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Old 11-03-2013, 05:47 PM   #1
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


Hey folks.

A couple of years ago, we had the carpet removed and laminate flooring installed in our house. Within a few weeks, the tongue and grooves on some of the planks were snapping so the boards were basically no longer attached to each other. The good news was that we had the floor installed by one of the big retailers so they brought in a second subcontractor to rip out the old floor and reinstall it "correctly".

About 2 years have passed and we are once again experiencing the same issues: tongue and grooves are snapping.

Our subfloor is plywood (basement under us). Both contractors never used any SLC or laid down any underlayment claiming that the laminate boards had foam backing. Personally, I think that's a load of BS and the contractors probably should have laid down plywood or cork over the subfloor. These big retailers don't address structural "issues" - it's all installation, no troubleshooting.

Am I right?

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Old 11-03-2013, 06:22 PM   #2
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


Some laminates come with the padding built in so nothing else is needed.
Unless this subflooring is way off and full of dips the flooring should have worked.
Just sounds like defective or cheap flooring.
1/4 plywood or cork would have done nothing to strengthen the floor.
Cork is sometimes used for sound deadening or a thermal break but it's expensive and would not added life to the flooring.
Have you tried Goggling the brand name and adding recalls, or complaints to the end of it?

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Old 11-03-2013, 06:22 PM   #3
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


Hi

The plywood SubFloor, is it level? does it dip anywhere in its entirity or have any lips on its runs? this would be one of the first things id check before even begin laying the floor, if their is dips & lips and subfloor is not level it could quite easily cause the tongues to start snapping with heavy traffic daily walking across the floor, im of course taking into account that the floor they laid was put down on plywood, if thats the case their at fault, the fact the floor has come aprt twice for the same clearly indicates an issue that needs addressed!
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:11 PM   #4
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


You mean you had carpentry work done by a large retailer rather than a professional tradesman and it came out crappy? That's like going to a shoe store for foot surgery.

Last edited by Davejss; 11-03-2013 at 07:12 PM. Reason: Needed editing
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:50 PM   #5
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


Quote:
Originally Posted by Davejss View Post
You mean you had carpentry work done by a large retailer rather than a professional tradesman and it came out crappy? That's like going to a shoe store for foot surgery.
Now THAT is funny! Trust me - these days, if I can't do it, I go to a tradesman.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:54 PM   #6
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


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Hi

The plywood SubFloor, is it level? does it dip anywhere in its entirity or have any lips on its runs? this would be one of the first things id check before even begin laying the floor, if their is dips & lips and subfloor is not level it could quite easily cause the tongues to start snapping with heavy traffic daily walking across the floor, im of course taking into account that the floor they laid was put down on plywood, if thats the case their at fault, the fact the floor has come aprt twice for the same clearly indicates an issue that needs addressed!
There are definitely some dips and lips in the floor. They ended up putting down a foam underlayment to see if it would absorb some of the issues, but clearly it didn't work.

I think the lesson learned is that these big retailers just take your money and install the item rather than taking pride in the workmanship and doing it right.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:17 PM   #7
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


They should take responsibility and install it right....The laminate manufacturers usually tell how much can be the dips and lips at max
So any installer who ask money to install laminate flooring should consider this before doing the installation
May be it will cost more if they have to level the floor, but they should give you a quote in that case and not just install the floor knowing they don't do it within the recommendation of the manufacturer. It's too easy...
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:19 PM   #8
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


Might want to look up the install direction for that make of flooring.
I'm just not seeing what they did wrong so far without some real proof.
I've seen DIY's lay it over low nap carpet, tile, cardboard, failing linoleum, none of with I recommend but it still held up without cracking.
All laminates have spec's on what the floor can be laid over and how flat it needs to be.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:37 PM   #9
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


I think the most important thing is to have a subfloor flat....Maybe not leveled, but flat.You don't want any spongy area in the floor once installed
What is on the subfloor is perhaps "less" important....I like to use 1/4" cork on my OSB, even though my laminate has foam padding
I did a bedroom a few weeks ago, and i was almost finished (~80%) when somebody came into the room to take a look and walked onto a "big" spongy spot that I obviously missed
I took almost all the planks out (relatively easy with "click and lock" laminate except the portion that was glued under a marble threshold ) and shimmed this area with roof felt#30 in several layers and progressively
It worked very well, and I think it's an easier solution that self leveling compounds

Last edited by french_guy; 11-03-2013 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:02 PM   #10
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


Most of the cracked planks are in the general area of our stairs. There are sister joists in that area.

Again, I think the lesson learned is to not use a major retailer for installation. Seems like the subcontractors are really put in a tight spot on what they can/cannot do and can/cannot say when they come across a problem.

Annoying.
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:07 PM   #11
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


Quote:
Originally Posted by Davejss
You mean you had carpentry work done by a large retailer rather than a professional tradesman and it came out crappy?
Shocked........I'm shocked too.

The good thing is that it's possible they'll install it again, until you say enough.

Jaz
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:14 PM   #12
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


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Shocked........I'm shocked too.

The good thing is that it's possible they'll install it again, until you say enough.

Jaz
They reinstalled it once. The warranty is up now and quite frankly I've hit the point where I don't even want them to bother.

I take it as a "live-n-learn" lesson. An expensive one.
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:21 PM   #13
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Laminate Floor Nightmare


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyp78
I've hit the point where I don't even want them to bother.
That's what they want you to do, give up.

Often they hire one crew to do all the flooring. Tile, hardwood, laminate, vinyl tile & sheets, carpeting. You're not going to get quality workmanship with that business model. But, it is cheaper.

Jaz

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