Cupping oak solid hardwood floor

Discussion in 'Wood' started by patkelly, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. patkelly

    patkelly Member

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    Hi all, I'm new to this and just looking for some advice on the best way to solve this problem.

    I had an oak solid hardwood floor layed about 11 months ago, floor is concrete and wood is floated with the t&g glued, foam underlay underneath.

    At one end of the hallway the floor has always been a bit soft, that is a bit of give in the wood. This is at the narrowest point and is about 1 metre wide between two doorways. The fitter said we could expect some softness on a floated hardwood floor.

    At the beginning of July this year I noticed one of the doors in the hallway was starting to stick when opened. In about two weeks other parts of the hall floor started cupping in different places. The part that was soft originally cupped really badly and at the centre was about 1 inch above the concrete floor.

    I have contacted the fitter and shop where I purchased the wood but it's the usual story, they have got the money and just fob me off with excuses.

    Opposite ends of the hallway are cupped pretty badly and two other places in the centre are also noticeably raised.

    I have removed the skirting board at one end and the floor was tight against the wall. I have cut some of the wood floor away but this has not helped.

    The problem seems to be that the wood flooring is tight up against the door jamb. The fitter cut away some of the jamb and slid the wood flooring underneath it. My guess is that they did not leave enough room for expansion and this is the cause as the cupping is at the doorways.

    Does anyone have any solution to this? The only two solutions I can think of are:

    1) Cut away a section of the door jamb to expose the wooden flooring underneath and then cut part of this that is tight up against the frame.

    2) Cut a section of the wooden flooring around the door jamb, remove, cut part of it away, replace and patch up.

    Both of the above are not ideal. Any other solutions?

    Thanks, Pat
     
  2. Trimmer

    Trimmer Well-Known Member

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    Was a plastic DPM sheet put under the underlay?
    Was the flooring acclimatized and the moisture content checked along with the air humidity and moisture content of the concrete?
    Not much you can do with it now. Its absorbed moisture from the bottom of the boards (probably from the slab) .
     
  3. patkelly

    patkelly Member

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    No plastic sheet under the underlay just foam type underlay.
    Flooring was stored in the hallway for 3 weeks, although it was still in the boxes and wrapping. I asked about this at the time and was told it was okay to leave in the boxes until fitted.
    To my knowledge no humidity or moisture content was checked.

    It's just the hallway that's the problem, probably due to the length and the number of doorways. Four other rooms were done at the same time and are nowhere near as bad as the hall.

    I need to do something, just want to know the best course of action.

    Thanks, Pat
     
  4. merit

    merit Well-Known Member

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    Solid oak shouldn't be floated. If the problem was expansion you would have a ridge in the floor or a bubble. If the boards are cupping then its more likely to be a moisture problem. You need to uplift the lot and deal with the problem under. Are the other areas on top of a different subfloor?
     
  5. UVcure

    UVcure Well-Known Member

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    I was going to say the same as merit, cupping to each board is normally down to moisture, have you by any chance changed the way you have cleaned the floor, could water be getting into the floor from above, incontinent dog or mother in law? feeding the plants, wet shoes
    if its not then its coming from the bottom
     
  6. patkelly

    patkelly Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    No different subfloors, all concrete.

    No dogs or incontinent family members!

    Floor is cleaned the same all the way through, mop and bucket, not soaking wet.

    Maybe I'm using the term "cupping" wrongly.

    Part of the floor in between two doorways is like a dome shaped. When I look very closely at the bottom of the door jambs, on one side I can see a very small gap, on the other side I've removed the architrave and part of the frame and the wooden flooring is right up against the door frame.

    At the other end of the hall it is more like a wave, one board is raised up slightly and the rest flat.

    When the floor is walked on it's very noisey.

