Hardwood, Bamboo & Cork Flooring
As important it is to find the look and feel in a floor that is you, the process for installation is equally important.Wood flooring is a worthwhile investment and isn't cheap. In this economy, to be competitive, installers are lessening costs by skipping steps and using cheap material, and many homeowners are looking only at the bottom line, overlooking the value for the cost of installation.
If value is the true cost of goods and services, the question becomes, do you know what the goods and services are that you are buying. When it comes to wood flooring, the answer is, almost never. People are only concerned with the appearance. Most people just rely on the integrity or ability of the installer. "Anybody can install a floor, you're only laying and gluing them down", is a predominant attitude.
The following is an example of a case that I inspected; a homeowner buys a floor and decides to have his gardener install it, three months later, the floor starts separating from the concrete. The homeowner first tried to go after the flooring manufacture, just to find out that they aren't liable for faulty installations. The home owner then went after Sika, the manufacture of the glue; the rep. came out and easily determined that the concrete wasn't prepared correctly and moisture barrier wasn't applied correctly. I was then called out, and my findings were in line with the Sika rep. The initial cost of the project - 12,500.00, cost of replacement - 17,000 and the total project cost - 29,500. This mistake cost him 17,000 , a 6 mos. battle, and the major inconvenience of demolition and re-installation. This could have been prevented by first, by having a licensed and experienced contractor, and paying 500 dollars to have the concrete prepared correctly.
You may think that this guy was an idiot for hiring his gardener, and the answer is yes, but this happens mostly with floors that were installed by flooring installers. Because people want cheap and that's what they get, it's so easy to hide an inadequate installation, as a matter of fact, you can do it right in front of someone and they won't know the difference.
Part of my business is inspecting these flooring failures, finding the reason for failure, writing reports and repairing them. Floors should never fail, but they do, and way too often! Wood flooring is the #1 product to fail in home remodeling.
Have a licensed contracted with references install your floor. Have your concrete ground, use Sika MB Primer to seal your concrete and make sure it's applied by someone who has experience with the product. If at the minimum, you only follow these recommendations, any others problems you may have, will pale in comparison.
• Installation preparation
• Installation of strip & wide plank wood, bamboo, & cork flooring
• Installation of figures for flooring design