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  1. #1
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    Default Glue down wood floor problem

    OK a question or two for the group!

    Todays inspection (Beazer home) had a few issues with the flooring in the home.

    The joist system is a truss design that is 24"OC. It is covered with Norbord OSB that is 23/32" or 18.2mm thick with a Type 1 and PS2 rating.

    On top of the OSB, Bruce engineered wood flooring has been glued on to it. The flooring has pulled away from the OSB in many areas around the home.

    From what I can tell Bruce does not require an underlayment. APA (folks who rate the OSB) do not require an underlayment. Norbord, the manufacturer does not require an underlayment for the wood floor to be glued onto. But, they all have a caveat in their guidelines that all floor systems are different and steps might need to be take to stiffen the floor, such as underlayment.

    The floor seems to flex in a few areas, but not all over. It looks like this has been part of the cause of the flooring losing its adhesion to the OSB.

    Has anyone ever seen something like this? I have seen glue down wood floors on slabs act like this but never one on a conventional foundation.

    I always see an underlayment of around 3/8" on OSB floors when they installed wood floors either glue down or nailed.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Scott,

    Is the flooring loose between the joists (mid-span of the OSB sub flooring) or on top of the joist too?

    23/32 is 3/4 inch, which is likely T&G? That thickness plywood used for sub flooring would be T&G, not sure about the OSB, though.

    How thick is the wood flooring? 5/16"? 7/16? 3/8" 1/2"? I think 1/2" is about the thickest glue down is used for.

    Is the wood flooring engineering wood or solid?

    Was, to your knowledge, the floor actually 'flat' (in plane) to begin with? If the sub floor was not in plane to the required 1/4" in 10 feet or whatever their requirements are, then that would do it anyway.

    Is there a gap around the wood floor at all edges?

    What is the maximum deflection when standing on the flexible areas?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Scott,

    Is the flooring loose between the joists (mid-span of the OSB sub flooring) or on top of the joist too?
    Yes, it was also loose on to of the joist. It really had no pattern
    23/32 is 3/4 inch, which is likely T&G? That thickness plywood used for sub flooring would be T&G, not sure about the OSB, though.

    How thick is the wood flooring? 5/16"? 7/16? 3/8" 1/2"? I think 1/2" is about the thickest glue down is used for

    Is the wood flooring engineering wood or solid?.
    It is 3/8 thick engineered flooring

    Was, to your knowledge, the floor actually 'flat' (in plane) to begin with? If the sub floor was not in plane to the required 1/4" in 10 feet or whatever their requirements are, then that would do it anyway.
    That I don't know, but I kind of doubt it was level. I could feel the joist in a carpeted bedroom.

    Is there a gap around the wood floor at all edges?
    Yes, about a 1/4"

    What is the maximum deflection when standing on the flexible areas?
    The loose areas showed about a 1/4" deflection in most of the areas. The spots that were loose were usually 12" to 18" in length and the width of the plank.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Scott,

    My best guess would be installation errors, probably such as:
    - level not in plane within specification causing tension of the wood floor to pull up and span the low areas instead of stay down into them
    - floor not cleaned causing/allowing adhesive to bond to dust and dirt and not the sub floor
    - OSB may have gotten wet during construction and swelled, causing irregular surface and deteriorated surface which adhesive would not bond to properly
    - 1/4" maximum deflection may not be a deflection of the OSB, only a deflection of the wood flooring

    Did the wood floor planking run perpendicular to the floor joists or parallel with them? That can make a big difference when the sub floor is not in plane.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Scott,

    My best guess would be installation errors, probably such as:
    - level not in plane within specification causing tension of the wood floor to pull up and span the low areas instead of stay down into them
    - floor not cleaned causing/allowing adhesive to bond to dust and dirt and not the sub floor
    - OSB may have gotten wet during construction and swelled, causing irregular surface and deteriorated surface which adhesive would not bond to properly
    - 1/4" maximum deflection may not be a deflection of the OSB, only a deflection of the wood flooring

    Did the wood floor planking run perpendicular to the floor joists or parallel with them? That can make a big difference when the sub floor is not in plane.
    The planks are perpendicular to the joist. I'm leaning toward improper prep of the OSB. Being that it is a Beazer home you know they went the cheap route.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The planks are perpendicular to the joist.
    Meaning they are trying to span the depressed OSB between the joists and stay straight and in plane.

