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Gaps in brand new tongue-and-groove wood floor

(10 Posts)
Bambinocino Sun 29-May-11 18:45:37

We have just today had a new solid oak tongue-and-groove floor laid in our hall. Our flat is the ground floor of a Victorian terrace and the floor throughout the place is uneven. The fitters have done their best to install the floor level. But there are gaps of 1-2mm between the floorboards in quite a few places. In some cases the boards are together at one end but there's a 1-2mm gap at the other. Is this inevitable on an uneven floor, or has the job been done badly? I'm not keen to pay the fitters until I'm satisfied the gaps were unavoidable.

noddyholder Sun 29-May-11 18:46:27

What did they lay it on?

cyb Sun 29-May-11 18:56:11

Gaps could ahve occurred due to the wood contracting but sounds like they ahvent banged it in enough if gaps occurring already

BiggerAndBadder Sun 29-May-11 18:57:11

Really they should have put plywood board on - and then proper underlay for wooden floors first. They should have levelled it - if this means using plywood underneath, or self levelling compound and let that go off.

If you are not satisfied with the gaps - then you should get them to rectify it - if that is filling the gaps or doing it 'properly' - really laying a solid wood floor is a DIY job.

Are you sure they are not competent DIYers rather than a recognised company.

If it is a recognised company - then complain!

Bambinocino Sun 29-May-11 19:24:51

Thanks all for the replies. They put plywood on the joists and have almost succeeded in levelling it. But the floor in the hall needed to meet the floors of all the rooms coming off it, and if they'd entirely levelled it, there would have been a step of at least an inch at a few of the thresholds. We didn't expect the result to be 100% level and we're happy with that aspect really, but I'm quite bothered by the gaps. I think they basically haven't banged the boards together properly. Is it hard to do that on a slightly uneven surface?

BiggerAndBadder Sun 29-May-11 19:50:15

Dont think it is because they havent banged it together properly - because you dont have to bang it together to make it match up.

There might be slightly warped boards, which would mean gaps?

Hard to say without seeing it sorry

manchurian Sun 29-May-11 19:53:41

How many gaps are there? Could you use wood filler to hide the gaps?

noddyholder Sun 29-May-11 19:55:02

Does it move when you walk on it.

Bambinocino Sun 29-May-11 20:22:08

There are about 10 gaps I'd say. You could use filler to hide them I suppose but I was imagining a lovely tight, clean finish with the boards all lining up nicely. I don't think the boards are warped, they look flat. It's as if they haven't been slotted together properly. The floor doesn't move when you walk on it but does creak in places.

PigletJohn Sun 29-May-11 22:48:57

if it is solid oak, then the width of the boards will change with the weather. The will shrink (and the gaps will get bigger) in dry weather, or when you are running the central heating, and the boards will expand (the gaps will get smaller) in damp weather or when the heating is off.

The purpose of the tongue and groove is to allow shrinkage without getting an actual gap that draughts can come up. If solid boards are laid too tight they can buckle and rise up in warm damp weather as there is nowhere for them to expand into. This is very bad and the floor will be ruined.

It is not wise to ask for them to be laid completely tight, unless perhaps you are doing it in ther warmest, most humid week there will ever be.

How did the fitters tighten them? With a ratchet machine or a strap? or with wooden wedges hit with hammers? or just with their hands?

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