The nature of my latest Independent flooring inspection was a strange one.
It was a beautiful period property lovingly restored, keeping as many of the original features as possible.
The floors were replaced using a pine species, tongue and grooved. They had been lovingly sanded, polished, coloured and lacquered; a very tidy job. Until you looked at the gaps.
Most of the gaps were tightly closed. But spread fairly evenly across the floor, there were big 4, 5 and 6mm ones, ouch!
This happens when the sides of the boards are bonded together with, most likely, a strong lacquer. As the floor boards shrink naturally, they cannot do so individually as they are bonded together. Instead, the collective energy builds up over a number of boards, until a joint breaks at a weaker point.
95% of the gaps remain closed, while 5% are wide and ugly. If a primer had been used before a lacquer had been applied, when the floor shrank, the primer being weaker than the lacquer, would have allowed the boards to shrink individually. This looks natural, normal, and aesthetically pleasing.
Remember to use the primer !!!!!