Q: One visitor asked, "We are currently building a new home and the hardwood is being installed. We noticed that even though a silent-floor system was used, the hardwood creaks in certain spots. They tell us that the new oak harwdood needs to settle. There were no squeaks on the subfloor prior to the hardwood. Is this true about new hardwood needing to settle and if not, is there anything that can be done?"
I assume the house was dry inside, and at normal living conditions regarding
environment. Also that the flooring was in the house for several days prior
to commencing installation.
I did an installation recently. I installed plywood and then the new floor.
I instructed the owner about acclimatizing the floor, which is the entire reason I took it in a number of days before installation started. The house was empty, and every time I turned up the heat to 70F, I would come in the next day to find the furnace off, even though it got rather cool at night.
After installing the back room, I notice a couple of days later that the floor crackled when I walked on it! Very strange! Then I noticed the finish in that back room very slow to dry. This slow drying followed me through all 3 coats, but not on the front rooms of the house. There had to be a reason! I went down the basement. It was freezing down there. That cold, damp air was coming up under the new flooring. The finish in the front of the house dried only because it was all windows and the sun was heating up the surface of the wood. (This was not desirable either). So, what I am saying is, your problem could be environmental, and if so, it likely will settle down.
Related questions about wood floor maintenance and cleaning:
Cleaning and Maintenance
>Do you need to wax or clean hardwood with a buffer or electric polisher? What is the best cleaning product?
>Are the cleaning products we use making our new floors look dull and mottled? What can we use to get the shine back?
>Why should we not use "oil based cleaners" on our hardwood floors?
>What's the best cleaner for wood floors?
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Care & Maintenance
>How do I care for my hardwood floor?
>Should padding be placed under our area rug?
>I put on three coats of polyurethane on my newly sanded and stained floor, do I need to wax it?
>How do I get my dull laminate floor to shine?
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Humidity & Home Environment
>Preventing cracks in floor boards of harder species.
>Is cracking due to humidity?
>We have large cracks even in our master bath. Now after 3 months of humidity control & moisture on the insides of my windows the cracks are even worse. I can see the subfloor through some of them. Is moisture the only cause of these cracks or might there be some other causes we should consider, and what are the best ways to take care of this problem?
>How long would it take for the wood to respond to the increased moisture, and is is reasonable to expect the cracks to close completely? What is the recommended thing to fill these cracks? Wood putty, etc?
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