What is “checking”?

Q: I hear our new engineered hardwood floors are ‘checking’ everywhere. Though I’m not sure what checking is – please describe and is this normal?

A: I wouldn’t have expected an engineered floor to do this. Woodfloorsonline.com Has a glossary of terms under their FAQ section which explains what ‘checking’ is. What species of wood is this? Another related site mentions some exotic species and the need to make sure the wood if properly dried or checking could occur: Exoticwoodfloors.com.

Further, I have a wood dictionary which defines ‘checking’ this way: a lumber defect caused by uneven shrinking of the wood during drying. A checked board has splits which develop lengthwise across the growth rings.

Is it possible that this product was purchased from some far off place such as…let me see….China? Did the installers take moisture readings of the product before they started installing? If it had abnormal readings for whatever reason and then started drying out after installation perhaps this may have caused the problem. However, in that severe scenario, I would also have expected separation between the boards themselves. I think the manufacturer should send a representative to have a look.