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Ask The Doc A Question!

Question:

I found out that the flooring is a mix of select and common #1 (sort of odd). The trouble is, how do I know if the Eterna floor has a wide distribution of defects that happen to be exposed frequently b/c there are so many staples, or if it's the occasionally bad staple that caused the problems in the floor? Doug

Answer:



Dear Doug

Prefinished floors, like I said, are a mis-mash of grades and even species. You'd be surprised what we find when we resand these floors. Take a look at the pics below of an old (but expensive) Bruce prefinished floor. Only when you start to remove the floor will you be able to tell if the wood is defective. Do it row by row until you come across the little floor spears. Then, first lift the tongue side of the board up just a little, and the put two wood shims under that area. Cut the staple off at the subfloor level with a Saws-all with a metal cutting blade. This is so you don't disturb what has occurred in the wood itself.

Keep those pieces and have a wood flooring expert look at them. Or mail them to me. It should be fairly easy to determine if the staple started the crack, or the wood itself is a fault. Some wood flooring is kiln dried too fast and can suffer from what they call honeycomb checks. These internal cracks start inside the plank and some end up at the surface. Often they fill and try to disguise this at the factory, and again at the job site. When really, the board needs to be set aside. Oh, I'm just about to go fishing up North until July 14, so I won't be able to respond again until after then.

Fight the good fight.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.

You may also find these articles helpful:

1. Prefinished Hardwood Floors: How To Choose!

2. How To Apply Oil Based Polyurethane WITHOUT The Pits And Bubbles

3. 21 Wood Floor Species

4. Floor Types And Finishes

5. How To Take Care Of Your Health And Safety when Installing, Finishing, Repairing or Cleaning your wood floors