    Thanks, Pat
     
  7. UVcure

    UVcure Well-Known Member

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    if you have a hump then the boards have absorbed some moisture and got to the limit of the expansion and lifting,
    first course of action would be to remove the tension, if its under the frame then you will have to cut above and take out then, trim wood and replace frame/piece back in ,fill and paint.
    but if the board is a wave and noisy then its probably damp that has caused it and will have to come up and be investigated, is this side near an outside wall? have your neighbours that side had a flood? did the fitter run out of foam? ( seen it before)
    get a flooring company to come and have a look as if it is a major moisture problem then its pointless mucking around with the door frame,
    its hard to comment without seeing it really or taking readings with a moisture meter.
     
  8. merit

    merit Well-Known Member

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    Need some pictures really
     
  9. patkelly

    patkelly Member

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    Floor-1.jpg

    Detached house so no flood from neighbours.

    Problem areas are all internal walls.

    This photo is the floor between two doorways aprox 1 metre wide taken at floor level.

    Thanks, Pat
     
  10. merit

    merit Well-Known Member

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    Does look like expansion, one of the reasons I hate floated solid floors! Probably best to remove all skirting and archatraves on the width and cut away with something like a fein saw. Should be able to remove and replace most of it apart from the actual door lining. The company that installed it should really sort that out.
     
  11. patkelly

    patkelly Member

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    Thanks Merit, I think it is expansion myself as non of the neighboring areas (other rooms) are affected to this extent. It started during the exceptionally humid conditions we experienced at the beginning of July. I'll give the fitter another call and hope for the best. If not it looks like I will have to cut the door lining (I think this is the bit that is nailed/screwed into the wall and the architrave is nailed to this) to get at the bit of flooring around it.

    Thanks, Pat
     
  12. tarkett85

    tarkett85 Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget wood will expand and contract due to moisture migration you as a owner need to keep the humidity levels in the area's between 45 -55% in the air you can do this with dehumidifiers, opening windows, drying washing on radiators etc... this will help prevent it happening again to such an extent.
     
  13. patkelly

    patkelly Member

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    Point taken.

    If the initial fitting of the floor has been poorly done by not leaving enough expansion and not taking into account the length of the room and number of doorways then I think I do have the right to get the fitter back to check it out. As I have said before, non of the floors in the other rooms are in this state. The hallway is approx 8 metres long and has 9 doorways.

    Thanks, Pat
     
  14. tarkett85

    tarkett85 Well-Known Member

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    If it's 8 mtrs in length you are on the cusp of needing to split it to ease expansion 8mtrs is maximum length but yes you should get him to look at it and try to fix it, if all else fails give sid Bourne a ring and see if he's able to do an inspection it will cost a few quid but if you're going to court for reparations it will help considerably. Try the fitters again first see if they will put it right if not you may need to go small claims or pay another installer to rectify it hope that helps.
     
  15. tarkett85

    tarkett85 Well-Known Member

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    Where abouts do you live? Someone local may be able to take a look
     
  16. patkelly

    patkelly Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Managed to get fitter back. He inspected and first course of action is to remove a section of the flooring in the photo I posted as he could not relieve the pressure on the door jamb. Needs to get some boards and will come back to do the job. He wants to do this first to see if it relieves the pressure on the other end of the hall.

    I'm located in Northern Ireland.

    Thanks, Pat
     
  17. tarkett85

    tarkett85 Well-Known Member

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    Good news hope he can fix the problem for you, sounds like he'll do his best keep us informed,
     
  18. dannyboy

    dannyboy Well-Known Member

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    Is it me or has this thread vanished !!
     
  19. Carpetfingers

    Carpetfingers Well-Known Member

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    Yes get the company back in mate, that's fitter error. not got a leak anywhere ie radiator dripping?
     
  20. adele.scc

    adele.scc New Member

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    solid woods should NOT be floated! all solids require a glue down system!
    was a tramex reading taken? M/C should be less than 2, if over that then use either a 1 or 2 coat DPM.
    was a moisture taken on the wood flooring itself?
    is there sufficient expansion?
    sounds like fitter error!!
     

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