Signs of bad hardwood floor installation

Publish Date

May 2, 2022

Post Author


The installation of a new floor may radically change the appearance of your house. Whether you’ve chosen a beautiful hardwood floor or a contemporary linoleum floor, the flooring will play a significant role in increasing the charm and worth of your property. Nevertheless, the faulty installation might render all of your hard work and money in nothing and cause many hassles along the road.

Any homeowner may be seduced by the simple, natural beauty of a shining hardwood floor, which can be found in practically any home. This floor lasts forever, is easy to clean, and requires only the bare minimum in care after being installed. As a result, there aren’t many negative things we can say about it. It’s not difficult to understand why hardwood floors are so popular. These floors add a sense of coziness and natural beauty to a space. They may endure for several generations if properly cared for. Additionally, they have the potential to boost the worth of the properties in which they are seen.

A professional installing a wood floor

However, hardwood floors must be installed correctly for consumers to benefit from hardwood flooring. Below are some typical hardwood floor installation errors and some tips to avoid making them in the future.

Inadequate Hardwood Acclimatization

It is critical to acclimate hardwood flooring to its new living environment properly, but the frequently addressed issue is how long this should take. Most people will tell you to put it in the home and leave it for a week, and you should be good to go; no, that is Wrong. That method is false, and making that error might result in a significant financial loss or the inconvenience of living with a hardwood floor that does not fulfill your anticipations.

To ensure that the flooring is appropriately acclimated, it is critical to identify a beginning and finishing condition. As determined by moisture testing conducted over many days, properly acclimated hardwood floors have neither gained nor lost moisture inside the area in which they will be installed. Therefore, the installation should only commence when and only when this balance has been achieved. There might be minor differences in the amount of Acclimation time depending on the site circumstances and the type of hardwood used; therefore, the installer must do a comprehensive study before beginning the installation process. Follow manufacturer instructions for extensive installation instructions.

Design and Layout Aren’t Considered.

Regardless of how much calculating and double-checking an unrefined crew does while building a house, the fundamental reality is that it is frequently challenging to produce a perfectly square space or has precise measurements down while making a room. Nonetheless, this may not go wrong when a flooring company installs a new hardwood floor; a good team will prepare for this and ensure that everything is accurate and estimated. While the inexperienced contractor may begin installation before completing all statures, resulting in uneven flooring lines extending along the hall and strange angles when the final room is finished. This procedure may take longer, as the final stage includes resolving all those issues, which takes hours.

Inadequate Pre-Installation Inspection of Hardwood Planks

The leading hardwood flooring installers know that they are the endmost examiners of the hardwood boards responsible for installation. This is crucial in today’s argumentative environment. After the panels have been installed, the consumer may believe they are free from imperfection and suited for installation, which is a significant advantage.

Ideally, installers should discover any faults while the hardwood boards are withdrawn from the crate and destroy any boards deemed unfit for use. However, if the installer finds a widespread problem, it is recommended to cease the installation and get a whole new set of panels from the manufacturer. Even though hardwood floor manufacturers will almost certainly cover manufacturing flaws in most situations, the installer will be liable for the labor element of any claim.

A well installed hardwood floor

When damage occurs due to faulty installation, it is common for the repairs to be covered by the installer’s guarantee when you hire a professional flooring contractor to install your flooring. On the other hand, Warranty periods are typically between six months to a year. Although this usually is ample time for installation issues to manifest themselves if problems develop after that period, the manufacturer’s guarantee will still apply, but it will not cover damages caused by improper installation.

Faulty Expansion Joint Installation

There’s a significant likelihood that the humidity levels in the room where the hardwood flooring is laid will increase and change over time. In addition, the wood’s natural inclination to expand and contract will not be accommodated by improperly constructed expansion joints on the margins of the floor. Consequently, the floor might expand into or bow in on itself, causing problems for both homeowners and contractors alike.

Because solid hardwood has a greater tendency to expand than engineered hardwood, the conventional rule of thumb is that engineered hardwood requires half an inch of expansion room, and solid hardwood requires up to three-quarters of an inch. The more area required for growth, the larger the installation. All walls and other fixed items require this extra space. Depending on the brand and kind of hardwood used, there may be subtle variations in the amount of expansion room needed.

Not Properly Fastening the Floorboards

Nailing the boards one by one is an intricate part of the installation. A nail gun doesn’t save you if you’re doing an arduous job. Many people go lazy once they’ve installed a few rooms. The truth is that if an installer does not utilize enough nails or fasteners, they will face a slew of issues down the line. Due to movement and instability, flooring might become loose, generate noise, move about, and even develop voids between the boards. Using too many fasteners might also cause the flooring to become stiff. The floor might break and move as much as the unsecured planks in this situation.

Additional Issues that lead to Subpar Flooring

Some Denotative signs of poor floor installation are as follows. A broad gap while installing is a problem. To allow the wood to expand and compress naturally, it is normal for specific wide gaps to remain in the floorboards after they have been appropriately put. In addition, inappropriate sanding is a factor. The inadequate sanding of your flooring is another indicative clue that the installation may not have been done to the most excellent standards. There may be undetected sanding defects until the final product is delivered.

The other issue is a poor layout. You may be left with jagged boundaries, weirdly shaped floorboards, and other abnormalities when the floorboards are put because of a defective arrangement.

A professional installing a hardwood floor

Incorrectly positioning the floorboards too close together without proper spacing or using low-grade wood can cause cupping and peaking. Cupping happens when hardwood planks bow inward, resulting in a concave “cup” form on the surface of the wood, which occurs when the wood expands due to changes in humidity. Peaking is the polar opposite of cupping, with the underlayer surface bending upward into a peak rather than inward and occasionally rising off the flat underlayer surface. A quick sanding of the flooring may be all that is needed to correct minor peaks or cupping.


When checking out your flooring contractor, ask for recommendations from people and find a contractor who had the work done more than a few years ago. Find out whether any of the problems mentioned above have arisen due to the flooring’s current condition. Installing new flooring can be time-consuming and tedious, so you want it done perfectly the first time.



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