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fixing gaps in engineered floor installation



"fixing gaps in engineered floor installation," in the Hardwood and Laminates Q&A forum, begins: "I just had an african walnut engineered tongue in groove floating floor installed. There are several places where there are ..."

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Old July 20, 2009, 08:58 AM   #1
djph0826
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fixing gaps in engineered floor installation


I just had an african walnut engineered tongue in groove floating floor installed. There are several places where there are visible gaps between planks. I worry about liquids seeping in in case of a spill and the light wood underlayers in the engineered flooring really draw the eye to those gaps. They are only about 1/32nd of an inch wide, if that, so the wax crayons don't work. Is there any kind of a sealant I can put down or is there any dark liquid that is thin enough toget ino a crack that small to seal it?

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Old July 20, 2009, 09:29 AM   #2
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Re: fixing gaps in engineered floor installation


djph0826 said View Post
I just had an african walnut engineered tongue in groove floating floor installed. There are several places where there are visible gaps between planks. I worry about liquids seeping in in case of a spill and the light wood underlayers in the engineered flooring really draw the eye to those gaps. They are only about 1/32nd of an inch wide, if that, so the wax crayons don't work. Is there any kind of a sealant I can put down or is there any dark liquid that is thin enough toget ino a crack that small to seal it?

Old English Scratch Cover is a liquid that will get in and stain. Wiping on a thin bead of dark colored latex caulk should seal it up, can be cleaned with a damp cloth.

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Old July 20, 2009, 09:54 AM   #3
Peter Kodner
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Re: fixing gaps in engineered floor installation


Difficult to answer. I am wondering is your floor is actually Tigerwood. African Walnut is the same genus but tiger wood is a far more common species here and would make a good marketing hype.

What are the dimensions of the strips/planks (length, width and thickness)? How is the floor installed? When was it installed? Are the gaps along the length or the end joints? Have your indoor environment changed since the flooring was installed? Some current temperature and relative humidity readings would be nice to have.

Short answer, a 1/32 inch gaps, in and of themselves is not necessarily problematic. It may be more of an issue if you incorrectly try to fill them

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Old July 20, 2009, 10:10 AM   #4
djph0826
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Re: fixing gaps in engineered floor installation


Species: I misquoted. It is BRAZILIAN walnut - Ipe. See for a sample photo
Dimensions: Variable length planks up to 48" lengths. 3" width, 5/16" thickness.
Installation: Floating with foam underlay. Glued tongue in groove.
The floor was installed last week in the Philadelhpia area. Weather has been perfect. low to moderate (60-70%) humidity with temperatures in the 80s. Very consistent weather over the installation period. House has no AC.
Gaps: There are only 3 or 4 gaps, each within 6-8 inches of a board end. They are very visible because the surface veneer is such a dark wood.

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Old July 20, 2009, 10:17 AM   #5
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Re: fixing gaps in engineered floor installation


link to a sample pic: Large Shot - Kendall Exotics - Ipe - Natural
This is a new line but same dimensions, same color, same species.
info on the floor: LM Flooring Rio Exotics - Product Info

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Old July 20, 2009, 12:19 PM   #6
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Re: fixing gaps in engineered floor installation


Are the strips with the gaps the same size at both ends (measure to the 32 of an inch)? Were the gaps there when the installation was completed or have they appeared since? How long was the floor left without traffic after the installation?

If you do not control the indoor environment you will experience significantly more shrink/swell, and yes, engineered floor do shrink and swell! Control would be AC in the summer and a humidifier in use in the winter. Specifications on engineered wood for indoor environment are often far more tight than for solid and the engineered manufacturers will always use this as the reason for denying claims, regardless if it has any bearing on the complaint.

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Old July 20, 2009, 01:21 PM   #7
djph0826
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Re: fixing gaps in engineered floor installation


Strips are uniform width.
There was absolutely no traffic for the first 3 days and, a week later, there is still only light foot traffic.
Can't say if gaps were there on installation or appeared afterward since noone entered the room for 3 days.
As for environmental control, three rooms have the same flooring down and have no such gaps.

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