Going down a Dark Road

Discussion in 'Hardwood & Laminate Sales and Installations' started by Mark Brown, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    So, i have just been thrown into a situation that i cannot seem to get out of. 15 mm (that is just under 5/8 of an inch) OSB sub-floor and 177 mm (7 inch) wide board hardwood. So yesterday we started nailing her down, glue assists and rah rah rah. About 2 hours into the install we noticed a lot of popping in the wood. You know this sound, it sounds like FAILURE. So decided to do some investigating, which led me to discover this sub floor. Now one could make the argument that perhaps i should have discovered it prior to beginning and you would not be wrong however i choose to make the argument that it was a sold job, i am subbing on it and well, qualifying the structure for the material SHOULD be part of the gig. Anyhow, laying blame is not what i am on about here, so lets get on with matters. In a vain attempt to offer solutions that will satisfy the Home owner (cost) the store (cost and quality) and the insurance people (cost, warranty and height differences) we have decided to directly glue to the sub-floor with the full knowledge that recommendations are for nothing less than 3/4 inch OSB. At the least this will satisfy the fact that the fasteners are making noises. Just wondering if any of you might add to my brain cyclone on this. For the record, i know it isn't the best idea, it is just the only available option so telling me to use 1/2 inch ply on top is like preaching to the choir...
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  2. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    Sounds like you’re in a tight spot

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  3. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    how long have you been waiting to use that :D
  4. Floor Boss

    Floor Boss Flooring Professional and Mgr. I Support TFP

    It's like deja vu all over again!
    You mentioned all the factors that overlook the professional installer.
    Client Cost
    Insurance Company and their costsSalesperson lack of qualifying the various parts of the sale
    Mfg warranty and specs
    Existing Floors
    Old Floor and Trim

    All of the above are looking to cut corners, which is counter productive to us, as installers to do a quality, warrantied installation.
    I deal with this several times a week, and the sad truth is that the only recourse my installers have is to walk away from the job if somone doesn't want to pony up!
    Waivers don't hold up in court as the 'reasonable professional'. But I've devised a waiver that identifies the situation and holds the owner expressly aware and states that they will take corrective actions once we've installed the floors.
    In Your situation, that would be impossible.
    Again, as the 'professional' your obligation is to do it correct, and if someone is unwilling to pay for your professional skills, then you are better to walk away than to walk into a hornet's nest!
    In my current mgt position, I will hold up a project until we get confirmation from the insurance company to get payment for the correct products, preparation time, content moving, etc......
    My advice, since it's an insurance job....
    Express that you tried it their way to save money and it's not working. Push to get paid for the time you've already spent, the time to tear it down, time to replace the subfloor with 3/4" and proceed professionally.

    More than a few times, my guys have been pressured into doing it the way the job was sold, OR how the insurance company railroaded our salesperson and they've ended up eating the job.

    Hold em' hostage and Do It Right!

    Good Luck,

    • Like Like x 4
  5. Commercial Floor Rep

    Commercial Floor Rep I Support TFP Published

    It's not ideal, but I have seen successful installations with glue when fastening wouldn't work. Obviously the deflection could cause problems long term, but by then hopefully everyone's memory will have grown fuzzy on responsibility. :oops:

    We had a customer who did a job where the house had been subject to heavy, heavy rain during framing. The subfloor had been installed (OSB) but the rains came and it literally got rained on for weeks. Once they could work again, they quickly framed in the house and slammed the rest of the job. Along comes the retailer and knows nothing about the house and subfloor having been exposed to this standing water for weeks and he staples the floor in and things start drying out and the home owner starts complaining about cracking, popping, and squeaks. After speaking with the builder and doing some forensics the story comes out about the flood. Long story short, he replaced the floor and glued it down and everything has been fine since.

    I tend to agree with Dave that it probably would have been better to walk up front had things been different but you're in chest deep now so I guess we keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. Good luck with it!
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  6. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    So here is part two of the conversation...

    If it is decided to do this right and a layer of half inch is added to the mix, who then does the reponsibility fall to to replace the flooring that has been installed? As a "professional" one could easily argue that I should have verified all site conditions prior to commencing installation in which case one would have to assume responsibility. Second to that would be that it is a sub contract from prime who in this case is the retailer so then is there not a duty to verify that the product you sell the end user is acceptable for their application and that all site specific qualifications are me prior to requesting labour for your contract??

