Latest Discussions : Flooring & Stairs

MicheleK1

03:19PM | 09/07/10
Member Since: 09/06/10
1 lifetime posts
We purchased 300 sqft of Bellawood Brazilian Teak 3/4" Solid Hardwood from Lumber Liquidators. We chose this particular product because of the positive endorsements on DIY and HGTV and their 50 year warranty. We have a number of rentals and installing hardwood is not new to us. We special ordered our product in October 2009 and picked it up locally in December 2009. We were not able to install the product right away, so we let it "acclimate" in the family room until we were ready to install it in February 2010. Once installed, we were thrilled with our new flooring. It looked absolutely gorgeous!!!! Unfortunately, in April, we started noticing gaps in between the planks. At first we thought it was okay to see a little bit of shrinkage, all wood contracts and expands. However, since, the gapping has become excessive and it is extremely noticeable and this is not normal!!! We contacted Lumber Liquidators and we have been given nothing but problems. They are not honoring their warranty and are telling us that because we did not use a "moisture meter" and check the wood prior to installation they will not honor their warranty (NOTHING in their instructions mentions a moisture meter test, nor do they even sell them in the store and the salesperson never said anyting about it...all their instruction says is to let it acclimate for 2 weeks). We've had several contractor friends come take a look and they have confirmed that it is properly installed, we do not have a moisture problem, and the wood has obviously continued to shrink and their opinion has been that the wood was not dry enough to begin with. Lumber Liquidators claims the wood was "dry enough" to their standards. Now that I am doing more research, I am finding there are a number of people on the internet who have/are experiencing the same problem with the Bellawood Brazilian Teak. I don't know if the problem is due to the wood not being dry enough at the factory, whether it is not condusive to use in California, or if it is just a bad product; but when you have a number of people making the same complaint, it generally means there is a problem with the product. I am just appalled that they are not standing behind their product and I am appalled that I am now reading about so many complaints with the same flooring we bought. The latest move by Lumber Liquidators is that they are sending an "Independent Inspector" to our home. I've read this is what they have done with other people with the same complaint and the outcome is the same..."No moisture meter check"...No Warranty". I could have lied to Lumber Liquidators and said "Yes, we did check it with a meter"--what would their answer had been at that time?? We do not have a moisture problem in our home! As a consumer, I will not stand back and allow this to happen to me and I sure won't stand back and let it continue to happen to innocent consumers.. I spent over $3,000 for 300 sq ft of BellaWood Brazilian Teak..it was stabilized (longer than recommended) and installed according to directions and I expect the product to be a quality product..within just a few months, their are terrible gaps in our flooring and it looks HORRIBLE. I DO NOT RECOMMEND this product. I will use all available means to ensure my experience is heard by others so that no one else has to go through what we have. Mr Vila, you are the spokesperson for Bellawood and I really would like to hear your opinion on this. It is obvious in these forums that I am not the only person having a problem with this product. Thank you for your time. Anyone considering Bellawood Brazilian Teak, please do your research beforehand...I wish I would have done a search myself and I would have bought a different product!!!

DormCat71

06:39PM | 11/07/10
Member Since: 11/06/10
1 lifetime posts
Thank God I am not the only one having problems with this product. Two years ago I had my entire house done in the Brazilian teak. I loved the different shades of the brown with the stark blonde planks scattered here and there. A few months later I had a major problem with the flooring buckling and after going through all the same problems you have I was able to get my floor redone as it was due to installer error. As for the "independent flooring inspector" that was a joke. I answered all his questions, he looked around outside the house, took a piece of the flooring and two weeks later I called to get the results. The first suggestion was that my inground sprinkler system was contributing to the moisture in the foundation. I calmly replied that I dont have an inground splinkler system and the heads he saw in my flowerbeds were termite bait stations. Got them on that one. Also it was suggested that I get a dehumidifier as well, which I did and have yet to use it But it turned out that installer did not use the required amount of moisture barrier or glue. Then to top it off he did not take the linolium up that was in the kitchen which is where the buckling was the worse. Of course they are going to do everything possible to make sure it was something you did wrong. After several months I ended up getting the whole house redone and the installer told me there will always be moisture in the foundation as its made with water. That makes sense to me. On the second install when it was finished I was sure that the flooring wasnt the same shade and I checked the numbers and they were same as the first flooring so I waited until I had company from out of town who had seen the old flooring and they confirmed it for me that the new flooring was red, as in cherry. I hate it and am stuck with it. When I emailed LL to let them know about the colour difference and that I had several spots that have look like the stain was just spilled and not spread and that the wood seemed very soft basically the reply was "what do you want us to do about it?". Now I am seeing planks with splits and looks like bubbles in them and if I want to stand on a stool I have to put a rug under it. Prior to finding this site I read about the different warranties, one of which was LL and it pretty much boils down to this. The warranty is only good if you just keep the flooring in the boxes or if you do install the flooring you cant even walk on it. I spent almost $10,000 so you can imagine how angry I am about this mess. I would NEVER recommend this stuff to anymore. Ive had this new flooring a year now so can only imagine how it will look in another year. Good Luck on your fight.

