I'm Looking for a flooring GuRu

Good evening everyone,

I completed a wind mitigation inspection for a homeowner today who had some questions regarding his wood flooring.

He had wood floors put in and there we a few areas that appeared to have some defects.

This particular customer is looking for someone who can inspect the floor and give him some feedback on what might be causing the issues.

I took a look at the floors and there seem to be a few spots that were damaged. There also appeared to be a few spots where the floor seemed to “cup”.

I told him that I was no flooring expert but my opinion was that the “cupping” may be a product defect and the other areas appear to have been caused by installation.

If anyone , who is much more experienced in this area, is interested in looking at the floor for this homeowner please let me know. He is willing to pay for the service and I can put you in direct contact with him.

The customer is located in Sun City Center in Florida near Apollo Beach



I could not get a good picture of the “cupping” but here are the areas that look to have been damaged by the installer. There are a few areas like this around the floor. I wish I could have gotten better pictures.

Did he call the installer? That would be my first move, the second move would be to call the manufacture. Here is what will happen the installer will blame the material and the manufacture will blame the installer.

If he KNOWS exactly the type of material he should read the installation instructions, that is where 99% of the problems lie…

contact installer, that first picture says it all. I installed my wood floors never had an issue. Product must set in house at least 36 hours before install to acclimate. Was proper vapor bearer used ?

Did you check for moisture? Even without current moisture the home may have gone through a water event at some point.

Looks like in your pics the wood veneer (I assume this is engineered flooring?) is delaminating.

Floor could have been installed tight to the surrounding walls (no area of expansion).

Floor may have been installed before the material had time to acclimate to the surroundings (temp., humidity, etc.). The manu of the flooring sets the required acclimation time for their product.

Thanks for all the comments. You guys are always a wealth of knowledge. It appeared to me the floors were delaminating in some areas.

It did appear to have suffecient spacing to allow for expansion but I’m not really a pro when it comes to floors. I do beleive the installers are partially to blame for the condition of the floors. At least that is my opinion. However I’m not sure what might be cause the “cupping” effect.

Not allowing the product to sit for the appropriate amount of time make since. Could have cause the wood to warp somewhat I’m guessing?

From first hand experience…3 times on our own floor, 90% of the time it is improper installation. The cupping is caused because somewhere, and it only takes one spot, there was not enough space left for expansion.

Better yet, you need a Moisture Guru. Building science (the study of heat, air and moisture movement in a structure) tells us that wood floors are not compatible with concrete slabs.
Go to BuildingScience.com and read some of Joe’s articles

Most flooring manufacturers recommend that the sub-floor be no more than 10% moisture prior to installation. Is this floor on an unvented crawlspace? Hardwood installed over a slab require preparation or certain conditions. Only the installer and the flooring manufacturer can tell you if the floor was installed per specs to begin with. If the flooring was not installed according to the manufacturers specs, no replacement or repair will come from the manufacturer.

The floors were installed on top of a concrete slab. Im not sure if they were preped with any type of vapor barrier. I will ask the homeowner.

I am going to pass on to the homeowner the info and suggestions you guys shared with me.

I think my opinion at this point is that the product was not allowed to sit for any length of time before installation. I have my doubts regarding proper prep of the subfloor before installation. And I believe the installer “dinged” the floors a bit during install.

Check these sites out for help




good luck :slight_smile:

If they didn’t allow the flooring to acclimate to the home, it more than likely expanded right away. In the instruction for most of the wood or laminate flooring it says to let it sit for at least 48 hours. It also says to leave a minimum gap of 1/4 inch at all walls and to undercut all door frames, which they probably didn’t do either.
In the fine print, it will say in high moisture areas, leave 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch gap.
The floors below are from yesterdays inspection. Laminate flooring, but same thing. Nothing was done right from the trim the to door frames to the proper staggering of the boards.