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My Build Direct Nightmare with hardwood flooring

writersbrother's picture

Purchased around 2000 sq feet of build direct Vanier Cosmopolitan Santos Mahogany engineered hardwood flooring.  About 1 week after installing the upstairs and downstairs of the house started to see cracks and even a plank delaminating where the top hardwood layer actually comes up from the underlying plywood layers.  Stopped further installation of the stairs, and waited, and waited and waited for Build Direct to send an inspector.  Weeks pass and finally the inspector shows up from Build Direct who does a very quick 35 min examination.  He did not even look at the entire downstairs flooring, he did not even look at cracking and delaminating wood that had not even been installed.  His report stated no conclusions or causes for the problems, but Build Direct comes up with their own opinion stating that it was installation issues blaming the installer.  All during this time waiting for the inspector, the flooring continues to crack and delaminate with many  planks of flooring literally coming up.  It is now totally unacceptable. 

I hired my own independent certified hardwood flooring inspector certified as expert witness in my state courts)  who stated in his report that the delamination and cracks were manufacturing issues.  Thus the only opinion from any inspector (since build directs inspector did not write any opinion of cause) is that the cracking and delaminating is due to manufacturing issues.  I have confirmed the opinion that delamination is a manufactuing issue PERIOD unless your floor has literally been flooded (which it has not) with every single installer I have asked in the months since this has happened.  I have also confirmed with the national wood flooring association, that the inspector sent by Build Direct is not even certified to do wood flooring inspections. 


Build Direct continues to deny responsibility for the flooring problems, and has offered to sell me OTHER wood more appropriate for my environmen at a discount. l Build Direct shipped directly to my location, so they know where I lived.  If they knew that my location had an environment inappropriate for the problem that I purchased, they should not have sold it to me in the first place.  Bottom line is that a certified independent hardwood flooring inspector has determined that the problems are due to the manufacturer, and yet they refuse to accept responsiblility.  Build Direct is located in Canada making it very difficult to sue them.  Thus my only current alternative is to dispute the credit card charge.  Even if I win this dispute however, I would still be left with the cost of ripping up the current terrible flooring, repreparing the subfloor, purchasing new flooring , and paying for installation.  The costs for all of this would double the original 20K budget of this job. 

Dont repeat my nightmare.  Build Direct sold me a defective product, and does not support their product now that it has failed. 

Installation (post #205462, reply #1 of 2)

I have been installing flooring for 20 plus years and we were just looking at flooring from Build Direct... You post has me very concerned. Would you mind answering a couple questions.

What type flooring 3/4 hardwood, Engineered , Laminate if engineered or laminate, what thickness.

Was it glue down, staple down or nail down.

Surface it is on, Plywood, Concrete or OSB

Was moisture test done.

Looking at your floor I am 90% sure it is defective product.

FYI, you're posting to a 3 (post #205462, reply #2 of 2)

FYI, you're posting to a 3 year old thread and to someone who doesn't post here anymore.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.