BV000203

11:07PM | 01/22/13
I am also having this same issue!!! The gaps in our floor are so large we get rice stuck in between the planks. I have an infant with reflux and his spit up seeps between the cracks! The issues are all over their own web site. We have been trying to file our complaint for three months, their customer service has called twice, and I've missed their call. If you have any information about how I can win my claim please respond, we also spent $10,000 on this terrible flooring!

BV000665

01:27PM | 03/24/13
I am a professional installer who used to think he knew everything. i installed Brazilian Teak at 11% moisture onto a subfloor that had 9% moisture. the wood had been sitting in the house for at least a week, and there was only 2% difference in moisture between subfloor and the Teak. So I deciced it was good to go, having never installed it before, and being used to reliable, less reactive woods, like oak.
Within a week, there were 1/4" gaps and almost NONE of the flooring was tight together. It had all shrank down to 6% moisture within a week of installation. Oddly enough, the subfloor had dried out too. (It had old flooring on it which i removed, and i guess the subfloor had moisture trapped in it which evaporated when the old flooring was pulled up. Lesson: If you use this product, open all the boxes, and spread it out all over the area to be installed and leave it for 3 weeks. Then, if the moisture content is then higher than 7%, take it all out to the back lawn, or dumpster, and make a bonfire and have a party. be happy thinking about all those poor Brazilian loggers who need to make a living cutting the stuff down, and how you contributed to their well-being, as well as the local economy by all the money the shippers and distributors and warehouse operators, and delivery guys made off of you. It is one of the most expensive woods ever sold, and I am solely responsible, as the installer, for getting the client a new floor. I will be paying for the floor, and a different installer, as he wants a "professional" to install it. Hope it works out. I will be steering clear of as many "exotic" woods as possible, and especially Brazilian Teak. Message to professional installers: WALK AWAY FROM ANY ESTIMATE INVOLVING BRAZILIAN TEAK

BV000682

12:56PM | 03/26/13
we have installed 1003 sq ft of bellawood brazzilian cherry from LL and we have been fighting LL since 2011 because my floor is nothing but problems. It smears really, really bad. We also let our flooring sit for quite a while before it was installed. LL sent out their own inspector and he stated it was due to my cleaning products. How amazing is this. I only used bellawood floor cleaner that they sold me and only used it about 6 times in three years. I can't believe I have to fight cancer and Lumber Liquidators at the same time. How pathetic is this????? From Strasburg Ohio

BV000727

02:53PM | 04/01/13
i have had the same problem. it is junk! huge gaps- I can place a dozen pennies in any 3 sq ft area. Has anyone tried sanding and then puttying the gaps and re-finishing? Any lawsuits against LL on this product? Thanks!

BV001379

08:05AM | 06/22/13
I am from Cincinnati area and are rerdoing our master bedroom my wife yesterday went to LL and got some samples of bellawood teak.It seems just the color that we want but now,we will keep looking for another wood.I could not stand having thoses gaps and knowing how much it costs.
And I do watch BobVila and if this is true about this hardwood flooring then I feel like Bob should back off from ths Ll anmd bellawood, I do not have the money to put a bad floor down just a working person here.I want to thank each of you for posting here ..george

unique

09:33PM | 07/26/13
Member Since: 07/26/13
1 lifetime posts
I purchased some brazilian teak flooring. I brought it home and let it sit in the house about a week as I was told before having it installed. Now I am noticing big gaps in the floor. They are so big that I'm having to get on the floor to clean in between the boards. I'm having a guy that installs floors to come and look at it to find out what he possibly can do so that I won't have this problem. I never would have purchased this type of wood if I had known about this problem. This wood is so beautiful and not to mention expensive.

