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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Unhappy My Oak Floors Keep Denting!

    Hi,

    I recently installed new oak flooring. I had a party and after the party, I noticed small dents all over the floor. It looks like someone with high heels made the dents. How does this happen to oak flooring? My flooring was on the cheaper side, but's still oak. Is cheaper oak flooring from younger oak trees that aren't as hard as older ones? That's the only thing I can think of. My father has oak flooring (was a little more expensive) and I've never noticed dents in his floor. I really want to know why this happens so I can avoid it in the future. It's so frustrating to have my hard work and money go to waste. Any information, opinions, or guesses are greatly appreciated.

    -Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: My Oak Floors Keep Denting!

    I suspect you have installed a cheap oak laminate floor rather than solid oak.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
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    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: My Oak Floors Keep Denting!

    No, anyone knows the difference between laminate and solid wood floor. This is 3/4 inch thick tongue and groove oak flooring.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: My Oak Floors Keep Denting!

    Quote Originally Posted by jwdyott View Post
    No, anyone knows the difference between laminate and solid wood floor. This is 3/4 inch thick tongue and groove oak flooring.
    No offense meant, but you said "new oak flooring" which could be either.
    Is the wood dented or is it just the finish that is "dented"? Any one have a cane they were taping on the floor? Oak, either red or white is pretty hard but it will dent. I haven't seen it happen with just foot traffic though.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: My Oak Floors Keep Denting!

    Quote Originally Posted by jwdyott View Post
    Hi,

    I had a party and after the party, I noticed small dents all over the floor. It looks like someone with high heels made the dents. How does this happen to oak flooring? My flooring was on the cheaper side, but's still oak.
    you're probably right on with your guess on where the marks came from. was it a costume party? was their dancing? foot stomping? anyone picking up other people? sure metal tips on high heels or a missing heel pad with an exposed NAIL or spats on boots under a heavy enough person can be brutal on wood floors. maybe if your floor's moisture content was high might have made compression from a concentrated point load worse. dropping things on the floor can dent it too. so can unprotected chair legs table legs, sofa legs etc. when heavily loaded and no pad under them. First place I'd look is the floor side underside of every piece of furniture wouldn't be surprised if you have a metal shape just that size embedded in the center of at least one of those furniture legs.

    you can try lifting the dents with steam might work might not. might ruin the finish.

    P.S. what is the subfloor situation?
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 12-07-2008 at 06:59 PM. Reason: added post script

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: My Oak Floors Keep Denting!

    JLMCDANIEL,

    No offense taken. I'm just tired and really frustrated, so sorry about that. I'm not really sure if it's the wood that's dented or just the finish, but the dents are really obvious when light hits it. They're small circular dents (smaller than an eraser on a pencil, but still very visible and they are all over the place). I think it was probably a woman wearing high heels that had been worn down and a nail made the dents. Is it normal for denting to occur in oak from this? Wouldn't everyone's hardwood floors be dented? I just finished all the hardwood only a week ago. I can't imagine checking every woman's shoes as she comes into my house.

    Blue RidgeParkway,

    It was just a normal party. Nobody was picking up anyone else, so I wouldn't think that more than 160 pounds would've been on the high heels. There wasn't any dancing or foot stomping either. The only objects touching the floor would've been shoes, since it's a small area without furniture. I don't know if the moisture in the floor was high, but I did recently install the floor. Maybe I just had to be careful before the wood lost some of it's moisture. So far I tried using a damp towel on the floor and ran an iron over it. It didn't seem to change anything. I've heard that I might have to poke a very small hole in the floor for the wood to accept the moisture and pop the dent out?

    The subfloor is 3/4 inch plywood. On top of that is a 1/8 inch sheet of plywood I put down to make the floor even with the adjacent bathroom floor. On top of that is two layers of tar paper.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    731

    Default Re: My Oak Floors Keep Denting!

