Need help with shoddy workmanship of new flooring

Discussion in 'Hardwood Floors' started by janjanfl, Jun 30, 2019.

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  1. Jun 30, 2019 #1

    janjanfl

    janjanfl

    janjanfl

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    Bamboo flooring replacement underway. Totally shook when I saw this:

    https://ibb.co/NshmGHS
    https://ibb.co/xqxsBQ5

    Am I justified in asking them to re-do? Is it me or does it look totally unacceptable?

    Any advice will be appreciated. This is my first time dealing with contractors and I have to say it's pretty disappointing...These guys were recommended by my realtor. I did like them personally but my patience is running out. Idk if they're overbooked or they're just douchebags. I was hoping some good workmanship will make up for the bad scheduling. But it's not the case and I find that utterly disturbing...
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
  2. Jun 30, 2019 #2

    Floorist

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    That is horrible work. Don't pay them until they do it over and do it right.
     
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  3. Jul 1, 2019 #3

    janjanfl

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    https://ibb.co/t4rymtq
    https://ibb.co/XSzVbZj
    how does one even begin to re-do this atrocity? They overbooked themselves and sent me a cabinet guy to do the flooring...Is that normal in the world of contracting or is it totally shady?
     
  4. Jul 1, 2019 #4

    Floorist

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    Totally shady.
     
  5. Jul 1, 2019 #5

    highup

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    If it doesn't fit the first time.......... You see how far off you are then re cut the angle until it fits. I'm talking about the installer's miter cuts and the butt cuts.
    Personally, I might place the trim or border first. Once the trim or border is in place, fit the rest of the floor to that and work away from it.
    I don't get it. ...... if the butt end angle does not fit, why continue at the same angle so that none of them fit properly? I mean chop saws can be adjusted.
    I'm not impressed with the board that has that small notch at the corner of the miter.
    The tiny gaps on those end cuts could or should have at least been filled with a colored filler. That alone might fix the issue. The fact that he didn't care enough to do that bothers me too. Be it cabinet makers or flooring installers, the proper use of the correct fillers here and there are simply part of the job. Had they done that, would your critical eye have made this much less of an issue? I'm betting so.
    Wood floor fillers can be blended to make any color and possible make this work out for you if it's done with a bit of care.
    They should have filled the fastener holes, and a second look shows what looks like adhesive on the surface.
    The gaps aren't huge, but they shouldn't have been there in the first place.
    The entire issue that you have showed us might have been avoided had the installer simply cleaned the surface and placed a tiny amount of filler when the job was completed. That is still possible.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  6. Jul 1, 2019 #6

    highup

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    I'll make one more comment on this.
    If the tile was not installed perfectly square to the room, making the miters and planks fit to the existing grout might be a bit difficult.
    I mean, if that hearth was 1/8 inch out of square with the room and the hearth was 6 feet wide, that would make the room , an 18 foot long room that's 3/8. Would an installer make a room 3/8" out of square to pacify the tile and grout on the hearth? If I saw that issue, it's something be talked about with the homeowner before proceeding.
    If they went square with the room and let the hearth be out of square 1/8", then someone may have needed to put in some matching grout to fill up to the wood... (there would have been a gap) Wood flooring guys don't do grout.
    I suppose they could have cut each of the 3 sides of the border pieces at angles to fit the hearth to keep the planks parallel to the room.. But then the border boards would be different widths from one side to the other. 3 inches on the left side and 2 7/8 inches the right side. That width difference can be noticeable. It can make those angles harder to fit......... yet the miters stil need to be at a 45 and they still need to fit nicely.
    I'm obviously guessing here because we can't envision the entire layout from a couple of images.
    Yes, they screwed up so won't defend that. I'm trying to understand the out of square butt edges and why some wood filler was not used on the those ends and especially the nails or brad holes. That's just sloppy, especially so on such a focal point.
    Viewing from a standing viewpoint, if the adhesive residue had been cleaned up, and some well matched filler was used........... would the issues be all that great? One foot away is not a good viewing level in all fairness.
    That's pre-finished flooring. Sand in place flooring would not look like that because they use wood fillers prior to sanding, and what you have would be hard to see. Pre-finished on the other hand has it's inherent problems and can be a bit harder to install to perfection. Low bid would be more prone to problems like you showed us than high bid. One guy takes 5 days, another takes 9 days because he's detail oriented. Price paid will often determine quality of the job.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  7. Jul 1, 2019 #7

    janjanfl

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    All I got from the installer was "it'll look good when I finish". It's hard for me to believe. He said he was planning to use wood filler to patch up the gaps. etc. But it won't correct the misaligned but joints...The area around the hearth does seem a little uneven...Am I jumping the gun here? Is it really going to look good without re-aligning the joints?
     