Jechamp

05:16AM | 08/13/13
Member Since: 08/13/13
1 lifetime posts
Well, I have read all the posts here but it seems that no one has sued LL and no one has received any responses from Bob Vila regarding why these problems have persisted. Our Brazilian Teak was manufactured by Builders Pride, not Bellawood, however we are having the same problems afters 8 months. We have been given the run around by our installer because he suggested everything from excess humidity in our house to foundation problems to possible pin hole leaks in our foundation from water or sewer lines. We have had all these items checked and inspected over the last 8 weeks, gone back to our installer indicating that there are nothing but positive reports on our end. LL, the installer and the company who subcontracts the installer, Home Service Store, are all just trying to side step taking any responsibility for improper installation or potential bad product. We are moments away from contacting an attorney as we are out over $11,000 for this install. I will update this forum as we progress through is nightmare.
Image

BV001874

08:52PM | 08/20/13
Update to my flooring problems: after sending out an independent flooring inspector it boils down to I am just screwed out of $10,000. The flooring is a mess now due to the temperature of my house. I called home service and because my year is up the installer is not responsible for anything that needs repaired or replaced. Now I am trying to figure out how to get the build up from their floor cleaner off.

BV002253

09:24PM | 10/05/13
I had over ten thousand in brazilian teak laid by two installers. Both installations show gaps if 4 to 5 mm in areas. This seems to be a lack of quality control in which some boards were dried properly while others were not. This inconsistancy makes the product defective because a normal person should not be drying lumber that's the manufacturers job.
Looking for a class action attorney.

BV002277

08:40PM | 10/08/13
We also installed Brazilian Teak from Lumber Liquidators our problem is not shrinkage ours is cupping. I called several times before anyone returned the call, I even enlisted the help of Consumer Affairs and the Better BusinessB Bureau. Of course their claim was moisture...the house was built in 1984 and the original flooring was Hartco Cabin Grade Parquet which never cupped, shrunk, or came up so we know moisture was not the issue. The only reason we took that floor up was because of a major remodel. Their "Indepent Inspector" came out and had us remove a section about 10" square in three different areas, not in the corners either but in the traffic areas. He did his moisture test, of which we never saw the results, and left. We had purchased all materials from Lumber Liquidators and did the installation per their instructions. We also had a friend who is a professional installer who came by and guided us on the installation. Of course the end result was that they were not at fault...so much for the 50 year warranty!!!!!! We did go to an attorney and he said it was hard to fight them and didn't think we should throw good money after bad. Lantana, FL

BV002384

02:59PM | 10/22/13
Thank you for the reviews. I was just about to spend $10,000 on the Brazilian teak. You have helped me to avoid a lot of prblems. Ron

BV002384

03:01PM | 10/22/13
At lumber Liquidators. I'm surprised they are not honoring the warranty. Ron

BV002754

03:11PM | 12/09/13
We have had a similar gapping problem with brazilian walnut from LL. We also let it acclimate for 1-2 weeks before install. We installed it ourselves - over 1000 sq ft- but had a contractor come and make sure we were doing it right at the beginning. About 3-4 months after installation we noticed that it was starting to gap all over the place. You can see a single board narrow along its length! At first I thought it was due to winter weather v. summer humidity, but after 2 years, the gapping has not changed with the seasons at all. I'm afraid we are just up a creek without a paddle...
Has anyone had any luck with fighting this?


BV003214

04:16PM | 02/10/14
PROPER SEASONING AND INSTALLATION OF EXOTIC HARDWOOD FLOORING - I build wood boats so I've dealt with lots of wood problems caused by moisture and temperature changes. Difficult woods such as Cumaru (Brazillian Teak) need to be dry first (up to one year from fresh cut per inch of thickness). They then need to be acclimated to the installation environment. Properly dried solid wood 3/4" thick Cumaru would benefit from being stacked and stored for a couple of months in the same air conditioned space as the intended installation. It should be stacked with stickers (small wood sticks for separation) between each layer of the stack. The air conditioning/heating should be on to normal living conditions. Good Quality engineered wood flooring can/should be acclimated within a few days under these same conditions. Finallly installation should be on a sealed plywood subfloor (underlayment) that is separated from below by a full moisture barrier (moisture impermeable plastic sheet). The flooring itself should be glued and stapled to the plywood subfloor using full coverage 'moisture barrier' adhesive on both the bottom and all edges (including the tongues and grooves). The flooring should also be finished on top with a good moisture barrier finish (urethane finishes are common these days). All of this serves to moderate and slow any flow of moisture between the inside air and the wood flooring. End grain is particularly succeptible to absorbing moisture so it should get special attention in the sealing process. Epoxy is generally the best adhesive for all the sealing and adhesive gluing. Even small moisture variation in this type of hardwood (Cumaru) produces extreme stress and dimensional change. It's an expensive and time consuming installation process to do correctly. Sellers of this material, and professional installers should know these problems and their solutions. It should also be part of any thorough and forthright installation instructions. If you have an installation that has gone bad, try to get some justice in the small claims court in your area. It seems from the stories here that Lumber Liquidators Customer Service is anything but what it claims to be. Try some great domestic hardwoods for an alternative. Quarter Sawn Oak, Maple, Ash, and Hickory are good cost effective alternatives. They're also much more sustainably harvested these days relative to what's happening in the rain forests of the Amazon.

