Will replacing a few strips cause the floor to buckle later on?

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Q: I recently purchased a newly built home with maple hardwood floors throughout the house. The builder installed the floors and then a few sub-trades came in to install doors and paint. As a result, the floors have some scratches and a few deep nicks throughout the home, as well as paint splashes. The boards are in strips and the builder has offered to replace a few strips here and there and then sand down and refinish other areas. I’ve been told that replacing a few strips will only cause the floor to buckle down the road. Is this true? Is replacing a few strips and sanding a viable option to re-doing the whole area? My fear is that the floors will buckle a few months later.

A: If this is factory finished flooring, the only way you will get an exact match is by replacing the boards or having all the floors sanded. No, replacing boards doesn’t cause your floor to buckle. Only excessive moisture can cause that.

Similar Q: We have just purchased a new home with approximately 1200-1300 sq. feet of 3/4 inch pre-finished Oak hardwood flooring. About 250-300 boards are split. The contractor wants to replace the boards. Is it feasible to replace this number of boards without affecting the integrity of the floor? We are concerned that the floor will never be the same, and that we will end up with a major repaired floor as opposed to the “new” floor we expected to come with our new house.

A: That is a huge number of boards to replace. No doubt about that. Is this pre-finished flooring? If they use a good adhesive I don’t see that this would be inferior to what you have now, but if this isn’t pre-finished, it would all have to be sanded again.

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