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branjack 12-22-2007 03:01 PM

Buckling of Laminate floors
I have recently had laminate floors installed in most of my home except for the wet areas. I used a contractor. I know he did not allow the flooring to acclimate in our envirnoment before installing it. I live in Houston, TX or shall I say Humid, TX. My floors are now buckling through out the house. He said that it is not his responsibilty, but he did try and rectify the situation and placed screws where it was coming up. Yes I know I have a real winner for a contractor. The floors are even worse now. Help what do I do besides tear up the floors and start all over.

:confused1: Branjack

Chris Johnson 12-22-2007 05:12 PM

I would have to say you hired a jackleg for sure. Chances are he ran the product too tight to the walls and left no room for expansion. Screws!!! what was he thinking?

I would suggest you remove the floor and scrap the screwed pieces, start over leaving a gap at the wall areas to allow for expansion. Hopefully you don't loose too much material.

AtlanticWBConst. 12-22-2007 05:54 PM

As stated, you didn't hire a contractor, you hired a HACK.

Acclimating flooring is one of the single most important stages to installing wood or laminate flooring.

... He tried to ''fix'' it by installing screws? What a hack...

Sorry to say this, but you tried to save money, and it's going to cost you more to get it done right. The flooring should all be taken up and re-done. You may be able to salvage some of it, I don't know....

Good Luck....

Floorwizard 12-22-2007 07:14 PM

if it is just because of expansion, then you can cut just the edges of the boards where it meets the wall to allow for more expansion space.
a dremel tool may be a good tool for this.
thay may relax the floor enough so you will not need to scrap the whole thing.

Sammy 12-22-2007 07:19 PM

At the least file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and State Contractor Board.

Might spark him into action but at least will raise a flag for future customers.

MinConst 12-22-2007 08:11 PM

Why do people do things when they have no clue and are even too lazy to find out how before hand? Sorry for your very poor experance with this bum.

peter1 12-23-2007 05:28 AM

I've seem this happening in a rug store recently. The installer only left expansion gaps around the walls, but no gaps in the center. I thought there should be gaps every 30ft or so.

Anyway, at the time of my visit they were using grinder to make gaps, needless to say dust flying everywhere (I wouldn't buy a rug from there). Ironically they also sell laminates there, I thought they should know better.

It's scary how people do things these days, a friend had a contractor not only he didn't allow time for acclimatiom, he poured leveling compound and layed the floor on the same day!

tribe_fan 12-23-2007 07:46 AM

Florcraft - Do you have a specific Dremil blade to recommend ? I need to do this for an in-law this week.


Floorwizard 12-23-2007 10:02 PM

I have never owned one.
Not sure about bit types.

Hopefully the bearded one will bring me one for Christmas?

ponch37300 12-25-2007 02:16 PM

Wow, sorry to hear that some guy off the street tried to put floors in. He must have been in a hurry to get to the next job to screw that up cause the directions clearly state to leave an expansion joint next to the walls. First it IS this guys problem since he took on a job without knowing what he was doing. I would think this would be an easy case to prove since didn't install the floor to manufacturer instructions at all. First like already mentioned the floor will need to come up to do this right. Hopefullly the tongue and groove joints aren't ruined from the floor buckling. You can try to use a rotozip and hope for the best, i would use a wood cut off wheel in the zipmate right angle cut off attachment. Good luck, i don't know if it is worth it or not but i don't think i would live with "It's not my responsibility" for an answer from this contractor.

nyfloors 12-25-2007 09:24 PM

Before jumping on the bandwagon here and ripping his contractor a new one, can I ask what you mean by laminate floors? When you say laminate, are you referring to an engineered wood floor that has some type of plywood backing with a veneer of real wood, or a completely synthetic high-pressure laminate floor?

If the latter, has anyone considered that moisture issues might be the problem? I've never even heard of expansion and contraction issues with a high-pressure laminate ... the stuff is pretty much plastic ... it doesn't expand/contract like wood.

Do you have a history of moisture problems with the sub-floor over which you laid the material? If a concrete slab, was the moisture content less than 8-10%?

tribe_fan 12-25-2007 09:45 PM

Shouldn't the contractor have dealt with a potential moisture problem by using plastic sheeting ?

The gapping and letting the laminate acclimate is something I would expect a Pro to know - its on all laminate instructions, as it the moisture warning.

Putting in a screw on a floating floor - that's a hack.

nyfloors 12-25-2007 09:53 PM

Yes, putting a screw through the top of the floor is a hack.

If the sub-floor was exposed prior to installation, then an experienced installer should have noted an issue with excessive moisture at the estimate.

It still hasn't been established whether this was engineered wood or high-pressure laminate ... this is a very big factor to consider.

Floorwizard 12-26-2007 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by nyfloors (Post 82964)
If the latter, has anyone considered that moisture issues might be the problem? I've never even heard of expansion and contraction issues with a high-pressure laminate ... the stuff is pretty much plastic ... it doesn't expand/contract like wood.

But it does have a wood core.
True an engineered wood can have additional problems, and I do agree we should get more info.
I just think if Wilsonart Estate lam floor was installed without expansion gaps, then the same problem can occur.

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