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lahamilton 01-05-2006 09:59 AM

"Floating Floor"
My wife and I recently purchased our first new home. The Kitchen floor is a laminate product (Easy Lock II). When walking across the floor, I notice the floor giving or flexing up and down. My builder says that is what a floating floor does, but I'm not buying it. Am I right to understand a "floating floor" simply means the product is not glued or nailed down? Am I right to beging pushing for repairs/replacement? The home has a one year warranty on all items. Thanks for any input.

Teetorbilt 01-05-2006 10:57 AM

Need to know a little more about the subfloor. Concrete? Wood? How much flex?

Floating floors usually have some flex to them and much of this depends on the underlay. A common cause of major flexing (more than 1/16") is bridging, this is when the subfloor is not flat to begin with and the floating flooring 'bridges' over the low spots.

This is rather rare but I have seen it in inexpensive homes and that is the subfloor flexing.

If I were you, I would call someone for a professional opinion before your warrantee is up. I'd call somebody like Carpet One (national corp.) and ask if one of their installers could drop by and just take a look at it.

Zero Punch 01-05-2006 11:13 AM

Could be several factors for the flex. Substrate not smooth and level. Is it a wood or concrete subfloor? Flooring cut too tight and has expanded, cause material not acclimated to job site before installation or possible temporary heat source unvented gas of propane heater used during construction.

Floating floors unless on a rock solid perfectly smooth and level subfloor, which is rare in track homes will have some up down movement, because they are floating. The real question is how much? That can depend on the size of the people involved and how they walk. I have 60# on the wife but she stomps around whereas she accuses me of sneeking around maybe I'm light footed from sneeking around the woods after little furrie critters.

Bottom line we need some more info.

Floorwizard 01-05-2006 11:48 AM

I agree.
Could be normal, could be bad.

lahamilton 01-05-2006 02:49 PM

Standard wood subfloor. Have not measured flex amount, but quite noticeable if watching someone walk across floor. Can see the laminate sink/flex beneath person. Probably 1/16-1/8 if I were guessing. Just enought your average joe like me says "hmmm." Padding underneath is standard as far as I can tell, by no means carpet padding, but seems to be think enough. I weigh in around 235 and the wife around 130# and the family bulldog comes in about 60lbs. I'm hoping this is nothing, just inexperience on my part, but I like the suggestion about getting a professional in to judge. Thanks for the help and any further suggestions are appreciated.

CGofMP 01-05-2006 10:35 PM

Is this a tract home?

If it is and if they have models open with similar flooring go to one of them and if you do not notice this same issue there you could mention that to them as well.

I agree with T-Built however. Get someone that knows their *stuff* in there to have a look and see if you are over-reacting or if you have a legitimate problem.

Take action accordingly.

jproffer 01-05-2006 10:45 PM


I weigh in around 235 and the wife around 130# and the family bulldog comes in about 60lbs.
You now have bigger problems that we can't get involved in. You told your wife's weight on a public forum:eek: ...are you crazy??...she'll hurt you AND us. I, for one, am going to run (not walk) out of this thread forever:D

fisher501 01-06-2006 08:36 AM

If the flex is more noticable in one spot than others, then you have a low spot that wasn't addressed prior to installation. I don't care what anyone tells you, you should not feel the flexing in a floating floor as much as you seem to be. I'd do what everyone here is recommending and get a pro in to reassure you that you may have problems in the future! Do it before the warrantee expires and good luck!

justdon 01-11-2006 01:16 PM

One thing not mentioned. Whats below this floor? Basement? Unfinished ceiling? Can you watch this while somebody heavier than either the wife or Bulldog walks across? Can you see the seams of where subfloor is across between joists flexing? "IF" it is open and plain view, can you add blocking under it to shore it up? If finished, how big of area would you be willing or able to have torn out to do so? Sounds easier to come from bottom up on this project, depending of course!

lahamilton 01-13-2006 09:42 AM

Just FYI, I brought in the hired guns today. I currently have a certified home inspector in the house as I type this. He's already brought me up to speed on several concerns about the floor and brought up information I had no idea about.
To answer Justdon's question, no, unfortunatley in this case, the finished basement prevents me from seeing the above floor. However, the inspector tells me the the subfloor is off just enough in spots (slight "low spots")and is adding to the problem. He inspected one other home just up the street 2 weeks ago because of similar concerns and as you would think, is finding more of the same. Seems like the kitchen is about 225 sq ft. "if" my math is right. Learning a lot this morning. I'll post more as the inspector finishes and gets his report to us.

lahamilton 01-13-2006 09:48 AM

CGofMP- Not sure what you mean by a tact home. If that is the same a spec home then yes. This builder puts them up one at a time in a small but growing subdivision and has managed to get a buyer before completion or just after. Just he and his son-in-law. Well established in title business and some construction according to the references I checked. He hasn't used me as a reference yet though!!

ron schenker 01-14-2006 06:42 PM

Just curious Newbie, did you have an impartial home inspector inspect the house before you bought it?

lahamilton 01-18-2006 10:07 AM

No. Wishing I would have though.

garwoode 02-20-2009 11:33 AM

speaking of floating floors.....
I have a sunroom that faces the south. The floor is a plywood floor over decking (room used to be a covered porch. This room is not heated or it has extreme temperatures from very very hot in the summer to cold in the winter. Would a floating laminate floor be a good answer for flooring since it could expand and contract with the various temperatures?? Would I have problems with sweating, buckling, etc??

onlinehandyman 02-20-2009 12:01 PM

Garwoode - very possible considering all of the expansion and contraction that the floor will be subject to.

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