

The next morning I scraped and feather edged any trowel ridges, or mud lumps.

I had 12 hours in it and 150# of mud.
 
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Old 10-15-05, 10:20 AM
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Wow. A guy thinks he knows what he's doing until he sees it done right.
Thank you very much
 
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Old 10-20-05, 06:38 PM
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Still working the issue

The floor does seem now to have settled flat in the one area I was worried about. I don't feel or see any flexure. I stuck a weight on it for a week, which seemed to convince it to stay down. But, ok, a leveling compound would have been nice and given me some peace of mind.
Here's a related question: When you finish gluing up a tongue and groove floating floor, is it normal to hear minor...very minor...amounts of wood stress? I'm talking about something similar to what you hear from walking on any wood subfloor. Wood flexes all the time and crackles. In most chairs, you can hear wood strain a bit when you sit, if you listen carefully. Is this abnormal in an engineered wood floor? Or isn it supposed to be perfectly silent, saving for your footfall?
As for my moisture problem, I have over 450 square feet of engineered wood flooring in an adjacent room that I installed six years ago. No problem so far. I guess when I said I have a moisture issue, the EXPERTS assumed I was talking about a New Oleans type event. I have talked to a few other experts who say concrete sealers are a short term fix and an unreliable one. The water will eventually push through the sealer. I have heard it is better to address the problem outside, dealing with drainage around the house. That seems to make some sense. Thanks.
 
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