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stick3
engineered wood flooring buckling
stick3

My new engineered wood flooring is buckling and rippling. Replaced 10 year old carpet in master bedroom, living room, hall way, dining room with engineered glue down wood flooring. Areas around the fireplace have buckled in living room and on the opposite wall in the bedroom. The contractor said we must have a water leak around the fireplace. Roofers found a pin size leak, fixed it, but flooring is still buckling and rippling throughout other areas in the house. Contractor said we must have a water pipe under concrete slab leaking. American Leak Detection checked pipes- no leaks. Flooring is still rippling down hallway and other areas. Engineered flooring is Toledo Bend- Sabine Hickory, glue is Titebond 771 STEP. When the carpet was pulled up the slap showed no signs of moisture, carpet wasn't wet, mildewy, or moldy. What do we do? Over 400 square feet needs to be replaced. We live in south Louisiana.

A. Spruce
Re: engineered wood flooring buckling
A. Spruce

Pull the baseboards in the affected areas, is there a gap between the flooring and the wall? Now pull a few baseboards in good areas, is there a gap?

If there is no direct moisture to cause the problem, then it's likely that the flooring wasn't acclimated nor perimeter gapped sufficiently, when the material expanded it didn't have any place to go.

Mastercarpentry
Re: engineered wood flooring buckling
Mastercarpentry

What A.Spruce mentions is proper installation technique, and if that is the problem the flooring installer should fix it for free. Unless the installation is done exactly according to manufacturers specifications, your warranty will be void. You can often find those specifications on the flooring manufacturer's website, sometimes it hides on a "contractors" page.

Phil

stick3
Re: engineered wood flooring buckling
stick3
Mastercarpentry wrote:

What A.Spruce mentions is proper installation technique, and if that is the problem the flooring installer should fix it for free. Unless the installation is done exactly according to manufacturers specifications, your warranty will be void. You can often find those specifications on the flooring manufacturer's website, sometimes it hides on a "contractors" page.

Phil

Thank you for your advice. The shoe molding was pulled and there was sufficient space. We have had 3 industrial dehumidifiers and 2 blowers in house for 2 weeks thinking we have excess moisture in slab but nothing changed with flooring and it still gets worse. Any other advice? We are at a loss.

A. Spruce
Re: engineered wood flooring buckling
A. Spruce

There should be at least 3/8" between the edge of the flooring and any restrictive barrier. If you've got plenty of gap and still have a buckling problem, then it could be a moisture problem or it could be a manufacturing problem, it's hard to say without a site visit for a visual inspection.

If you do have a moisture problem, odds are you could smell a bit of mildew or feel the excess humidity in the air from such a leak. Also, if you've got an active leak under or in the slab, a dehumidifier isn't going to do any good. Since the flooring is already buckled and bad, why not remove a section of the worst of it and see what the slab looks like. For the kind of buckling you're describing I'd expect to see an obviously wet slab, if not standing water and/or signs of water vapor under the vapor barrier. If you do indeed find a wet slab, then you've got no choice but to find the source of the moisture and mitigate it.

Has the plumbing systems in your home been modified or repaired lately? Has there been any change to the landscaping that may have changed drainage around the house or damaged irrigation lines? Have the downspouts on the house been blocked, modified or damaged in any way that they're not diverting water away from the foundation?

If you did not have a wet slab before the floor went in, but have one now, then it is possible that a water line got punctured by a nail when the baseboard or base shoe was installed. If you do indeed have a leak, you may have to call a plumber experienced in leak detection to find and repair the problem for you.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: engineered wood flooring buckling
Sombreuil_mongrel

Hi, was a moisture test performed on the concrete? This step is an absolute must before the flooring is glued down. If it fails the test you would have needed to use a polyurethane sealer on the concrete before gluing down. If the moisture wasn't assessed first, that was malpractice; I'm sure it is mentioned in the flooring instructions.
Casey

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