Engineered flooring - loud cracking noises when being walked on?

Palfrem

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We've just had 35 m2 of good quality engineered flooring laid across lounge and study.

It's about 20mm overall thickness with a 5mm oak veneer.

The guys removed all the old skirting, glued the tongue and groove with PVA and laid it on existing floorboards with the recommended foam sheets between old floor and new. They used a series of ratchet straps to pull it together while the glue set.

In places, when you walk on it, there is a loud cracking noise that is becoming very annoying indeed.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what the cause of this may be please and maybe have a remedy?
 

whitenemesis

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Was it really tongue and groove or did they glue a click system?

Would have thought T&G should have been glued or secret nailed to the wooden subfloor, not glue the joints and lay on underlay.
 

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Hmmm. Could it be the glue breaking it's own bond?. I have not heard of engineered flooring being glued before? Not saying that is wrong, just that I have not heard of that. With mine I used a secret nailer which pulls the boards together then fires a braid into the tongue. This was used only on every other board as the floor effectively floats on the foam underlay. You still get the occasional creak which can be improved with a liberal dusting of talcum powder.
 

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Perhaps there are areas in the flooring that aren't adhered well.

We have around 60m2 of oak flooring downstairs which was installed by screwing it to the existing floorboards. It takes longer, but it is rock solid. Over 2000 Tongue-Tite screws were used. LINK.
On the few areas where the screws weren't usable we glued the floor down but also put in separate sections of heady-duty double-sided tape to hold the floor down to the glue and made sure there were plenty of heavy items placed on the floor for 24-28 hours. Excellent results, but maybe not do-able for a contactor working to a time limit.
 
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Palfrem

Palfrem

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Thanks chaps,

Definitely T&G. The shop advised this as the best quality.

It has not been nailed to the existing floorboards at all and is "floating" as best as I can describe it.

I thought it should have been secret nailed but who am I to task a professional.

It does sound like the glue is cracking up.

I'm waiting for the builder to get back to me with a fix but as the whole thing is glued I can't imagine what he is able to do.
 
D

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Was it really tongue and groove or did they glue a click system?

Would have thought T&G should have been glued or secret nailed to the wooden subfloor, not glue the joints and lay on underlay.


I agree. Through experience. I lay a lot of flooring and I ONLY ever use 'flooring mastic'. You glue the flooring to the sub floor. Ideally without secret nailing (as the nail can sometimes cause a squeak.)

I never glue the T & G joints. Better to let the wood expand & contract at ease.

The squeaking you are getting is because:

1. The sub floor (if timber) is not nailed/screwed down property.

OR

2. There are parts of the sub floor that have 'hollows' and the new wooden floor is hovering above that hollow so when you walk on that particular part the wood squeaks as (it is under stress. This would/could not happen if the mastic had of been used it would have taken the 'Spring' out of the new floor

I'm sorry to say that this will not stop in time. The only way to stop it is to start afresh or screw (not nail) the parts that squeak then cover screw head with colour wax (not a nice solution at all but is an option. (Can only do this if it's a timber sub floor and be careful that cables and pipes are avoided)

So sorry this isn't the answer that you'd want to hear. :crazy:

Ant.
 
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Palfrem

Palfrem

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It's not a squeak, more a definite crack like the glue in joints is being stressed.

It's laid on 1930s pine floor boards. Not sure of they went over them checking for any loose boards.
 

whitenemesis

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T&G isn't a floating floor system and PVA is too brittle a glue. As above flooring mastic only (and not in the T&G joints) as it has a slight flex allowing natural expansion of the wood.
 

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Happytalk, I had a flat refurbished including engineered flooring laid. One of the bedrooms suffered the same issue as OP, so it was suggested when the new tenant went on hols that we heat the room and place heavy weights on the creaking section. It seemed to do the job to date. What do you think, did I just get lucky?
 

ioweddie

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How about drilling small holes about 1.5mm dia along the cracking joints, using a hypodermic syringe (available at local chemist) suck up some mastic and inject under the flooring. I have used this method to re stick taped joints in plasterboard, and to repair wallpaper in the past. It might be worth a try
 
D

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It's not a squeak, more a definite crack like the glue in joints is being stressed.

It's laid on 1930s pine floor boards. Not sure of they went over them checking for any loose boards.


Oh, sorry.

Yes, I know the kind of noise you mean. In that case I'd say the glued joints have failed in the parts of the floor where there's a hollow. E.g. If sub floor was 100% straight and no hollows then all would be well.

Ant
 
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Happytalk, I had a flat refurbished including engineered flooring laid. One of the bedrooms suffered the same issue as OP, so it was suggested when the new tenant went on hols that we heat the room and place heavy weights on the creaking section. It seemed to do the job to date. What do you think, did I just get lucky?


Never heard of this solution but it's a plausible idea and I understand the concept.

Great that it worked for you and it's well worth a try for OP'er

As a contractor I'd try to find a solution at all costs. Clients satisfaction is paramount.

Ant
 
D

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How about drilling small holes about 1.5mm dia along the cracking joints, using a hypodermic syringe (available at local chemist) suck up some mastic and inject under the flooring. I have used this method to re stick taped joints in plasterboard, and to repair wallpaper in the past. It might be worth a try

A great idea and again worth a try before going to drastic measures.

However the mastic will not bond to the underlay like it would to timber sub floor.

Ant
 

ioweddie

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A great idea and again worth a try before going to drastic measures.

However the mastic will not bond to the underlay like it would to timber sub floor.

Ant

It probably would not matter as it will take up the void and prevent movement
 
D

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FWIW, we had similar problems to the OP - so loud in fact that even the dog jumped. But over time it has got better and now only scares the proverbial out of us every now and again.
 
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Palfrem

Palfrem

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Got to say, that as it's quite damp today the noise does not seem quite as loud.

Let's see what my builder has to say and see how it goes.

Thanks for all the suggestions and ideas chaps. Much appreciated.
 
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Palfrem

Palfrem

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UPDATE

After much cajoling, the builder has agreed to contact his insurers with a view to taking the floor up and starting again from scratch.

Let's see if it comes to pass....
 

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Excuse my ignorance, but what's the difference between 'engineered flooring' & 'flooring'?
 

Charles Morgan

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Engineered is a plywood base with a layer of wood veneer on top - the plywood prevents the wood from warping or expanding much. Solid wood flooring is just planks so they can expand, contract or warp (only by the Aga in my experience) while laminate is a printed plastic film looking like wood.
 
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UPDATE

After much cajoling, the builder has agreed to contact his insurers with a view to taking the floor up and starting again from scratch.

Let's see if it comes to pass....


I think that's what I'd be wanting too. As I've already mentioned. These noises generally stay around. I'm sure you've got an idea of the required method of laying now with all the posts in this thread.

I'm assuming the tradesman in question is going to try to claim off his public liability insurance. I'll be very serprised if he gets anywhere with that claim. However, either way, I big thumbs up to him for rectifying the mistake.

Keep us posted. Hopefully you'll have a noise free Christmas. :thumb:

Ant.
 

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