    Now, I suppose it's really a shared duty and I'm not lookin to spear anyone, just curious on what you all might have to weigh in with. Thanks!
  7. Graeme

    Graeme Pro Member

    Sorry to hear you are having trouble on this one. I am not a fan of nailing into OSB - the wood flakes tend to shrink back off the fasteners over time (in my climate) and it doesn't seem to have the holding power. (As observed when removing - hardwood comes off of OSB much easier than off of plywood) I always lean toward a full spread glue down.
    FWIW, I had a very similar job a few years back - we started to nail / glue assist down the 50' run in the house. 8 rows in we realized the cleats in the OSB were going to be a problem. We bit the bullet, tore out everything we installed, and went with a full glue down. No issues to report many years on, and valuable lesson learned. Ever since, I have decided to just go with glue over OSB.
    I think if you proceed, you have good reason to believe this installation will succeed; certainly a better chance than with nail / glue assist. Really hope you can land that plane without any casualties.
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  8. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    I am in your climate... and edge gold is a lie :)

    More to my point brother, I happen to be about 100% confident it will work but that slippery snake that says what if it dosent. We aren't working with a 4 dollar a foot Crunky floor here, retail on this stuff is 12 dollars a foot and when and if ANYTHING goes sideways who bears that out (because I bet it is me)

    Also, for the record I am with you. OSB should be full spread all the time every time seeing as most houses here on the wet coast see extended periods of... how shall we say, tsunami level's of water?? Long before they get boxed in
  9. Graeme

    Graeme Pro Member

    I would certainly try to put this back on the folks who spec'd / sold the job... however, mistakes happen, as we know. They missed this important detail, as you did. You might eat a small portion of the install as a gesture of goodwill, with the idea of finding a good and prompt solution. If everyone gives a little, nobody bleeds too much. Keeps good terms with the company for the next job, and every one after that. Whenever I did this, I found it paid me back in the long run - many times over. Seemed to go better for me than the guys who decide that this was the hill they were going to die on... they got paid for the job in full, but they lost a customer - or at least lost the confidence of the customer.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. Commercial Floor Rep

    Commercial Floor Rep I Support TFP Published

    I think if it gets/got litigious you're probably on the hook. But, given that you make a good point about the retailer basically setting you up a bit and not really doing their due diligence it's worth trying to have a business conversation with the retailer and explaining your side of the case and see where it goes. I think it might be possible to come to an agreement where you both "share the pain".
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  11. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    Most of this is theoretical due to the fact I like the fellow and we are fair to one another. It's more for the sake of conversation. Worst case, I'll salvage what I can and meet him in the middle for anything else above and beyond be it labour or material... we all pay our pound of flesh :)
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  12. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Of course adhesive holds far better than nailing. My issue would be if it started cupping/crowning. Which I think wouldn’t be related to the adhesive.
  13. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    We went with... let's just do the right thing and tear it out put down half inch and sleep well at night!
    Client is the best person ever and instead of fight with all parties involved has opted to pay out of pocket and fight after, they just want a pretty floor!
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  14. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    So I’m taking a water damage restoration course given by Barry Costa, nice guy, theyre talking about insurance adjusters, cost etc. then he says he can take cupping crowning out of water damaged solid and I think engineered works 99% of time. Just wondered about rip ups over wood subfloor.
  15. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    what part of rip ups ya wondering about Mike?
    I have made a mess of ripping up all kinds of hardwood.
  16. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    When the hardwood gets damaged from water by many possibilities, then separating? I’m guessing you’re taking the underlayment up attached to hardwood and cutting squares easy to handle for disposal.
  17. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    So here is a sad story....

    After dealing with the 15mm osb subfloor by adding a 12.5 mm plywood to it we got back to installing. Installing lasted exactly three rows when we discovered massive over wood, two different production runs and well that was about it. So now... after wasting 4 days of my life we rip the second attempt off the ground, have to replace all the product with new product and start for a third time... Yay!

    Subbin' ain't easy :)
  18. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    It must suck to be you. ;)
  19. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Just keep pushin, it will end, we hope.
  20. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    One reason we don’t install anymore. Products rarely go up in quality. Can’t say I don’t have problems, but when I leave it’s usually agreed, the floor is gone. We’ve been there at the bottom of the hill when anything and everything can go wrong.
    • Agree Agree x 1

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