    No chance someone was wearing cleats or spikes (ball players or golfers) and walked on your floor is there? even the soft spikes can wreak havoc on a wood floor.

    First give it time it may pop out on its own. hopefully the finish remains intact.

    Second, don't worry about it. some folks actually pay EXTRA for antiqued or "pre-distressed" looking pre-finished flooring. if the finish looks good but if it is as you describe, yep stilletto heels WILL DAMAGE WOOD FLOORS.

    Its like the first scratch or ding on a new car, then you can park in the regular close spaces and stop stressing on it; same with the floor, it has fallen victim to someone's sense of fashion. Put down some mats or carpets at the doorways for wiping shoes and have good stiff mats outside for folks to get stones out of soles, wipe off mud, etc. a runner for the high traffic areas might help. Some house shoes for future guests wearing stiletto heels to change into might be a worthy investment, ask them to remove their floor damaging footwear and offer them a comfortable alternative.

    This is what those heels look like:
    As you can see they concentrate the entire load to a tiny diameter metal dowel pin. the plastic heel pad doesn't share the load on the heel it only protects the dowel pin from directly scratching the floor for a little while.

    If you check your flooring warranty you'll likely find verbatim this quote from Mohawk Hardwood Warranties, Limited warranty for Prefinished Solid, Engineered, and Longstrip Floors (under Limitations), because it comes from flooring manufacturers organizations' expert industry reports:

    "Indentations from Stiletto Heels on Shoes - A stiletto heal can concentrate as much as 2,000 pounds per square inch on the floor. This type of heel has a diameter of approximately 3/8", and walking on any wood surface with stiletto heels is considered an abusive situation. Seller will not replace any (insert brand name here) Product damaged by stiletto heels on shoes."
    you'll probably also see just before or after that language a section on abuse similar if not identical to this:
    "Accidents, Abuse or Abnormal Wear -- This warranty does not cover damage resulting from accidents or abuses that stain or scratch the finish, diminished gloss, or indent the surface of the wood. It also does not cover damage caused by heavy or concentrated foot traffic, damage by pets claws (nails), and failure to protect the floor from sand, gravel and other abrasives by use of walk off mats."
    Meantime no one else is going to likely notice and if they do - point out the pre-distressed lived-in finish and how its so much more expensive!
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 12-07-2008 at 10:21 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    980

    Default Re: My Oak Floors Keep Denting!

    was it solid oak planks or was it oak flooring veneer? from the surface they look virtually the same but it will dent.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    MN
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    455

    Default Re: My Oak Floors Keep Denting!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue RidgeParkway View Post
    no chance someone was wearing cleats or spikes (ball players or golfers) and walked on your floor is there? even the soft spikes can wreak havoc on a wood floor.
    Not sure how this is helping?

    jwdyott, Definatley heart breaking , sorry to hear.
    Seeing that this floor was recently done I'm wondering it it's the finish that's marked because it wasn't cured properly and may not be the wood so much.
    Not sure but if you want to get rid of the marks you might have to refinish the floor or maybe over time it will become character.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: My Oak Floors Keep Denting!

    FWIW...I think bsum1 may have hit on it.

    Depending, but most likely....if the finish was only a week old, it wasn't fully cured and hardened. Again assuming.....if you put down two or more coats of oil-based poly or waterborne poly...these would not become fully hardened for approx. a month or even more. If that is/was the case as regards the choice of finish, then it's way more likely that the finish is dented than the wood *if* there were no bare nails or similar sticking thru the heels of these shoes.

    Would be easier to determine on site, but if it is just the finish that's dented and the dents are rather small/tiny-ish....then you should be able to scuff the existing finish and lay down another full coat to hopefully remedy the situation. Stick with whatever the existing finish is now if you add another coat. If it's oil-based, you can likely proceed tomorrow. However, if it's a waterborne finish...I would probably wait another week or even two before adding another coat.

    (The above *might* work too even if the dents are in the wood also. It's mostly a matter of how big those dents they are.)

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