Hardwood Floor Question
August 10, 2004 6:25 PM   Subscribe

I just installed floating engineered floors downstairs. There is apparently a fairly substantial but narrow depression in the middle of the room, which I missed when checking the floor. How can I fix this now that the floor is laid? [more inside]

There are a few soft creaky spots in the room but most of them are very minor. This one probably goes doe 3/16-1/4" (I'm estimating, it may be less, unlikely that it's more). The area that moves down is perhaps 3 or 4 boards wide (8-12") and only a foot long or so. I think that under regular traffic it's going to break or something bad is going to happen.

I know that for a glue-down installation a possible fix for this is to drill a tiny hole, inject some glue stuff into the hole and fill up the gap. Is there something like this for a floating floor? Maybe some kind of epoxy or foam or caulk or something?

The floor, as I mentioned, is floating and this means there's a layer of thin foam under it. It can't be adhered to the floor, nor am I really wanting to try, I'm just wondering what I can do to fill the gap.

Are there any other solutions?
posted by RustyBrooks to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Response by poster: Oh man, I'm screwed, aren't I?
posted by RustyBrooks at 5:49 AM on August 11, 2004

can't you lift the floor and fill the gap with something (hardboard?)? (i've never done this, so don't know how complicated it would be - is the problem that you'd need to remove the edging round the walls?)
posted by andrew cooke at 6:47 AM on August 11, 2004

I'm not an expert on this, but I just helped two different sets of friends install similar flooring. It was the Pirgo, for whatever it's worth... and for the most part, it went smoothly. One of my buddies, though, is going to have to install some crazy trim to try and cover up the gap left at the edges of the room. These floors can be tricky, I guess...

It is safe to assume the planks are all glued up right now and that removal, plank-by-plank, is out of the question? If that's the case, one site I was looking at before to fix some other problems suggests filling it in with something like sand, which seems like it'd work. Assuming you could cut into the floor fairly cleanly, insert sand, and cover up the hole effectively. In this case, I would think the padding would help you, given that you can drill right into it to get a clean hole through the flooring material.

Can you get in from underneath somehow?
posted by ph00dz at 8:07 AM on August 11, 2004

Response by poster: Getting in from underneath is not really possible, it's on a concrete slab. And yeah, everything is all glued together.

Sand is an interesting thought.

The edges in our room are fine, thank god, I have some tools and woodworking experience so I got it all scribed to a nice 3/8" gap all around.

The best thing for covering big gaps is regular molding followed by a shoe molding. That'll cover up to about an inch. Not *advisable* mind you but it can be done.
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:21 AM on August 11, 2004

i never realised these things were glued together - i thought they just clipped!

drilling a few holes sounds possible - you could fill them in and stain them after and it wouldn't look so bad, hopefully. but how would you spread sand around? you're more likely to end up with a sand "pile" under each hole and no support between, which sounds even worse than what you have now.

can you not take a fine circular saw set to the right depth and cut along a couple of joints? lift that section, put sand in, and replace? trouble is the joints afterwards - do you have any obvious contours to the room shape that would make a thin piece of matched wood over the joint look less that terrible? alternatively, can you cut out a window that's smaller than a rug, then leave it covered later... none of that really sounds any good. sorry.

how about long strips of some kind of flexible but tough plastic? something you can insert through a drilled hole and push under so it supports a large area? i'm thinking of the "ribbon" you get round building supplies, but thicker.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:54 AM on August 11, 2004

Response by poster: Some floors just click together. It's a new thing and I wouldn't really recommend it. Most wood floor installations, whether solid wood, engineered wood (which is really plywood with a thickish layer of veneer on top) or laminate (which is MDF with a picture of wood glued to it) are either glued to the floor, somewhat like tile, glued to each other (floating, that is, not attached to the floor) or nailed to the floor.

The sand thing might work if you could find a way to *force* some in. As long as your forcing it in, and there's somewhere for it to go, I think I could put a fair amount in. Even having a 6" patch of sand would be better than nothing. Having some support in the center of the soft patch could help some.

Cutting a window out is really not an option. It would be extremely difficult to put the window back. All the flooring strips are tongue and groove, which is what keeps them all level. Just trying to glue that window in would, I think, fail miserably. And I'd hate to cover up this great floor with a carpet unnecessarily.

I guess I was hoping there was something I could pump in there via syringe that was fluid but hardened and supported the floor.
posted by RustyBrooks at 1:42 PM on August 11, 2004

Response by poster: The person who sugg

ph00dz: were you referring to this: "Fill low areas with leveling compounds; sand or plane high areas. Foreign substances may cause mastic to fail. Room temperature and humidity should be near living condition several days before installation."

Because if so I think you might have misparsed the sentence. I did the first several times. It really means

"Fill low areas with leveling compounds. (Full stop) Sand or Plane high areas" That is, sand is not what you fill the low spots with, it's what you do to lower the high spots (there are concrete sanding machines). Sand absolutely would not work with a glue down installation.
posted by RustyBrooks at 1:46 PM on August 11, 2004

Response by poster: Um, forget that first line, "The person who sugg"
posted by RustyBrooks at 1:46 PM on August 11, 2004

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