20 year old tile parquet that was polished and varnished in February has begun to rise off the concrete surface. The concrete is so dry that dust comes off it and the only source of humidity seems to be the air, which has been very humid (60-100%) for the past couple of weeks.

Can this still be salvaged by using the original tiles, or do you have to replace a larger area with brand new parquet?

  • do you know how it was originally attached to concrete? Glue, T&G floating? Sure looks like massive expansion took place. Is the dry powder you mentioned concrete or dried up adhesive? Has there been any dramatic change in temp or humidity? – shirlock homes Jul 15 '16 at 15:22
  • It was glued. The tiles are now coming off with 1 mm of materials attached to it, probably including glue and also primer etc. – otto Jul 15 '16 at 15:56
  • Has the temp and or humidity changed recently? – shirlock homes Jul 15 '16 at 16:51

First the flooring is fine as long as it isn't warped.

To me there seems to be three main install issues:

  • You do not have enough gapping around the perimeter of your install.
  • If you are going to glue these down on concrete they would almost assuredly need some space between them - might use 1/32 spacers.
  • The glue dries to brittle. Doubt this glue was meant to be used for wood to concrete - you are lucky you used the wrong glue as it let the squares pop up clean, relatively.

So your floor buckled. This is due to:

  • is this flooring meant to be installed on concrete? What does the manufacturer's info say?
  • has your house had wide swings in humidity? This will cause the wood to expand, especially next to cool concrete.
  • have you had a lot of rain? The concrete will keep moisture without revealing water but this water will escape up.
  • did you let the flooring sit out for 3-4 weeks before installing?

What it comes down to is that this flooring is probably not a good solution for your situation. It could have been a humidity swing but you shouldn't be required to keep your house like a climate controlled wine room to keep your flooring from buckling that much. This is a solid 9 out of 10 on the buckling range. Expect that if you glue the squares down again, even with a little gapping added, you will probably get buckling in the future. At the very least you are probably going to need to introduce a vapor barrier and subfloor to install a glue down. I don't think I have ever seen glue down wood to concrete other than large apartment buildings.

My guess is that you and the previous owners are very lucky the install lasted that long and probably have been keeping house at normal ranges. In my area we see this all the time, and it is buckled just like yours but not usually as bad.

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  • Nobody is reading the question. For example: did you let the flooring sit out for 3-4 weeks before installing? The first words of this question were... "20 year old tile". And, has your house had wide swings in humidity? Also from the question... "very humid (60-100%) for the past couple of weeks". Ultimately, the only question was, can this floor be salvaged? Answer, yeah you can probably reuse the flooring. + for the helpful tip - there needs to be a gap around the perimeter to prevent this. – Ben Welborn Jul 15 '16 at 18:02
  • @BenWelborn - I left other tips that probably weren't as useful here to help others. But the fact is with this kind of install you better keep your house at the same levels for temp and humidity or this will happen. It does seem crazy to me that flooring that is around 20 years buckled this bad suddenly, something doesn't add up. – DMoore Jul 15 '16 at 20:20

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