    I'm leaning toward improper prep of the OSB.
    I am sure you are correct, but that puts it back on the installer and improper installation.

    Being that it is a Beazer home you know they went the cheap route.
    Have never seen a Beazer home.

    Are they like Toll Brothers in that the buyer pays the toll for the Toll Brothers poor construction?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Have never seen a Beazer home.

    Are they like Toll Brothers in that the buyer pays the toll for the Toll Brothers poor construction?
    It all depends on the individual subdivision and the superintendent that was over it. Some good some bad and a great number are just mediocre. One thing I don't like is their use of truss floor joist instead of I-joist with their conventional foundations.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    One thing I don't like is their use of truss floor joist instead of I-joist with their conventional foundations.
    Being as I almost exclusively see slab on ground ... Why do you dislike the floor truss joist and prefer the I-joists?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Scott, I think we have a glue application issue. First, the OSB will soak up glue faster than standard smooth ply. second, if they walked on the flooring too soon with 24 on center they may have caused the sections to separate before the glue dried.
    3rd, Non pro app?
    Just my thoughts


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Being as I almost exclusively see slab on ground ... Why do you dislike the floor truss joist and prefer the I-joists?
    From what I have seen the truss systems just seem to be on the flimsy side when you compare them to I-joist. I came from mostly a slab on grade area as well, now that I'm in middle TN I would say that 75% of my inspections are conventional foundations.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    From what I have seen the truss systems just seem to be on the flimsy side when you compare them to I-joist.
    I thought it might be moisture related or something for the first floor.

    I see floor trusses on second story floor all the time and there is nothing flimsy about them. Unlike roof trusses they are 2x4 laid flat, making them stiffer than roof trusses which are on edge. They have all been good and solid, then attach the second floor sub floor and nothing moves, creates an excellent diaphragm for strength too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Scott, reading your post my first thought went straight to the OSB. I've seen OSB get so messed up during builds. Swelling from water, scrapes, dents, chunks somehow gouged out. Jerry's idea that the OSB had humps and dips from construction is probably a major cause. Some of the installers I've seen put the glue on so thin, there's no way to compensate for dips. One guy even told me, "the glue ain't to glue it down, it's to hold it in place till all the pieces are put in, once all the furniture is here it ain't goin anywhere anyway".
    Most of what I look at is nail down. When I see them, most glue down failures for me, are deflection in great rooms with 24" OC trusses, near laundry areas, or lack of glue.
    If this is going to litigation, pulling up some loose sections and seeing what's going on underneath is probably going to have to happen.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The planks are perpendicular to the joist. I'm leaning toward improper prep of the OSB. Being that it is a Beazer home you know they went the cheap route.
    SP: Agreed on all counts. OSB gets wet; it then gets sanded down (maybe); and then swept with a push broom prior to troweling the mastic.

    Often no moisture reading is taken from the floors. Rarely does the installer verify flatness of the floor plane. Sometimes they actually will screw down loose panels. Occasionally they will use an approved mastic with the right trowel. But always, with builder's like this, the contracts are doled out to the lowest bidder. The lowest bidder never does any of the above.

    Yes, the OSB meets minimum requirements, but obviously the installation does not.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    Thanks for all of the help on this floor problem. I'm leaning toward the OSB getting wet and not being properly prepared prior to the wood floor being installed.

    I was able to get back by the house this morning so I could pick up my radon machine (8.3 pC/L) . Over the weekend somebody pulled the carpet back in the bedroom that I had felt the humps in. This is a picture of the OSB, also look at the pad and the lines on it. The lines were directly over the OSB joints. Notice how they have sanded down the edges of the OSB and the discolored OSB from getting wet.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Glue down wood floor problem

    This is a picture of the OSB, also look at the pad and the lines on it. The lines were directly over the OSB joints. Notice how they have sanded down the edges of the OSB and the discolored OSB from getting wet
    SP: I especially like the <2" strip of OSB between those two panels.


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