  8. Jul 1, 2019 #8

    highup

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    You won't know until he does some filling.
    The work isn't up to my standard, but I can sometimes let OCD show through......... go ahead, ask anybody here. :D
    Filler is not illegal. It's part of the job, especially with prefinished. Sand in place floors are filled then sanded smooth before the finish is applied.
    That's why it's important with prefinished to make the cuts as good as possible.
    You see the joints pretty easy now because the gaps are dark and they contrast sharply with the wood color. If the gaps are the same color, they won't be so noticeable.
    You have to be the final judge on this, but it's only fair to give the guy a shot, then see if it still bothers you as much as it does now.
    Replacing a T&G plank would mean many boards might need to be removed because you can't just lift a board out.......... it's interlocked with the rest.
    Give him a shot and show us how it comes out.
     
  9. Jul 1, 2019 #9

    janjanfl

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    Will do! Zero apologies from these people. When I pointed out the mis-aligned joints, the guy said "you're asking for perfection." I didn't know how to react to that. Really? Now he's begrudging the fact that I called out his work...I find that really unprofessional
     
  10. Jul 1, 2019 #10

    janjanfl

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    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  11. Jul 2, 2019 #11

    highup

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    I'll answer this first before looking at the other images.
    There are different ways to find an installer and I don't know what you did. Shop around for a highly recommended installer, or was this from a flooring shop.......... Flooring shops usually sub out the labor. In that case, you can complain to the shop since they provided the labor. They might back bill the installer for a repair.
    How did you acquire the installer?
    If your state has a "builders board" or a regulated licensing board, they may take a look at the work at your request and determine if the installer did 'adequate' work or if his work meets "industry standards"
    Industry standards means good enough or satisfactory.
    If you expected artwork, you need to pay for that sort of perfection. You pay a higher than typical hourly rate and keep paying until you are happy with the job.
    That said, I'm not siding with you or him.
     
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  12. Jul 2, 2019 #12

    highup

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    Double Post
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  13. Jul 2, 2019 #13

    highup

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    The sub floor images look like there are some bug trails though it Other than that, it seems OK.
     
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  14. Jul 2, 2019 #14

    highup

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    The sub floor images look like there are some bug trails though it Other than that, it seems OK.
     
  15. Jul 2, 2019 #15

    highup

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    Keep us informed as to what the outcome is.
     
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  16. Jul 2, 2019 #16

    Ernesto

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    Here's my opinion. What Highup said. :)

    On the hearth border. If he is good with a skil saw he could cut it back, router the ends out, replace the existing one and add in another plank. It ain't easy. I've seen lots worse. Technically it may not be prefect but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. -or something like that. On the short stagger, now thats totally wrong although cabinets guys prolly don't read installation guidelines.
     
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  17. Jul 3, 2019 #17

    janjanfl

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    The short staggered joints were fixed but he left the hearth frame like this. https://ibb.co/58dCNf8
    Plus now I might have a new problem:
    https://ibb.co/3RGpwNc
    https://ibb.co/ZWCTr6H. Is that acceptable? I can feel it when walking on top of it . There's also a small ding on that plank, maybe caused by him trying to flatten it down with a hammer?

    So appreciate all your input. It's nice to know there're people out there still take pride in their work.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  18. Jul 3, 2019 #18

    highup

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    The image with the level on it bothers me. The entire floor should be checked for flatness before laying a single plank. If that hump is there because the floor was not made flat, then it's not something I'd accept. The floor should be flat within 1/4 inch or less in a 10 foot span, or radius. 3/16" is a more common number and sometimes the span may be 6 or 8 feet at 3/16". High spots or humps get lowered, and low spots get filled. That said, there are times when you just can't get it perfect without causing other issues. If the floor had a gradual arc that exceeded the manufacturers tolerance level............ maybe it would be OK if that hump or arc ended under the couch at an outside wall. In the center of the room where you walk, the boards and especially their joints will flex every single time you step on them.
    Is it possible there is something under those planks, and not from the floor being unlevel? A strip of underlayment pad, a tiny chunk of debris or sliver of wood that was missed?
    If I was doing the job, it might cost more to get the floor flat than to install the wood floor..........bamboo, whatever. Flatness is commonly overlooked. I know most guys just pick the best starting wall and get right on with installing the material. That's wrong by any standard. You need to make the floor flat before installing the first plank.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  19. Jul 3, 2019 #19

    highup

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    Nice to see your ugly mug Ernesto. ;) Stick around a bit more.
    The tolerances I mentioned for flatness are for materials I have installed, and those are floating floors. I suppose a nailed down installation might tolerate more deviation, but then who want's to trip over a newly installed wood floor? It feels bad and looks bad when you see the curvature of the floor, and especially so if the floor is shiney.
     
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  20. Jul 3, 2019 #20

    Ernesto

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    You should really use a 6 ft level or 10 ft. I use a 6 footer and balance it out so there is equal space on each side. Like Highup said, its usually 3/16 in a 10' radius or 1/8 in a 6ft radius. I use a veritas taper gauge seen here: http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=32520&cat=1,240,41064&ap=1

    You can check the manufacturers install guidelines that usually come in the boxes or on their website.
     
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