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Old 08-13-2007, 05:06 PM   #1
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Bouncy/squeaky laminate floor


About two weeks ago, contractors came to my apartment and installed new laminate flooring. I like it, but in certain areas I can feel it to be a bit bouncy when I walk on it. It also makes a squeak/creak sound in those areas.

It has been installed over concrete. The contractors have told me this can't be fixed. Is this true? I've now been doing research and am concerned the concrete might not be flat in those areas and that is the reason for this. Does anyone have any advice regarding this. The bounce is really bothersome to my wife.

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Old 08-13-2007, 06:39 PM   #2
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Bouncy/squeaky laminate floor


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I've now been doing research and am concerned the concrete might not be flat in those areas and that is the reason for this.
Bingo! Check the product install instructions which should tell you the minimum tolerance for flatness. If the people you hired were supposed to rectify any issues with the subfloor prior to install based on the manufacturers instructions, have them come back and correct the problem. Basically won't be able to fix it without tearing it back up or if it's only in one small area they could cut some planks out and correct the floor and then patch it back up.

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Old 08-13-2007, 07:55 PM   #3
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Bouncy/squeaky laminate floor


This is tricky as "reverse" indicated, you'll likely have to rip it up to fix it. So depending on what was agreed to, they may or may not come back to rectify... or do it at additional cost.

With a floating installation, it is very difficult to have absolutely no bounce. Things like underlay and leveling help reduce this. Did they put any underlay down, like an acoustic foam?
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Old 08-13-2007, 11:25 PM   #4
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Bouncy/squeaky laminate floor


Thanks for the response. They did use an underlay. A certain type is required apparently for noise control in my building and that is the one that they used. I wasn't aware that there were different kinds until after the installation and just went with what they told me to use. I have talked to the contractor and he says he will do nothing about it. He says if the floor wasn't level I should have fixed it myself before asking them to come and put down laminate floor. He said that the customer is responsible for making sure the floor is level and they only do the installation. However, that is why I hired professionals. If I knew the floor had to be level and I could do the installation myself, I wouldn't have hired them. I didn't even know about the importance of the floor being level until AFTER the installation. When we started to have problems, I started researching and found out that this is usually caused by an unlevel floor. I called three other installation companies and none of them said I would have had to make sure the floor was level. Two of them said that is one of the most important aspects of installing laminate and they would have checked the floor and used some type of levelling compound BEFORE the installation if the floor wasn't level. I can't believe my contractor thinks I should have known this and fixed it for him before he started. I am beginning to think I may have to hire someone else to fix this and go to court with the original contractor. I'm not going to pay for a mistake he made or did not even tell me could be an issue. It's not like he said your floor might not be level and I told him to go ahead and put the floor down. He claims that I should rip the floor up myself, level the floor and then have them come back to fix it. I'm noticing more problems with their work and I don't feel I can trust them to fix the job when they did such a bad job in the first place. Plus, the contractor isn't treating me too well now. I guess after I've paid him, he doesn't want to be worried about it anymore. It seemed to be a problem in just one area, but as we are looking at the floor more closely, there are a few areas that when you step on it, you can actually see that the laminate depresses down a bit (only slightly) but enough that it is a concern. On another board, they told me to make sure there was a 1/4" around the wall. I don't know if I should rip up the sides of the wall in one area to make sure they left space or not. Now I'm afraid the whole floor might start to buckle if the depression is because there is not enough space around the edges. I have also learned that they are supposed to let the laminate sit in our house 48 hours before installation to acclimate or there could be problems. They brought the laminate in and started installing it right out of the box, so it hadn't sat in our house for anytime at all. I'm getting more and more concerned about this problem. Thank you for your responses.
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Old 08-13-2007, 11:53 PM   #5
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Bouncy/squeaky laminate floor


Acclimation helps reduce the amount of shrinking or expanding of the laminate or wood flooring, so depending on the condition of the laminate, it may not make too big a difference, but never the less, most (if not all) manufacturers recommend this.

The 1/4" gap is to help with expansion, so if you think the bounce is from expansion buckling the floor, maybe you can trim off the edge and the buckling would be lessened. I don't know how this would work as I've never tried it.

In terms of court, it'll likely be a waste of time and money. The buyer beware clause will likely apply. ie; if you don't have it in a contract verbal or otherwise, that states that they are to level the floor, you'll have a hard case. It's easy to show they are unprofessional, but to prove negligence is another thing... but I'm no lawyer, so just MHO...
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