Problem with face-checking in engineered hardwood

13 years ago

My mom had engineered hardwood (Mannington New Hampshire Hickory Plank) installed in her new condo (kitchen, living, dining, bedrooms) about 3 1/2 years ago. It's over a gypcrete-type base and was a glued floating floor purchased from and installed by a reputable flooring company. She lives in Alberta, Canada which sees cold, dry winters. She runs 2 humidifiers from October to April and keeps humidity about 35%. Two issues soon became apparent.....

One was the unevenness of the floor. In many, many places you can feel the boards moving as well as see the movement when you walk. The installer checked for "pinch points" and couldn't find any. He said the gypcrete was level within the allowable tolerances specified by the manufacturer. Mannington reps came and looked at it. Everyone involved claimed they'd never seen this.

The second and biggest issue is that lot of face-checking soon became evident. Finally, last fall the flooring company decided to replace it. They delivered the new wood in September but couldn't install it till this past week. It sat in the condo in an unused bedroom since last fall.

This week the installers came and ripped up some of the old flooring and found that the gypcrete is not level in places which they said they will level with a levelling compound. So perhaps that will solve the unevenness problem.

BUT they also found that the *new* wood in the boxes was also face-checked in many places. Initially the company wanted to reorder the wood and Mannington said they would "double-inspect" it prior to shipping. My concern is that if it has face-checked twice, it will eventually happen again. They offered to order a different type of Mannington engineered wood but we are unsure what to select.

Any thoughts on the checking issue from flooring pros? Any suggestions for other types of Mannington engineered hardwood product (that isn't a big upcharge) that won't give such grief? This situation is stressing my 80 year old mother immensely.

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