FAQ - Problems

What are the causes of floors squeaking?
Squeaks are normally caused when the sub floor is not properly screwed in place using ring-shank-screws or more commonly known as “deck screws”. If you ensure your sub-floor is properly fastened you should be able to eliminate squeaks.

Why are there gaps in between the boards on my floor?
During the summer months of the year, there is a lot of humidity in the air. Your hardwood floor soaks up this humidity and expands. As the winter months roll around, and the heat is turned on, the floor dries out and starts to gap. There are a couple of tips we recommend to try and avoid this problem. Try to keep the room at a constant 45% humidity level using an air conditioner, humidifier, or a dehumidifier. Also, prior to installation, let your floor acclimate to its surroundings. Two weeks before the floor is to be laid, bring the flooring into the area where the floor is to be installed. Stack the flooring 3-4 bundles high leaving a 6"-7" space between the stacks. This will allow air to circulate between the stacks and for your flooring to properly acclimate.

How do we stop a wood floor from gapping?
Gapping in solid wood floors cannot be stopped completely. Wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity. Using a humidifier during the heating months may help reduce the amount of gapping in solid wood floors. Also, some wood species may gap expand and contract less than others. Engineered wood floors are much more dimensionally stable than solid wood floors and will show little or no gaps between planks.

What do I do to remove scratches in my wood floor?
This really depends on the type of wood floor you have, the finish you have and how deep the scratches are in the top layer. For small minor scratches in a urethane finish you should be able to order a touch-up kit from the store you purchased the flooring from. Be sure to use the manufacturer's recommended finish products and test first by applying a small amount in an out of the way area. For deep scratches you will probably have to have a professional do a screen and recoat. This is where they use special sanding screens to lightly abrade the floor's finish to help the new urethane bond better to the existing finish. With some wood floors you may be able to just replace the damaged boards. It is best to leave the sand and recoat, or board replacement to a professional flooring installer, or refinisher.
 
What are some potential moisture problems I should look out for?
Cupping and crowning are caused when water is trapped between the wood floor and the subfloor. When this imbalance in moisture occurs, it is essential that the boards dry evenly; if not, cupping or crowning can appear.

Do wider planks warp?
All hardwood will warp under adverse moisture conditions. Humidity control helps your floor remain stable.

How does moisture affect my hardwood flooring?

Excessive moisture can lead to numerous changes to your floor, such as cupping, buckling or cracking. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you do not use water to clean your floors.
 
Is it normal for my floor to change colour?
YES. Areas exposed to long periods of sunlight are more subject to colour changes. Ultraviolet rays can impact many materials (cloth, paint, plastic, wood, PVC, etc) in your home and change their colour. The DuraStar finish contains agents that help slow this process. On the other hand, even if colour changes are minimal with the DuraStar finish, wood does change colour; it’s a natural phenomenon.

Some wood species, such as American walnut, keep their original colour longer than others. At the opposite end of the spectrum, American cherry changes colour more quickly but is preferred by some for this reason. Dark-stained wood generally change colour very little since the stain hides the natural colour of the wood. From time to time, move the furniture and decorative rugs around your rooms to even out the wear on your floor. If colour differences are visible, they will fade with time and eventually disappear.

Is it normal for spaces to appear between strips?

YES. It’s a natural phenomenon which generally occurs in winter or when the relative humidity in the room is lower than what it should be (40% - 45%). The wood’s moisture content is then also lower than normal and strips shrink in width. When the relative humidity returns to normal, the strips return to their original width. For more information on the relationship between wood and relative humidity, refer to the Information Techniques section under the heading Species Stability. Spaces between strips can also be brought about by other causes. For example, the floor may have been installed when the product’s moisture content was higher than normal, or the relative humidity during installation was too high, or the subfloor’s moisture content during installation was too high, etc. In these last cases, you must find the source of the problem and take the necessary corrective measures.

Is cupping of the strips normal, that is, the sides of the strips are higher than the centre?
YES. It’s a natural phenomenon which generally occurs in summer (humid season) or when the relative humidity in the room is higher than what it should be (40% -45%). The wood’s moisture content is then also higher than normal and strips expand in width, and the resulting pressure between them gives them this cupped appearance. When the relative humidity returns to normal, the strips will return to their original width and shape. For more information on the relationship between relative humidity and wood, refer to the Information Techniques section under the heading Species Stability. Strip cupping can also be brought about by other causes. For example, the floor may have been installed when the product’s moisture content was lower than normal, or the subfloor’s moisture content during installation was too high, or no expansion gap was left around the perimeter of the room at installation, or a water leak, or excessive relative humidity in the room above, etc. In these last cases, you must find the source of the problem and take the necessary corrective measures.
 
What causes shrinking or cupping of strips?
Most often it’s a poorly insulated heating duct or hot water pipe that produces an abnormal source of heat. This in turn reduces the moisture content of nearby strips, thereby shrinking their width. If, on the other hand, the problem is localised cupping, seek a source of abnormal humidity, such as a poorly-ventilated room on the level below where the relative humidity is very high, or an appliance generating a surplus of relative humidity.

Can an installed, damaged strip be replaced?
YES. The Maintenance Guide will take you through the steps and a list of tools required to replace a danaged strip. You must have some skill and knowledge to perform this task.

Why do some strips split?
Strip cracking is directly related to the relative humidity of the room being either too high or too low; improper installation; air pressure that is too high or too low, when installed with a pneumatic hammer; or a combination of some or all of these factors. Under these conditions, some strips cannot resist the stress and therefore split. You must then find out the cause(s) of this stress and perform the necessary corrections to minimise the problem. Since they were not split at the time of installation, there must necessarily be one or many causes involving the environment where the product was installed. Splitting generally occurs in the weeks following the installation of the floor, and strips can be replaced by the owner or a professional installer.