What I got is site-finished floor. The hardwood is natural birch. The width of the wood strips is 3 1/8 inches.
I moved into the brand new house in the end of July. Because the housing market was very hot and the builder had a big backlog of orders, they rushed to finish building houses. There are a lot of quality problems with my house. Hardwood floor is one of the problems. And the shrinking is one of the many problems with the hardwood floor. It's good that the house is under new home warranty program. The builder agrees to fix most of the problems. But for the contracted hardwood floor, the builder doesn't want to do anything other than putting in filler (They will re-sand and re-finish the surface). Their argument is that
1)The hardwood shrinks when the humidity is low;
2)The gaps are within normal range.
I want the builder to replace the pieces that shrank significantly because:
1) The gaps between wood strips become visible soon after we moved in, around a month. That was in August. The humidity was quite high at that time. I think they put in the hardwood floor when the wood is not dry enough. I think the floor will not recover even when it's in summer.
2) The gaps are not within normal range. I measured it yesterday. The biggest one is more than 5mm. I understand that wood shrinks in winter and expands in summer. But the change should be a lot less than 5 mm. What do you think it's the normal range of birth floor?
3) The big gaps affect the strength of the floor. When walking on the area with big gaps, I can feel the floor sink and rise. 4) The floor will look ugly with filler because the gaps are quite big and the color of the filler is different.
5) The filler doesn't expand and contract the same as the wood. The floor will crack again soon, especial with gaps that big.
From your experience, does what I said make sense to you? Can I quote your data when I talk to my builder again? I think they will agree to replace the significantly contracted pieces if I show them that it's not only the normal humidity change cause the big gaps.
By the way, do you know how difficult it is to change some of the wood strips? Does it mean redoing the whole floor?
Really appreciate your help.