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Q: We just had new floors installed in a 1 year old home, on the entire first floor, with a crawl space underneath. This is a redo job since the original floor had to be ripped up, because of major cupping due to moisture in the subfloor. Now we have new, prefinished floors (on a dry subfloor). In various locations we hear a popping or cracking sound in hardwood floors. Any ideas, before we go back to the installer?

A: This would likely be the floor shrinking. Especially if the tongue and groove are a very tight fit, any movement is likely to make a sound like that. Nothing to worry about yet. Try to keep the RH in the home as constant as possible, or avoid sudden, dramatic swings in humidity.

Follow-up Q: Thanks for the reply. What’s odd is that this started right after the installers left. We’ll keep an eye on it.

A: I’ve only had that happen on one of my installations. The tongue and groove of the pre finished floor were so tight, I could barely pull them apart when taking the boards out of the box. With a tight fit like that, any movement is going to make a noise. Hope for the best.

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