Dents in Brand New Home Engineered Floor - Is This Considered a Defect?

Hi all,

Am building a brand new house now in VIC and the builder prematurely (in my opinion) lifted the floor protective covering. Now the engineered wooden floor has a bunch of bad dents across various locations thanks to tradies walking through and still doing work.

We will be inspecting for defects across the whole property in a few weeks.

Are these wooden floor dents considered defects and things the builder will have to fix prior to handover? I am totally stressed about it as I feel the builder is going to fight me and try to argue they are not.

I can't find anything in the Victorian Building Authoring handbook about "Guide to Standards and Tolerances"

All comments appreciated.


  • this will be covered prior to handover - inform them this. they will fix this. along with paint but at a certain distance allowed for "defects" . its the norm

    • Ok, definitely sounds like it will be a battle because I know my builder will argue you can’t see from a distance or some BS! But you can…

  • +2 votes

    IMO not defects, but they damaged it, so they ought to fix it.

    Like if your builder (Or car dealership) dented your car…

  • Photos?

    • MSPaint is the standard around here.

    • +16 votes

      Look like this:



      • Ok so from what I can see the x is pretty typical from a dropped tool, you probably will have to just accept this as wear and tear since it would likely occur in your first year anyway. They've just saved you and your partner an argument over who damaged the floor first.

        The round hole is a completely different situation they have stuffed up and tried to drill into the wrong place in you floor, they should fix this. Push for a replacement board.

    • I don’t know if I have any without other identifying features. Need to be careful, will have a look when I get time but it’s pretty standard denting.

  • have you spoken to your site supervisor about this?

  • Ah yes the age old debate whether you cover the fresh engineered floor or uncover it totally in the final stages of build.

    1. Cover it and magically all trades assume they can drop anything they want onto it (which still penetrates and dents the floor but you don't realise until you uncover but now you don't know which trade did it)

    2. Uncover it totally so it is very obvious to all trades that it is a delicate floor and it will be obvious it they dent it.

    Pros and cons to both approaches.

    • Yes I hate engineered floors and knew I’d live to regret the softness but you can’t beat the light colour options. Hardwoods are just so dark.

      • Engineered flooring is not a timber but a type of of timber flooring.

        Most Engineered flooring is Oak but you can Engineered flooring in Hardwood.

        Blackbutt is a Hardwood but light in colour compared to spotted gum?

        What timber is your Engineered flooring?

        So some photos but at the end of the day the builder should repair/replace the board.. it's not so easy to repair.

      • Don't worry - hardwood dents as well.

    • Why not install last-ish?
      You don't wash a car from the bottom up

      • Yes my builder has not done things the way I would have….unfortunately you can’t tell him how to do his job. Very frustrating. Next time I’d put into the contract the order I wanted things done if I could.

      • Most likely because the owner/builder wants to install skirting over the timber flooring. This is the better way but it can get damaged.

  • Whilst not being 100% with Vic's rules, my take is that if the damage is enough that it will affect the longevity of the product you should be fine to push the builder to rectify.

    If the damage is purely cosmetic then at the very least it will need to be visible from a normal viewing position and I'd say that will be standing up with only natural light. There may also be a size tolerance, you'd have to look right through the standards and tolerances to see if there is something similar.

    Also try seeing the the VBA has an info line, they may be able to give you some good pointers on what is and isn't considered acceptable.

    Lastly, do consider getting a building inspector to do the practical completion inspection with you. I had a relative who is an inspector look over my new builds, they found some things which I had missed.

    • Thanks mate, very helpful advice. I will definitely look into the building inspector.

    • Not just natural light, it can be a diffused light source (i.e ceiling light). Can't be a torch shined on the spot, also at a standing viewing distance of 1.5m I think (check the standards and tolerances)

      The engineered floorboards were selected and extra paid for a reason - aesthetics. If it is bad, get them to fix it but also be prepared to let some smaller things slide. You can't win them all.

      With the inspector, do be aware that they will inspect for adherence to building standards, not for what you paid. They will check to see if any dips/falls of the floor are within tolerance, not whether the builder has installed the flooring you have specified.

      Also note that they are human and will pick up most things but something can still be missed, in my case the internal wall brackets were nailed hard to the trusses which resulted in the center portion of the roof lifting up in winter..