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Why Would Engineered Floor Separate at the Seam?

By: Mary Williams BA (hons) - Updated: 31 Mar 2011 | comments*Discuss
Coming Apart Engineered Floor Engineered


We installed a floating, click engineered hardwood floor about a year and a half ago. It has been great for all that time and then all of a sudden it has started to separate at the seam close to the heating register.

This has created a gap for about a foot. It is located near our rolling office chair. Do you think we have left too much expansion space by the wall or why would it do this?

(L.M, 5 March 2009)


By the 'seam' I am assuming you mean the prefabricated seams of the engineered boards rather than the join between each individual engineered section of wood. This really shouldn't be happening.

The first step is to speak to both the person who laid the floor and the supplier. It might be a fault in the original engineering of the board, perhaps the pieces of wood were not glued together properly, for instance, or it was simply a shoddy job in the overall manufacture of the floor.

Check with the person who laid the floor that the conditions were right. It is important, for example, there was no moisture on the concrete ( or whatever he or she laid it on) before work began.

Next, think about how you have treated the floor yourself. You haven't had a flood or allowed the floor to be subject to any water damage have you?

An engineered floor should be very hard wearing and durable so you really shouldn't have problems like this. If you haven't damaged it yourself and you have a guarantee, then dig it out - and insist that whoever supplied it does something about this problem. If you bought your floor a year and a half ago then in all likelihood you are still covered.

If, however, you mean the floor is coming apart at the click join between pieces of board, then you could be right. Too much of have caused movement in that direction.

However, this is really only likely to have caused a separation between the pieces of board if they were not laid properly in the first place. Did you have a professional come and do it?

What does slightly concern me is that you've said it is close to the heating register. If there is excess heat in this area and the floor was not laid correctly, then there may be some warping or rising of the wood, which could possibly cause it to separate - and again, your suggestion of perhaps leaving too much of a gap would not have helped.

What I do think, however, is that your rolling chair is unlikely to have caused the problem.

Check for moisture damage, contact whoever laid the floor, then speak to the suppliers or manufacturers.

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