I have a high quality engineered hardwood floor with a 3-4 mm wear layer and at least 7 layers of good solid wood below. It's installed on a wooden subfloor over a basement or crawl space. My problem is, I think the contractor didn't set the boards closely enough to each other because they hurried. The gaps at the end of row or in between the sides of the boards is wide enough that I can see the underlayment at the ends and I can see the staples in the tongue and groove on the sides. It has been this way since they installed it. The floor squeaks a lot. It flexes in some places. The gaps are in about 25% of the joints of the boards throughout the floor. The solution they are offering is to cut some of the boards up and then gluing down a new board cut a little longer and set more centered to try and split the gap between the two sides/ edges. They are also trying to putty some of the gaps with an acrylic (I think they said) putty that they try to match the color. They are then trying to make up for the flex (that was caused because they didn't properly screw down the subfloor to the joists where it squeaked before installation) by going into the basement and screwing up through the subfloor into the bottom of the flooring. Any suggestions or reality checks can you provide to make sure I am being reasonable but also am getting a floor that is going to last and look good for years? Should I accept a putty solution or make them replace the board to tighten it up. Should I demand a new install done correctly?

  • That all sounds terrible, both in workmanship and your experience, but it's not a question for us. It's a subjective and contractual (legal) one. We don't do either of those here. I suggest that you review your contract and consult an attorney, if necessary.
    – isherwood
    Jun 9, 2021 at 18:14
  • 1
    Post a photo with a ruler showing. Here we can only comment on the technical aspects, not your looming legal fight.
    – Bryce
    Jun 9, 2021 at 19:29
  • Sounds like the fix they're proposing is a hack. I would not accept that.
    – SteveSh
    Jun 10, 2021 at 1:21

1 Answer 1


I would want them to fix it right.If it meant pulling up the planks and installing them correctly, then so be it. You purchased a quality flooring with a good wear layer and good wood under that. None of that will matter with a putty fix. "Try to fix the gap .... try to match the color", those are scary phrases. Hopefully, you haven't paid them in full yet. you contracted for a professional installation, not a hack job.

  • I'm sure you'll get a bunch of votes for your likely popular opinion, but the question should be closed. It's clearly off topic.
    – isherwood
    Jun 9, 2021 at 18:23
  • Do you think it would be possible to pull up the flooring without damaging it? Assuming they only used crown staples to install and didn't use tongue and groove glue. Given the install would you even want them to try again? Jun 10, 2021 at 9:14
  • @FreshCodemonger If they didn't use glue, I imagine they have a tool for removing the staples. and you're probably right, once a hacker, always a hacker.
    – JACK
    Jun 10, 2021 at 12:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.