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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at a potential clients apartment in Philadelphia, Pa to look at some gaps they were describing in their bamboo floor and I have a couple of questions and would appreciate any feedback or pointers from the experience of others.

The floors were installed when the apartment building was built three years ago. It is a large apartment building in center city philadelphia and built to appropriate scale. Apparently there was a flood in the building during some later phase of construction which i suspected to be at least a part of the problem. I suspect the flooring was acclimated in a moist building allowing it to swell only to shrink once everything equalized over the next two - three years.

When I showed up the floors had gaps almost as thick as a pinky finger and smaller in other areas (1/8" - 3/8" GAPS!). The gaps ran the lengths of the boards and at the ends in almost all room but mostly the bedroom and living room. It was a glue down installation on a slab and it looked really bad. Not to mention the floor was installed with step joints creating a repeating pattern in the floor board layout which is mostly an aesthetic issuer with the glue down as far as I am aware but they had attemtped to replace a section of the flooring to fix the gaps. This just accentuated the poor pattern choice and overall what they were left with was unsatisfactory.

They were lookibng for suggestions from me with the initial idea that it would all have to be taken up and re-installed. It is about 1200 sq ft in five rooms so the thought of messing with all of that old glue wasn't appealing. My suggestion was to put a bamboo laminate over the exist8ing floor. If nothing else the existing floor would make a good sub-floor.

The customer contacted me today and said a realtor suggested filling the gaps woith a putty of some sort. My first reaction is that this would be absurd to try but I decided to follow it up in case there was something I wasn't aware of. I've done some looking and as far as I am still aware trying to fill gaps which run the length of many multiple runs of board length with putty is still absurd.

Anyone know anything different?

My suggestion to lay a laminate floor over top of the existing seemed good assuming the moisture was under control in the slab. I was thinking of doing a misture test with a sheet of plastic under an area rug for a night or two and see what comes up. Laminate floors are more stable as far as I am aware but trapping moisture anywhere is bad policy. Not sure what the best thing to do is.

So far this is my best idea. I would think that the slab would have had time to breath out any residual moisture in the two years since they finished construction.

Any other ideas as to how the floor could have moved so much? Like I said the gaps were the largets I have ever seen in a floor, nearly hlaf an inch between boards in places in sections spread all throughout the two main rooms.

Appreciate any input. Thanks
 

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Knowledge Factory
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Apparently there was a flood in the building during some later phase of construction which i suspected to be at least a part of the problem. I suspect the flooring was acclimated in a moist building allowing it to swell only to shrink once everything equalized over the next two - three years.




Any other ideas as to how the floor could have moved so much? Like I said the gaps were the largets I have ever seen in a floor, nearly hlaf an inch between boards in places in sections spread all throughout the two main rooms.

Appreciate any input. Thanks

That would be my guess also.

You would be surprised about concrete moisture issues after years of construction.

If there were concrete moisture issues, you would not see gaps!

I wouldn't fill gaps that big. I would pull it all up as putting a floating floor over it is not the brightest of ideas. Sounds like one of those wasted time moments.:whistling
 

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It would go against established guidelines to Install a laminate product over top a wood floor with a concrete substrate. If the substrate was plywood you could..... not when you're talking about a slab underneath. That has the makings of a bad sandwich.
 

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The wider the plank, the more it will move..the flodd was defintiely some causative factor here.

i would strip the floor, rip in slivers to fill the wide voids, use glitza epoxy fill in the smaller, sand everything and refinish it..
simply taking a moisture reading will tell you if there is still an exisiting moisture problem...

knowing what floor the apt is on can give you more info...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The wider the plank, the more it will move..the flodd was defintiely some causative factor here.

i would strip the floor, rip in slivers to fill the wide voids, use glitza epoxy fill in the smaller, sand everything and refinish it..
simply taking a moisture reading will tell you if there is still an exisiting moisture problem...

knowing what floor the apt is on can give you more info...


Thanks for the idea. how would one "simply" take a moisture reading?

I am planning to tape a 2' x 2' piece of plastic under a rug for a couple of days.

The apartment is on the second floor of a large city apartment building/complex. Seems to be built much like a modern hotel would be but with apartment suites instead of normal rooms.

Thanks again
 

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The Finisher
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The width of a pinky finger? :eek:

Sounds like the original floor was not properly acclimated like you suggested. I would rip that garbage up, take a moisture test (most likely not the problem, but do it just as a precaution), and then install an engineered floor on top of the concrete sub floor after allowing it to properly acclimate this time.
 

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The Finisher
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That would be my guess also.

If there were concrete moisture issues, you would not see gaps!

I wouldn't fill gaps that big. I would pull it all up as putting a floating floor over it is not the brightest of ideas. Sounds like one of those wasted time moments.:whistling
You would see the boards cupping. Floordude nailed it as always :thumbsup:
 
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