BV003366

07:39PM | 02/25/14
Im a installer in Illinois;I have the same problem with my installs.And it is the exotic woods that im have issues with shrinkage.Brazilian cheery,teak,asian walnut.The wood I install is not from LL.. My thought is,product issue or,,,
I think everyone needs to consider the climate where this material comes from.Our climate is considerably different.

BV003405

04:49AM | 03/02/14
I have had the same problems as everyone here. Is it going to make any difference if I spend $300 to hire my own Inspector? Has anyone had any success with recouping their money in Small Claims Court, Better Business Bureau or in any other way? The box has 100 year warranty on it. I am told that because the humidity level has to be maintained at 30-50 percent my warranty is no good. Help me if you can.

BV003458

10:22PM | 03/06/14
We are professional installers in Atlanta. We installed this product in a home after the wood had been in the home for 4 weeks in boxes with the ends opened, and then racked out on the floor for four days. The product widths were inconsistent right out of the box. We moisture tested thought the installation area and random pieces of wood and found no more than 2 degrees variation. The width of the planks varied as much as 1/4" Many planks have dings and dents. We had to line up the rows with like sized widths. There were still gaps. Planks were tight on one end and had up gaps so large you can drop a quarter into them on the other end. We used a trowel to glue the wood and nails to nail it. We will never install this crap again. The client blames us for a crappy installation because of all of the gaps.
Bellawood shit

BV003549

08:27PM | 03/14/14
Like many oily woods, Cumaru (Brazilian Teak) is very difficult to dry properly. While a proper pin meter will give what would normally be an accurate reading on many species, it doesn't take into account oils that are deep within the plank. Over time this oil migrates through the wood and right out of it, in fact. So the wood has lost "moisture" in a manner of speaking. It has therefore dried and shrunk. A normal moisture reading taken at install wouldn't have been accurate anyway.
We have had experience with this and many other oily species and most are bad news. Just because it's wood and makes a pretty floor doesn't mean it should be used that way.

BV003700

07:20AM | 03/27/14
I've been a installer for L.L. For md my years . The majority of everything they sell has issues at one time or another. Most of their wood is shipped in from CHINA by boat . Moisture content , quality control , and .... Are just a handful of the reasons for poor product. Inspectors that come out and inspect your floors are for the Corporation that sells the wood flooring and etc.. Inspectors will either blame on installer issue or customer issue ( they will write up report against one or both ). They will always say it's not a product warranty issue ! A inspector make great money and are busy 24/7 ( some get free travel as well ). They make their money by protecting the wood floor manufacturers ( it's like a insurance policy for them ). They can also change their inspection sheets just by talking to the corporate power even though one has already been submitted .

BV010735

08:54AM | 03/02/16
Hi,
Just looking at the website and saw your awful predicament. Don't know if you thought about making a claim but well worth it.

BV010735

08:55AM | 03/02/16
Hi,
Just looking at the website and saw your awful predicament. Don't know if you thought about making a claim but well worth it.

BV013912

04:23AM | 05/17/17
I have facing the same problem but with badminton court. I wanna share some snaps....

BV016233

10:34PM | 04/24/18
Thank you all for educating me that l.l. is just a bad actor that offers holow warranty.

BV020890

10:22PM | 11/17/19
We have the identical problem with 2,100 square feet of what was once beautiful teak and now terribly gapped. So sad that Lumber Liquidators does this to unsuspecting patrons every day their doors are open.

Roger in Renton, WA


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