The other condition associated with hollow areas is that of delamination of the flooring itself. (Photos 8 and 9) The glues that are used to assemble engineered flooring are very strong and are intended to maintain the integrity of the piece throughout its useful life. If not, similar materials like plywood sheathing would come into question after years in place. Delamination is normally associated with only the occasional piece, so the fix is to replace the defective piece. The HPVA ANSI Standard test for glue bond issues, calls for water soaking the flooring followed by drying up to 3 cycles and measuring the bondline separations. This procedure is an extreme and would not be a condition found at a home short of flooding the flooring. Daily environmental conditions associated with occupying a home will not approach the extremes of the ANSI bondline test, so delamination of flooring is not a site related issue or installation related short of actually putting the defective piece into the floor. Again the fix for defective pieces is to replace those pieces. Remember to advise the consumer the replaced board may be a slightly different color from the rest of the flooring as the in-place flooring has been exposed to different conditions. The difference in shading should gradually blend with the flooring over the length of time the flooring has been in place.
• Set proper customer expectations before installation.
• Don’t promise that the flooring won’t dent or scratch.
• The occasional face check/crack is an acceptable condition.
• The occasional hollow area is acceptable.
• A defective piece is just that, one that needs replacing.