Engineered floor buckling/glued down over concrete


  #1  
Old 11-09-05, 08:34 AM
DKS
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Engineered floor buckling/glued down over concrete

Help! New plank wood floor over concrete slab is buckling all over the place.
By buckling, I mean the planks are rising in a mound inches off the slab.

Installer tested for moisture before glueing, said it was in boderline range, around 4% moisture. Now it is over 6% all over the floor, not just in isolated areas. This is 3 months later. There is a vapor barrier under the concrete salb also.

The mystery is that the garage slab is still under 4%. The outside patio slab is 4% also. Only the interior of the house is high. No leaks have been detected.

He laid down no moisture barrier or sealer. Of course, after reading this column I would have insisted on that, but it is too late. Th entire floor needs to be pulled up, I suppose. Can it then be re-installed after moisture barrier is put down. Or is that not feasible? I am better off with a tile floor given the moisture levels?

I have spent over $16,000. Who pays for the new floor?

Unhappy in SoCal
 
  #2  
Old 11-09-05, 09:14 AM
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You have to determine the source of the moisture before you know who should be paying. What type of glue did he use?
 
  #3  
Old 11-09-05, 01:20 PM
DKS
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Re: glue

It was from HD. It was not Bostik or Taylor. Installer said they used it alot, it was OK. I don't have the can.
 
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Old 11-09-05, 04:48 PM
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Sorry about your awful situation.

I hope that HD offers some type of warranty on the installation. If not, I would think they would help to resolve the situation to keep you as a satisfied customer. Worst-case, you might have to write some letters. In my opinion, its the installers responsibility to address any potential moisture issues.

Is the concrete slab above or below grade? Is the flooring engineering or solid?
 
  #5  
Old 11-09-05, 07:29 PM
DKS
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Thanks for the co-misery

The flooring is engineered wide distressed planks. We are going to go to HD and find another can of the adhesive they carry. Will check out the warranty. I think we need to get an outsider's opinion about the exact cause of moisture retention. Like I said, this was not an issue before installation and still is not a problem on slab in garage or patio. The floor is on slab at grade level.
 
  #6  
Old 11-09-05, 09:53 PM
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So sad too bad!

Eat HD for lunch on this one. Go online and get the installation specs for your flooring, or any engineered wood floor. Read the part carefully about moisture vapor levels and limits.

How did the installer check for moisture vapors, before installing the flooring?

Did you see the test performed? Was it a dome test for 72 hours? Or was it an electronic meter? Or did he drill several holes in the concrete and insert a probe?

This could even be a concrete claim! A core sample of the concrete would need to be taken and checked for the size of capilaries. Has it been rainy since the floor was installed? If not I don't buy it is 6 now and 4 before they installed it. I think it has always been 6 or above. for an engineered to actually buckle off the floor. A solid I could see, but an engineered!!!! That is some moisture pumping right there!!!! Are you sure your not below the water table!!!
 
  #7  
Old 11-09-05, 09:59 PM
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Cut & Pasted from a manufacturers web instructions.


For Concrete Sub-Floors
Concrete sub-floors should always be checked for moisture content prior to the installation of wood flooring. Please note that
these tests do not guarantee a dry concrete slab year round.


** Calcium Chloride Test ? Moisture transfer should not exceed 3 lbs/1,000 square feet with this test. One test must be
performed every 250 square feet. Calcium chloride tests can be found in flooring retail stores or retail websites on the internet
such as www.taylortools.com or www.moisturetestkit.com 1-888-216-TEST (8378).
 
  #8  
Old 11-11-05, 01:30 PM
DKS
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Moisture and glue is still tacky on the concrete slab under floor

The installer came by and pulled up a board here and there, measured the moisture with a Tramex "Concrete moisture encounter". The reading only goes up to 6. (I assume that is percent.) Anyway, the readings at some spots on the concrete go beyond the 6, so it is really pretty high. Installer said it can go up to 10 percent at beach areas but we're not at the beach. We are on over-compacted soil base, no water table, it's 20 ft below us.

There's been no real rain yet. Where the boards are pulled up, I can see and feel the residual adhesive, which is still tacky after 2-3 months ago when it was installed. The glue is Roberts 1407 from HD. It says on the can re: concrete moisture can not exceed 3 lbs./1000 ft in 24 hrs, \ ph not to be over 9. Also, manufacturer's website says that for engineered floor, moisture should not exceed 3% in the concrete.

Obviously, something is very wrong as the glue did not adhere or dry properly. Boards are still popping up all over the floor.

Could it be because moisture level is/was too high?. We only had his word that the moisture was around 4 at installation. He said it was "borderline" but should be OK without sealer. Didn't know we had to hire an expert to come in and verify in writing. This is our first experience with a wood floor and I'm not digging it. I believe the installer should be liable for replacing the material and redoing the floor due to his neglect to seal the slab and read the back of the adhesive can. We hired them and paid alot of money for a good job, not this poor workmanship..

. We'll probably have to move out because it is almost the entire 1st floor. Question is now: Do we dare to put in another wood floor or install new tile floor as the moisture is so high? I really don't want to go through this again.
 
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Old 11-11-05, 01:40 PM
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Your correct, the installer accepted the substrate and it is his job as a professional to know 4# per 1000 is way over borderline!!!!

He chose to install your flooring without a moisture blocker/adhesive system, and chose the cheapest waterbased adhesive he could find.

This floor should have been installed using Bostiks MVP moisture vapor protection & BST adhesive.

The installer is liable.


Don't you have to hold a license in California, to do that kind of work?

You need to call the license board. Is it called the ROC register of contractors, I believe.
 
  #10  
Old 11-14-05, 07:28 PM
DKS
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Poor floor

Thanks for your enlightened opinion. We're considering travertine, limestone or an
engineered wood product from American Traditions ( put in after moisture barrier,of course). These products will cost us more money, I suppose, up front. But, I believe that you get what you pay for, in the the long view. Your advice
column is a gem.
 
 

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