I need some advice. Maybe from someone who is knowledgeable about engineered hardwood installation. We had old glue down engineered maple wood removed from our home, and we replaced it with French oak engineered wood flooring. I spent months and months researching different flooring brands, I looked at dozens of samples, I talked with friends and searched online forums, talked with 4 or 5 different flooring stores, and I ultimately decided on using California Classics Mediterranean line of flooring, based on the quality and great reputation of their flooring.
I chose my flooring supplier/installer (they did both) based on recommendations of friends. This particular small family owned company installed flooring for 4 of my friends, and all were very happy. One friend also had the Mediterranean line installed by this company.
The Mediterranean line recently had a new version come out called the Mediterranean 9.5, just a wider version of their regular 8” line. I love the wider plank floors, but wasn’t going to choose the 9.5” due to higher cost. When I had the flooring company price it out for me, it was only $400 more total for the 9.5” over the 8”, so I decided to go for it and that is what I had installed, approx 1800sqft.
Fast forward to after installation. Walking on it for a few days I started to notice several hollow spots, spread out in patches all over my new floor. We had glue down engineered wood before so I’m familiar with how it should sound and feel to walk on. But I was hearing so many hollow spots, and I could also hear a crunching or cracking sound when I would step on the hollow spot! I marked out all the hollow spots I could find with blue tape and showed my installer, and they almost didn’t believe me. But I took video of all the crunching sounds I could hear so there was no disputing it. They told me in 20 years of installation they have never had this issue before (lucky me!) They we’re adamant that their install was done right, and that in fact they had to go buy a new trowel just for this floor since it was extra wide. Since it is a new line of floor, they have never installed this particular flooring so they are putting the blame onto the manufacturer. (And, I’m aware that it is the risk I took choosing a flooring that was so new, and I regret my choice now but what can I do at this point).
My flooring guys are honest people and they genuinely want to help make it right, so what they did was drill holes all over my brand new floor to inject a special glue onto the air spaces. This has helped in many of the spots, but there are a few areas that still have air pockets and crunch when I walk on them.
They said the next thing to do would be to get the manufacturer to come take a look, but that would mean they would have to cut a strip of my floor out at my sliding door and my front door where they intentionally didn’t leave the required gap (which is their usual practice of install) but would fail installation inspection from the manufacturer. I don’t really want those spots cut out, because even if the manufacturer were to come what would they do? I am guessing they won’t take responsibility and will try to put blame on the installation. And installers are adamant they did it correct. It just makes me sick to my stomach thinking about how much we spent on these floors to not have it installed well, and I can’t imagine taking all this out and replacing with something different over a few air pockets.
I guess what I’m wondering is if there’s anything else I could do in this situation.