Construction update week 44: wood floor fiasco

 They looked so good :(

They looked so good :(

I’m finally able to write about week 44. We had trouble with our hardwood floors. 

We bought white ash, 5” solid wood planks from the Wood Source. They were sitting in our house, acclimatizing for a couple weeks. The kitchen was all lined up for install the following week (week 45) and the floor was to be laid prior-to. Our lead carpenter, Graham, installed the floors with Mark’s help. They looked spectacular. But when walked on, they creaked. Not good. They were laid on top of waxed paper, and used staples every 12–16”. A bit more context on the situation: the subfloor is ¾” plywood glued and screwed on open web joists on 12” centres. The subfloor seemed good prior to installing the hardwood, with no squeaks or detectable movement, and moisture content within 5% of the hardwood. So what could the problem be?

That same day, they ripped them up, and re-installed. Second time around, they used waxed paper, 2” cleats every 4–6”, and glued the tongue and grooves together. Still, they creaked. At this stage, I was so ready to just screw the floors down to the subfloor and live with screws all over our new kitchen floor. But Mark, bless him, was not down with this. Again, they ripped up the floors. This time the glue destroyed the tongue and groove as they pulled it up, and this along with all the nails made the wood unsalvageable. Sniff.

We delayed the kitchen install while Graham and Mark consulted the Wood Source and multiple installers to try and troubleshoot the creaking. No one was able to provide any clear direction forward. With all the uncertainty, we decided to proceed with the kitchen install, which happened this past week (week 46), despite having no floors. 

We wanted the floors laid first, so the island could sit on top of them, at the right height. And because it makes for a much finickier install around the island. But it is what it is, we couldn’t delay our kitchen install any longer.

This was incredibly frustrating. It actually still is. We have some ideas on what to try next, but we’re not confident and therefore and continue to consult other installers and wood flooring companies. I want to be sure that when we install them for a third time, we won’t run into the same problem again. And if we do, we can confidently identify the culprit and get compensated for any loss. Fingers crossed. Any suggestions are welcomed.

 Kitchen install is well underway

Kitchen install is well underway