What’s Missing From This List?
You may have noticed one commonly held view is absent from this list – “Manufacturer defect.”
This is because manufacturer defect is almost never the cause of simple squeaking in hardwood floors.
Squeaky floors could be the symptom of a much deeper defect, but the squeak is not the only symptom.
The following are commonly held, but mistaken, beliefs about manufacturer caused squeaks:
Loose Tongue and Groove
Manufacturers mill the tongue and groove of flooring to fit flooring together easily. Our goal is to allow for blind nailing of flooring and easy installation.
The tongue and groove are designed to fit together with a snug fit allowing enough tolerance to be fit together by hand. While the flooring is being manufactured, this is being tested constantly.
We must remember that as soon as the moisture content of the flooring changes, the fit of the tongue and groove will change.
If the flooring becomes drier, the tongue and groove will be looser. When the flooring grows in moisture content, the fit becomes tighter.
The manufacturer cannot guarantee the fit of the tongue and groove in every installation environment.
At the end of the day, it is the installer’s responsibility to ensure that the fit of the tongue and groove is appropriate at the time of installation.
Hearing squeaking out of the box? Then the manufacturer should be contacted.
Squeaking 24 hours after installation? You can be assured the cause is something other than manufacturing. If it was manufacturer related, it would squeak out of the box.
Engineered hardwood flooring rarely delaminates.
The typical cause of flooring separation is extremely dry conditions that tear the flooring apart. However, when there is delamination, squeaky floors are a symptom of an underlying and more severe problem.
Boards raise up, curl and no longer stay flat. In this case, squeaks aren’t usually mentioned because the other issues take precedence.