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Flooring 101 Home Floor Care and Repairs Problems What to Do with Defective Boards

What to Do with Defective Boards

I have a few boards with defects; overwood underwood and width variations,  what should I do?

 Thank you for your purchase. Your email was forwarded to this department to assist with suspected quality or installation issues regarding your new flooring.


It is understood throughout the Hardwood industry, that determinations of compliance regarding specification in board-width measurements or height tolerances can only be made at the time of milling - it cannot be made after installation. This is because wood is hygroscopic and will continue to expand or shrink in relation to its environment (humidity, temperature, etc).  For this reason, exact board milling specifications will continue to play a secondary role to the actual sight appearance during installation.


Unlike "paint in a can" where every drop may be used, it is to be expected that wood flooring, a product of nature will tend to have natural occurring irregularities. Because of this, installers will often "rack out" or lay-out a room to get an overall visual of board placement, before installation. Next during the installation, as installers are nailing down the boards they "cull-out" or select-out individual boards that may be undersize or oversized just as they would remove any boards that may have finish issues. Often a defect can be trimmed off and the remainder board utilized in closets or placed near walls. Twisted or warped boards are simply not used.


Any board deemed unacceptable to you in size, shade or color, should simply be selected out during the installation. For example; wormholes, knots or mineral deposits seen as long dark surface streaks are naturally occurring wood characteristics, not true manufactured defects, these can easily be selected out if desired. Individual boards having finish issues or width variances from end to end should also be culled or selected out. Boards having widths 1/8" narrower than surrounding boards should be selected out and placed all together in the same row minimizing side gapping, or not used. Over-wood, equal to and under 1/50" (0.020) in Select grade flooring is with in standards. Over-wood, equal to and under 1/32" (0.030) in Natural and Rustic grade flooring is considered with in our milling standards.


Yes, variations in board width or over-wood can be frustrating for many who wish to install wood floorings for themselves. However, experienced floor installers as well as wood manufactures understand how solid wood behaves and therefore have furnished instructions and procedures for successful installations.


To prevent most installation problems, it is highly recommended that customers be home during installation day so they have a say in acceptable board placements, if not, they allow their installer's total judgment for board placements.


In addition, maintaining ideal indoor humidity levels of 30-50% and temperatures of 60-80 before during and after the installation will provide you with years of good service to come!

Technical and Installation


Flooring 101 Home Floor Care and Repairs Problems What to Do with Defective Boards